“So let’s say you’re an executive at Apple Computer, and Microsoft comes to you and says, look, we’re coming out with this new music store called MSN Music and we’d really like to make it work with the iPod. We know that you’re disabling support for WMA (Windows Media Audio) in the iPod before you ship it to customers, but we’ll give you a really good deal on WMA licensing–maybe even make it free–if you just let iPod users listen to WMA music on their devices and optionally purchase music from MSN Music. But you deny the request for perfectly valid competitive reasons. OK, fine. When a reporter asks you about MSN Music, what’s your response? I mean, how do you frame this answer after you just refused to work with Microsoft? Naturally, you blast the company for not being compatible with the iPod. In an interview with ZDNet this week, Apple vice president Eddie Cue said, and yes, I’m serious, that MSN Music’s ‘biggest problem may be that its downloaded songs can not play on the iPod.’ Nice, eh? But wait, there’s more,” Paul Thurrott writes for WinInfo. “In an official statement issued by the company, Apple actually wrote, and I quote, ‘The iTunes Music Store is currently selling over 16 million songs per month … How many songs will Microsoft’s new online music store sell during its first month?’ You know, we can complain until we’re blue in the face about how a dominant Microsoft acts, but isn’t it interesting to see how petty things get when the shoe is on the other foot. This is the company that is supposedly standing up for the ‘people,’ folks. Ugly, isn’t it?”
Full article, including a piece called, “Gates Slams Apple’s Inability to Deliver Digital Video Player” here.
MacDailyNews Take: What’s in it for Apple to let Microsoft or any other company sell the same product for the iPod that Apple sells? iTunes already works on both Windows and Mac personal computers and Apple has the largest library of legal download available today. Letting others sell music for iPod would only siphon off some iTunes music sales; there’s nothing in it for Apple to change their course at this time. Although Apple’s continued refusal for license their FairPlay DRM makes us wonder about Apple’s contention that the iTunes Music Store exists only to help sell iPods. Perhaps Apple sees the iTunes Music Store as a real profit center in its own right in the future?
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