Guardian writer thinks Apple must open iPod or Microsoft will eventually own market

“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.

MacDailyNews Take: See related MacDailyNews articles below.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Microsoft unveils ‘PlaysForSure’ logo which signifies incompatiblity with Apple iPod and iTunes Music Store – October 16, 2004
BusinessWeek writer can’t figure out that comparing iPod to Mac licensing is fruitless – October 14, 2004
The iPod is not the Mac, so stop trying to compare them – August 13, 2004


  1. SolarFlare–OS ads

    Ehm.. notice how 90% of computers you see on TV are sexy lampshade macs?

    Ya.. it’s called product placement..

    it’s LIKE an ad.. only more subtle and subconcious..

    i think Apple paid for some of those

  2. Mike…Apple has been doing product placement for many years, and I’m not sure it actually does any good. I mean, they should keep doing it, but I don’t think it helps sell Macs. Moreover, what product placements DON’T do is show OSX…that is the real gem. I honestly believe that the unwashed masses simply haven’t seen X…they don’t even know it exists or, if they do, what it is like.

    C’mon Apple…show ’em OSX!

  3. “…..Ya.. it’s called product placement.. “


    One commercial comes to mind which shows a woman .. in an office setting.. getting almost “orgasmic” over the thought of “air”…

    A quick look at the surrounding cubicles and you’ll see dozens of G4 “desklamps” !!

    However, I still think His Steveness should supplement this kind of “passive” advertising with some good ‘ole agressive campaigning.. extolling the virtues of a near bullet-proof OS and a 64-bit platform…

    I think that would keep those in Redmond running scared !!

  4. ashami.. well.. i don’t really agree.. on the movies, etc. its very common to show the Mac desktop.. the point is.. the look and feel of an OS is something very hard to market. The only thing great about it, besides looks (which apple touts everytime it shows the attractive UI) is how it works. So besides the fast-moving Apple Store campaign, which is designed to get iPod buyers into the store and surrounded by other sexy Apple products, how else are people supposed to get the ‘feel’ of an Apple desktop.

    If Apple just came out with an ad that said.” No Viruses. The new OS X Tiger. From Apple.” Nobody would believe it.. and WinPpl already have a response for that, “Isn’t that cuz you guys have a shitty marketshare?”

    Apple’s best salespeople are guys like you and me who promote the product when people ask about it. I’ve got people asking me about OS X.. but I’m not a jerk about it.

    And it’s not like I get alot of opposition if I crack a joke about how insecure Windows is. Everyone thinks it’s shit. The problem is that people think LInux is the best alternative.

  5. iPod is Windows compatable and Mac compatable. The other players do not have this compatability. There the ones with the closed markets not Apple’s.
    Try and go to Microsofts site with a Mac and IE 5.2 and see how far you get. You need IE 6.0 which they don’t make for Macs. Napster another windblows only site. If that’s how open they are then I really don’t want anything to do with them. And besides they offer nothing that I can’t do at the ITMS store with my iPod. The music selection is better as well and it keeps growing every Tuesday.

  6. Its just a matter of time before MS takes the crown..Sorry Guys…But you’ve already lost…

    Oh and the comment about MS being lost in the media market…Get a clue…They are heavily entrenched in the media market..Research before you spat off stupid comments…

    Dreamworks SGK

    Are all part (or where at one time) of MS Subsidiaries…

    I would say they DO have a clue in media…

  7. NoMacForYou

    So how long will MicroCrap be around…??

    Especially when you hear stories about stranding 800 airplanes aloft…. because of a “WinDoze glitch” ??

    These kinds of things are happening all over at alarming rates…

    While M$ might have a clue about media… (and thats certainly debatable)…obviously those who push that platform… havent a clue themselves !

    Bill Gates’ days as a dominating software company are coming to an end… And the world will be a much better place, too !

  8. The way to beat Microsoft easily, is to offer seamless cross-platform compatibility across all products on computer hardware and software. If Apple would release iTunes and Quicktime for Linux, Windows Media and its “Plays For Sure” (as long as its Windows) hype banner will not make a dent in digital music or anywhere else.

    Bring iTunes/Quicktime to Linux now!

  9. NoMacForYou. Perhaps it would have been better for me to say media delivery. As always, without a lead from Apple, Microsoft are clueless as to who and what to copy – and they are a company with no other culture than copying. Look at the mess they are making with ‘home media center’ and Portable Media Center – all wanky tech stuff that ‘people who have lives’ (ie almost all of us) have absolutely ZERO interest in. Jeez, is Microsoft even too stupid to learn from history (as Steve Jobs does) – people have always embraced portable music delivery devices – from the transistor radio, through Walkman to the iPod – but no one has ever had the slightest interest in carrying around pocket TVs since they’ve been around from the early 60s. Im afraid NoMacForYou it’s gonna be the same story with Home Media … think about it. No, ‘scuse me whilst I go and send a few emails from the comfort of my refrigerator, and check my M$ toilet seat for the latest temperature in Timbuktu

  10. I’d like them to bring QT/iTMS to Linux too. It would win some friends in the Linux world.

    As has been said, it’s too early in the game at the moment. I don’t really think people care too much about formats, they just want the music. But I do think perhaps they’d prefer it to be anyone but microsoft.

    Survey: Would you like your music controlled by a) microsoft b) anyone else ?

  11. I just heard some news from a mate who woeks in our japan office and he has just told me that the companies mobile phones over there are being bombarded by ‘virus text messages’.

    I looked into this and our telecoms expert has confirmed it’s true – over 450 cases in the last 3 days.

    AND GUESS WHAT… The mobile phones our company gives the employees to use for business run a watered down version of M$ WINDOWS!!

    It looks like a new area for M$ windows virus’s is starting guys!!



  12. NoMacForYou…

    Uh.. we’re talking about digital media you twit..

    MS’s entrenched position in the mainstream media is really boring: selling advertising. That has very little to do with this.. except that for things like you have to use WMV…

    But this is about digital media created by the customer where.. yes.. they are totally hopeless..

  13. I think it would be wise to imediatly re rip anything you download just to future proof yourself against a world of ever changing technology. Me I personaly do that everytime I download a song. It’s just part of the process. Saves having to deal with hundreds of songs at a time (though it’s not hard to set up iTunes to run over night to re rip your collection). So when the iPod is eventually superceeded I can put my mp3s on another device.

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