Microsoft apology: iPod owners ‘likely among the most law-abiding consumers of digital music’

“How swiftly thought evolves in the wonderful world of Ballmer! First, iPods are full of ‘stolen’ music, next he forgets what he said, but suggests that it might be anything that isn’t a Windows Media Player that’s full of stolen music, and now iPod owners turn out to be the most law-abiding people in the world,” John Lettice writes for The Register.

“We’re sure iPod owners will regard being called law-abiding by an exec from a company with Microsoft’s legal experience as a high point to end the week on. But, you ask, how the blazes did we get to this one? We have Ged Carrol’s blog to thank. Mightily offended by Ballmer’s original comments, Ged used the feedback system at to demand an apology, and he got one,” Lettice writes.

“The grovel itself is particularly interesting because of the way you can feel the truth shifting under your feet as you read it. ‘We would like to assure you that when Steve Ballmer implied that most of the music on iPods were stolen, he absolutely did not intend to single out iPod owners for criticism. [this implying would be when he whooped ‘STOLEN! STOLEN! STOLEN!’] In fact, given that they have access to their very own – and very popular – online music store, they are likely among the most law-abiding consumers of digital music,'” Lettice writes. “Notice the sneaky bit of dissing there? If you weren’t paying attention you might run away with the view that the Apple music store only worked with iPods, and entirely miss the fact that Apple has extremely capable player software in both Mac and Windows formats. But back to the apology…”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Of course, we would quite readily take this opportunity to apologize to Ballmer for calling him a big, fat, bald, sweaty, doughnut-eating, psychotic dancing fool if we were wrong on those counts.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Ballmer says ‘iPod users are thieves’ statement ‘was bad’ – October 05, 2004
Microsoft CEO Ballmer: ‘Apple iPod users are music thieves’ – October 04, 2004
Microsoft CEO Ballmer on the digital home: ‘There is no way that you can get there with Apple’ – October 03, 2004


  1. Call me a thief again, Monkey Boy… c’mon, I dare you…

    BTW, did Micro$oft send Gloria Estefan a check for the use of “Get On Your Feet” that Ballmer was so exuberantly dancing to in that video? I didn’t think so…


  2. The Steve Ballmer sandwich is a thin slice of groveling with a thick slice of arrogance, lavished with a spicy spread of ineptitude, a hearty slab of Limburger, on a doughy buns.

    I think I lost my appetite.

  3. Although Windows ITunes is a good program… it is DEFINITELY not very fast… and it DEFINITELY shows that it is ported. It’s a pity that Mac doesn’t have a Windows Business Unit as efficient and capable as the MBU at Microsoft.

    Although it isn’t buggy, it is slow on , and a resource hog. There are interface problems with it as well, which don’t allow minimizing to the system tray (which really is the equivalent of the dock).

    It feels clumbsy as a mac application in a windows environment, although it is improving… remember, in windows, most windows are run minimized or maximized, given that there is NO expos�, and music players which are “Background” apps, shouldn’t show up on the taskbar if not requested. To do anything less is either an attempt to emulate the mac on a PC, or deliberate crippleware, which doesn’t give apple software a good impression…

    However, rendezvous works cross-platform flawlessly… and the search mechanism works very well.

  4. I think you should apologize for calling Ballmer a big, fat, bald, sweaty, doughnut-eating, psychotic dancing fool. He doesn’t eat doughnuts.

  5. Ottomabulb,

    I don’t completely disagree with you, but I think you are overstating things. iTunes on Windoze is better than most apps that run on that platform. You do make good points about how standard Windoze apps are supposed to work, however. I believe that Apple was trying to give an identical look/feel to the Mac version.

    Considering all the other crap that is out there for Windoze, iTunes does a pretty damn good job. It’s also an early version. It may grow as well. I have not found another music store that comes close to offering what iTunes does.

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