WinInfo’s Thurrott: Apple acting ‘petty’ by not allowing Microsoft to sell music for iPod

“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?

[Disclaimer: MacDailyNews is an Apple iTunes Affiliate.]

62 Comments

  1. Besides, WMA songs DO play on iPods; you just have to convert them to MP3 or AAC format. What’s the big deal? The extra step that users have to go through? Isn’t Microsoft the company that denied abuse of monopoly power because they didn’t PRECLUDE other browsers from operating on Windows, but merely prohibited box-makers from preloading them (let along preinstalling an Opera browser icon on the desktop)?

    Sacrosanct hypocritical bastards.

  2. OK. lets say you own a litte store in small town America. Wal-Mart has opened a store there a few years ago and you have had to adjust your marketing strategy accordingly in order to survive and coexist. Now along comes the Wal-Mart store manager and says “Hey, we would like to set up a little Wal-Mart kiosk inside your store. It would really be great for our customers if they could come in here and buy a few things. We will even be willing to rent the space.”

    That’s MS.

    People call you crazy for not doing this.

    Thats Therott.

    Now lets say you tell Wal-Mart no. The next mornig you come to open the store and discover Wal-Mart has set up a Kiosk anyhow. The just broke your locks and moved on in.

    That Real.

    And now every one is critisizing you for not being a “player”.

    If Apple gives in, they will eventually be out of the iTunes game because MS will have sucked all the profit out of it. By not giving in, they can continue to offer those who have opted for the Apple way, a high level user experience.

  3. So it’s OK for Micrshaft to dominate a market and make Billions but now that Apple has something good everyone is whining about it. Apple is in business to make money and since they invented and brought to market a viable online music store and portable player I think they have the right to make money and do as they see fit. I certainly don’t see Microsoft opening it’s doors to Apple as there new music store is NOT APPLE COMPATIBLE and no other browser except the biggest security risk on the planet IE can get into there store. So Mr. Thurott stop your crap about who plays fair because MS,REal, and the rest of them are all the same. They don’t let Apple Mac users into there stores yet Apple is the only vendor that let’s Windows users in. Oh and I don’t like watching movies on a 2″ screen so I wouldn’t buy a video player no matter who sells it. I have my iBook to watch videos if I want to on a 12″ screen.

  4. I just wonder how those negotiations really went. I can see Apple telling MS that it will not allow WMA files on its iPod. (And I agree with that — anything to help eradicate WMA from the planet.) But would MS really provide AAC music files on its music store if Apple offered to license their DRM? I think not.

  5. I notice there is no attribution to the “Official statement from the Company”. That’s too bad, because I would like to ask Apple to make that person the new Mac Evangelist, and get him/her in the face of every tech/lifestyle reporter in the world, and start Telling It Like It Is.

    In the mean time, get this Eddie Cue fellow out there spreading the word: iPod is for Windows. iPod is for Windows. iPod is for Windows. iPod is for Windows. iPod is for Windows. iPod is for Windows. iPod is for Windows. iPod is for Windows. iPod is for Windows. iPod is for Windows. iPod is for Windows. iPod is for Windows.

    Sorry. You get the drift.

    Mike

  6. You know, I really like MDN, and read through almost every article on a daily basis, but this constant posting of Paul Thurrott’s anti-Apple clap-trap drives me crazy. He is worse than any troll on this site, yet somehow continues to be held in the same regard as other media journalists.

    Before hearing about him repeatedly on MDN, I had never even heard of the guy.

    Hi biased op-ed pieces are infuriating on so many level – talk about zealots, this guy is the biggest die-heard PC zealot I have ever heard of. If Microsoft isn’t paying this guy big bucks to be this incredibly biased, he is even more stupid than his written pieces make him sound.

    Like all other trolls on MDN, he is not worth spending our time over, and this post about him will be my last (about him!).

  7. I just wonder how those negotiations really went (Part II). Probably something like this:

    Gates: Hi Steve, Bill here. How’s it going?
    Jobs: Howdy Bill. Just fine here thanks, and you?
    Gates: Ditto. Say, we’re opening a music store next month and I was wondering if….
    Jobs: Hell no.

  8. Izod, I agree. There’s gotta be some kind of psycholigical fixation here on MDN about the Apple bashers in media. I mean, they’re newsworthy from time to time, but every other day there’s something new from Enderle, Thurrott, Dvorak and company. Personally, I think they bash at Apple just because they’ll get plenty of hits on their web sites from Mac users. I’m more inclined to pay attention to Jack Miller’s criticisms at Mac360. At least he’s a Mac user who came over from the dark side, although he seems to cringe in fear of everything Microsoft.

    News and Opinion are two different things. What we have going on at MDN is Opinion begetting Opinion based on something that appears as news, but isn’t.

    Reading one of Thurrott’s, Enderle’s, Dvorak’s flames and tirades from time to time is OK, but it shouldn’t be soup du jour.

  9. The only way Apple should open up the iPod is to allow other stores to integrate with iTMS. That is, we could choose to have more than one store listed in the left hand column. That way I can easily decide which store to purchase from but all the files are still in AAC with FairPlay.

    If MS, Napster, Wal-Mart or Real wants to sell AAC/Fairplay from a store within iTunes then great. Otherwise, I have no need for them.

  10. Hmmm…

    Stating that MSN’s Music problem is that they’re not compatible with ipod isn’t as much slamming Microsoft as just stating a fact.

    Apple doesn’t need to support WMA, but they should support other Music Stores.

    Saying that, however, doesn’t qualify Thurtott’s statements, as there is obvious bitterness and bias in his comments.

    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.

    Here’s where I think MDN goes wrong. The question isn’t what’s in it for Apple, as they will obviously go after their own interests. Hey, if you owned a store and there was a way you could guarantee that people could only come to your store, you’d do it… obviously.

    The question one should ask… is of what benefit is it to Apple’s customers. What functionality can we give to our user base to help them out?

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