“The music industry is rife with speculation that Microsoft will announce before the end of the year that it is opening an online store to compete with Apple’s iTunes website. It raises the prospect of an all-out battle between Gates, dubbed one of the world’s richest geeks, and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, described as ‘the first rock star of the technology business,'” David Smith writes for The Observer.
“According to one rumour, Microsoft will join forces with Best Buy, the vast US online electronics retailer, to sell tracks for 89 cents each. A similar arrangement would be expected to follow in Britain. The bad news for iPod owners is that it seems unlikely they could download music from Microsoft’s site,” Smith writes. “Simon Dyson, an analyst at Informa Media, which has just published a report on the market, warned: ‘At the moment, compatibility doesn’t matter because the majority of songs can be ripped from CDs or downloaded illegally. But as soon as digital downloading really takes off it’s potentially problematic. If Microsoft becomes the biggest download site, and it is incompatible with the biggest player, the iPod, that’s potentially ridiculous. It would be a nightmare.'”
Full article here.