“What do you get when one company aligns with another company, against the second company’s will? You get a situation resembling the story that broke Monday, when Real Networks debuted its Harmony software, which lets users of Real’s digital-music service play their downloads on a number of new devices, most notably Apple’s iPod,” Eric Hellweg writes for CNN/Money.
“‘There’s probably a certain amount of broken furniture at Apple headquarters,’ says Josh Bernoff, an analyst with Forrester Research… Apple may yet decide to challenge Harmony in court, but it should carefully think through the consequences: Harmony may actually prove beneficial to Apple and the industry as a whole,” Hellweg writes.
“Obviously, this isn’t the way Apple wanted to let people into its iPod system, and it forces the company to face a crossroads that wasn’t in Steve Jobs’s master plan. The question the company now must answer is, is it strategically more important to preserve its closed system, or is the iPod the future profit machine for the company,” Hellweg writes. “‘They need [an answer] that doesn’t sound anti-consumer and yet preserves the system they’ve built for themselves,’ Bernoff says. ‘I can’t think of a response that satisfies both of those requirements.'”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple should drop kick Real ASAP and nip this in the bud. What Real did sounds illegal; perhaps it’ll be up to the courts to decide, but Apple could require a firmware update and immediately stop ‘Harmony” in its “tracks,” so to speak.