“Software giant Microsoft is casting its sights on the digital media marketplace by positioning itself as pro-consumer-choice. The company unveiled its MSN Music Service and its PlaysForSure logo, which indicates interoperability among portable devices, digital music stores and PCs that run Windows Media software,” Scott Banerjee reports for Billboard.
“‘Obviously, the digital music scenario is exploding,’ said Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman/chief software architect at Microsoft’s Digital Entertainment Anywhere launch event Oct. 12 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. ‘Once you’ve picked the music stores you like,’ Gates said, ‘that should in no way constrain the devices the music works with,'” Banerjee reports. “‘We want to give you choice, but we want you to know exactly how that ecosystem fits together,’ Gates said of the PlaysForSure logo. ‘And so you don’t have to think about file formats or conversion, you know that all the richness of the experience will carry across to those devices.'”
Banerjee reports, “‘PlaysForSure is a good way of sorting through the confusion, but there is still a lot of work that consumers need to go through,’ Michael Gartenberg of Jupiter Research said. ‘It’s not likely consumers are going to go to a music store, look for a particular logo and then go buy a player with that logo on it … By contrast, Apple has a much simpler message; it’s about the iPod and the iTunes Music Store, and by the way, did we mention that iPod?'”
“Apple Computer recently reported that slightly more than 2 million iPods shipped for its fiscal fourth quarter, with iPod revenue for the third quarter totaling $537 million. Revenue from the iTunes Music Store and related iPod services and accessories totaled $98 million,” Banerjee reports.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: How nice of Microsoft and its partners to clearly identify devices, PCs and music services that won’t work well or at all with Apple’s market-dominating iTunes Music Store (70% of legal online music downloads) and even-more-dominating iPod and iPod mini (92.1% of hard drive-based music players). This’ll make it easier for consumers to avoid making expensive mistakes. They should’ve just called it “Don’tBuyThis.”