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.]


  1. umm, why do people not understand part of the draw of MacDailyNews?

    they read articles so we don’t have to. but, without them, we would think no one bashes Apple, the Mac, etc. they are the ones who show us how to read between the lines, give us the history of people who contradicted themselves, or show us how some of these pundits are actually motivated. if it was not for MacDailyNews, you would come across a Thurrot article somewhere legitimate, and think it IS legitimate. and worse, do nothing about it!

    the Apple evangilizing is still going on, as all these articles show. if it was not for MacDailyNews showing us the bad seeds, they will continue to influence the rest of the world.

    think before you post. the very reason for MDN is so people know about all the Mac-bashers, and even indicate to those who did so unintentionally that they have missed something, or that they need more research. MDN is a great service! no need to read more of Thurrot than already posted, but now you know his latest, you know the setup of the argument, and you can make a better decision here. heck, you can post comments here that many other places don’t!

    give it some love, baby!

  2. That’s a GREAT IDEA!!!!!

    No seriously… it is!!!

    In fact, OFFER this when negotiations ensue. It would be similar to how a shopping center has several stores in it. Call it The Apple Core Centre.

  3. think before you post. the very reason for MDN is so people know about all the Mac-bashers

    Actually the very reason for MDN used to be to report news pertaining to the Macintosh platform and Apple Computer. However, once it became apparent that the most hits went to and the most time was spent viewing articles that pushed the buttons of the Mac faithful who visit this site, the focus changed.

    It’s not all bad because it does give the readers what they seem to want. But it has also led to a noticeable dumbing down of those who choose to respond to articles posted throughout this site.

  4. Apple is an idealist company. They are all about the user experience being good and making insanely great products. If they can leverage their real innovation in the Music field to keep coming up with more and better products THAT’S GREAT!!!! Much better than Micros**t’s business practices which foist a second rate user experience on the unsuspecting John Q Public.


  5. “Gates Slams Apple’s Inability to Deliver Digital Video Player”

    you mean

    “Apple’s refusal to develop a media player means Micrfosoft will have nothing to copy and will have to actually try to make one ourselves and you know that unless we can rip off Apple the product will be awful”

  6. Wow, Miss Paul Thurrott must have Bill Gates’ —- shoved RIGHT up his ——-, I wonder when the marriage is?

    Seriously, he’s such a fool. An incredible, myopic fool. If you ever get the chance, write him an email criticising one of his “articles” and wait for the response. He rambles, beats around the bush for a while then comes up with an answer to a question you didn’t even ask.

    Paul Thurrott for US President!

    Think about it, he’s got it all. Inability to see he is wrong – EVER! He can be bought, just like Micros**t have done and he will never, ever answer a question correctly. Sounds like a perfect replacement for George Dubya Bush.

  7. Microsoft has amassed more money than any other indvidual or organisation has done in the entire history of the world – but it behaves neither with dignity nor honour.

    On the contrary, it behaves like a petty playground bully.

    We can only hope that one day it will, like the Soviet Union, implode …. all the signs are good.

  8. The question people should be asked BGates & MS is why? (I mean, of course, people know why in the business sense) but the reality is MP3 have won the race. AAC M4p is the 2nd choice for people who want it now (legally). Add in the other favs lke oGG, APE, etc … WMA is really about the 10th choice on the list so the question really should be why? PEople somehow just accept that Ms should get into this biz – guess that MS Watch OS business is not doing so hot – hey, what about all the MS marketing muscle that is infallible? Does THurott wear an MS watch?

  9. Again, personally, I think the iPod should support WMA, Real, Ogg Vorbis, and any other format that someone can encode sound into because, to quote Steve Jobs, “At Apple, it’s about the music.” It shouldn’t be about the format.

    What makes me laugh the hardest is the alleged “deal” that Microsoft was offering. First, Apple has to do the work to make WMA work on the iPod. Second, Apple has to help Microsoft with the connection to download music to the iPod. Finally, the bit about “optionally purchase music from MSN Music”–as in, what? Provide an update to WMP 10 on their CD? And if Apple does all this, what do they get out it? Free WMA licensing?!

    In other words, “Help us make our audio codec and music store a success and we promise we won’t charge you money for doing so.”

    Sorry, Paul, but I would sincerely hope that Apple would walk away from that deal. Now if Microsoft said, “If you do all this, we’ll provide WMP 10 QuickTime codecs so that WMA music can play in iTunes on both Macintosh and PC”, I might have gone for it (though I’d want to see the codecs first).

  10. Apple has made some of the best software available on the Microsoft platform and Microsoft isn’t just pissed off but they are also being threatened! The biggest enemy of Microsoft is themselves; they created the MSN Music Store and it only proves that Apple is better. Sometimes it is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Microsoft doesn’t know when to shut up!

    With the MSN Music Store online now, Microsoft’s next move will be to “accidentally” have XP incompatible with iTunes Music Store with their next update. Hopefully, it gets huge media coverage and then the world will see what sort of adolescent megalomaniac Gates really is.

  11. Let’s see… if iPod were to support WMA, which needs to be sampled at higher rate to have lower quality than AAC from iTMS, what would happen?

    Well, here goes spiraling down the sewer the ‘7500 tunes’, ‘10000 tunes’ etc claims because people start filling with WMA tracks their iPods.
    Apple starts to receive complains that they are liars and much less tracks can be stored and…

    Uhmm, no, keep WMA out of the equation.

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