Microsoft’s Chairman Bill Gates spoke with CNET News.com on the eve of his keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Gates commented on Apple Computer and Apple’s iTunes, iTunes Music Store, and iPod:
Gates on Apple iPod+iTunes: Apple is doing things the way Apple does–where it’s the Apple hardware and the Apple store, that’s great for them. We’re doing it the Windows way, where you’ve got things like this Creative Zen Micro, which sold out this holiday season. This brings the photo capability in, and it’s a very attractively priced device. So the variety story is an important one for us; it uses our rights management format and supports a subscription approach that we think can be a significant part of online music sales.
CNET Question: What do you think of Apple’s success so far? I mean, they clearly have had a hit with the iPod.
Gates: Absolutely. They had a hit with the Apple II, they had a hit with the Macintosh, and they have a hit with the iPod, so this is a company that’s had three hits, and that’s very impressive. There are a lot of companies that don’t have three hits. And in the same way that Macintosh helped get people exposed to the graphical user interface, the iPod is doing a great job getting people to think about digital music. In the long run, there will be a lot of people making digital music players, and we think that there will be a very different market share with dozens and dozens of companies. And other than Apple, all those player makers are signing up to work inside the Windows PlaysForSure ecosystem.
Full article with much more, er, stuff here.
MacDailyNews Take and BGBS Translation Service: “Apple is doing things the way Apple does…” = “Apple’s iPod+iTunes is all about quality, elegance, ease-of-use, and winning awards.”
“We’re doing it the Windows way…” = “Doing just enough to make it seem good enough as compared to Apple’s products and making up the difference with FUD and big money marketing. Plus we can deliver malware payloads built right into the WMA music files. Apple can’t promise that.”
“[The] Creative Zen Micro… sold out this holiday season…” = “I’m not telling you how many they made, but I think you’re stupid enough to think Creative’s got a huge hit on their hands.”
“The variety story is an important one for us…” = “If everybody keeps buying iPods and buying songs from Apple’s iTunes Music Store, our digital rights management (DRM) format is worthless and we’re screwed out of owning this market”
“[Apple] is a company that’s had three hits, and that’s very impressive…” = “I think Microsoft’s has had more hits than Apple, so Apple’s measly three isn’t impressive to me.”
“Macintosh helped get people exposed to the graphical user interface…” = “Without Apple, there wouldn’t have been a Windows and I wouldn’t be talking to you today.”
“The iPod is doing a great job getting people to think about digital music…” = “The iPod is great for introducing people to digital music, just like the Mac introduced people to an OS with a GUI. I took the OS market by copying Apple’s Mac and making it seem good enough, I’ll do the same with the digital music market sooner or later.”
“Other than Apple, all those player makers are signing up to work inside the Windows PlaysForSure ecosystem…” = “Player makers totaling 10% or so of the current market use our DRM and slap our PlaysForSure* stickers on their iPod knock off players, while the rest of the world uses Apple iPods and iTunes.”
*PlaysForSure is not similar to a protection racket. It is simply designed to demonize any company that won’t knuckle under to us. There are so many stupid people in the world, that enough will believe the PlaysForSure crap actually means something. After we rope enough of them in, I’ll have another “standard” and everyone left will feel they have to buy into WMA, too. Then I’ll own the market, grow bored quickly, and ignore it like I did with Internet Explorer. It’s never about quality, it’s about destroying and amassing more money than God.
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Windows Media songs and videos found to carry Windows malware payloads – December 30, 2004