Microsoft debuts ‘PlaysForSure’ logo to signify incompatiblity with Apple iPod, iTunes Music Store

“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.”


  1. MS wants to give you choice… as long as your choice is Windows Media. No thanks. The world has spoken and we’re tired of crap hardware and software. We’re switching to the Apple way of doing things and feeling stupid about all of the time we wasted with Microsoft and Windows. Luckily, we’re also feeling quite happy now that we have Mac OS X and iPods.

  2. dont be so naive, microsoft has more money than any company on earth. they will bundle their shit with the next windows, advertise like crazy, loose heaps of money but will get a fair market share. like xbox, its a load of crap but people buy it… I hope apple is smart and wins, but microsoft will become the domanint player in any market they wish to enter… watch out, they might make cars next!!

  3. very few have mentioned the inordinate overhead of using “plays for sure.”

    you need windows, IE (of course, so more exposure), certain scripts on, and Active X, all on top of WMV. all these components snake through your OS and embed itself into your experience.

    Apple has simply created iTunes, though it piggybacks on quicktime. however, these can be uninstalled, removed, etc. without affecting anything else, but in acting, also do not affect anything else. that’s the Apple approach, and that’s the Microsoft approach.

    now, can you blame MDN for their take? all Microsoft ever does is spread its tentacles into every aspect of you life. if you feel something in your pants in front of a PC, it might just be Microsoft installing itself into your body.

    remember: Bill Gates testified in court that the modular approach to coding is deficient! that’s why the British experts tried to refuse Windows on their warships. but of course, lesser minds and bigger pockets prevailed.

    seriously, how can anyone defend a company who believes that its OS and software should be designed so that every component depends on every other component. it’s for very simple, specific reasons why Windows is so vulnerable, and why you cannot uninstall a web browser from your OS.

    if Microsoft designed a house, putting up a picture frame could collapse the building. thus, only THEY can do anything, and you become entirely beholden to them. scary, ain’t it. yeah, plays for sure is pays us for sure.

  4. Should have named it “Sure don’t buy this”

    All it means is your locked into WMA(10) only DRM with no way out.

    One of these days old Billy Boy, your precious M$ is going to be broken up into tiny pieces.

    The Justic Dept. fell for your threats last time, but they will get stronger and just do it anyway the next.

    Does MA BELL ring a bell Monkeyboy?

  5. another thing: okay, sure, it’s nice to have a choice in music players, or even different websites to buy music – IF the dominant player and site is not so elegant, simple, and reliable.

    just thing about this: Apple has put themselves in a position where they can only survive by maintaining not just consistency, simplicity, beauty, and variety of music, but actually superiority. Has anyone praised Apple for taking on that responsibility? They bet their company on being able to deliver absolutely the best in both online music software and hardware.

    plays for sure means that Microsoft does not have to undertake much responsibility for software or hardware. it’s out of their hands! if you have a problem with music services, not their problem. if you have a problem with players, not their problem. all they have to do is collect the money in the middle, and deliver very little in return, plus avoid all the liabilities. their approach ensures their mediocrity because they have no incentive. they just collect the toll, and the others have to make sure to be “compatible” to plays for sure however Microsoft changes their coding.

    to summarize:

    as usual, Microsoft took the approach which ensures mediocrity, and Apple took the approach which demands superiority. telling, isn’t it?

  6. one question:

    as a consumer, especially if you purport to support competition, freedom, and excellence, which should you choose?

    mediocrity or superiority?

    iPod and iTunes is NOT all marketing. it took years of substance before the marketing caught on. I mean, $400 for 5 Gb? gimme a break. but that’s how it started. give credit when it’s due, and keep giving to make it even better!

  7. as i have said before – I am a Mac user. I love my iPod and iTunes.

    But why can’t you people accept that fact that apple has the chance of fscking up in the music world.

    MDN is one of the most hated sites in the Mac community. Its a disgrace to all Mac users.

    and all the fsck heads here are soo naive. microsoft is much better in areas apple totally suck at – development tools. and don’t give me xcode crap. if apple improved in this area, maybe it would get more developers.

    I Love Apple. I Love my Mac. I love my iPod + iTunes. I HATE MDN

  8. Obligatory Remarks: I’d much rather see Microsoft fail due to sheer market forces. If it was broken up, it could always say, “We would have ruled the world if not for the DOJ…”

  9. mac_user!
    MDN does sometimes go over the top on its MS-bashing. But this is understandable.
    Just look what we’re up against.

    Michael’s arguments are right.

    Munich wanted to go Linux and get away from Windows – the first large city in the western world to ‘try’.
    The plans have been shelved. Why?
    Presure from politicians.
    Why? …. ?
    Use your imagination mac_user.
    This is really frightening.
    This is the richest firm in the history of the world STOPPING AT NOTHING to retain its dominance.

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