“Apple announced outstanding financial results last week, thanks mainly to a 500% increase in the sales of iPod music players compared with the same quarter last year. However, last week also saw the launch of the Microsoft-led Plays For Sure logo programme, which highlights the compatibility of rival players, and rival music download services,” Jack Schofield writes for The Guardian.
“The question that has already achieved cliche status is whether Apple will be able to maintain its overwhelming share of the protected digital music market when it expands beyond the minority of well-off and ‘cool’ people into the mass market,” Schofield writes. “Having sold most of the first 10m portable devices, will it be able to sell most of the next 300m?”
“When Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates spoke at the launch of Plays For Sure in Los Angeles last week, he showed a range of players including Creative Labs, Dell, iRiver and Samsung models. The Plays For Sure website also highlights the fact that consumers have a choice of download services, such as Napster, MusicNow, MusicMatch and Wal-Mart, not just MSN Music,” Schofield writes. “Apple still has time to license its system, and make companies such as Virgin friends rather than foes. If it doesn’t, it is probably just a matter of time before Microsoft’s system has enough support to become the de facto standard, just like Windows.”
Full article here.
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Microsoft unveils ‘PlaysForSure’ logo which signifies incompatiblity with Apple iPod and iTunes Music Store – October 16, 2004
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The iPod is not the Mac, so stop trying to compare them – August 13, 2004