“The battle for supremacy in the digital entertainment world is about much more than who makes the sleekest, coolest device… The battle is really about who controls the next generation of home entertainment; how content is received, stored, viewed, manipulated and distributed. In essence, it is a platform war like the one in the late 1980s and early 1990s that firmly established Microsoft as the rainmaker of the PC world, and made company co-founder and chairman Bill Gates the world’s top techie and richest man in the process. Smart investors might be asking themselves whether they really want to bet against this man,” Simon Avery reports for The Globe and Mail.
“Once again, Mr. Gates is playing catch-up to Steve Jobs, his counterpart at Apple Computer and one of the greatest innovators of the digital age. Apple’s early success with the iPod and its accompanying music ecosystem has given the company a solid head start,” Avery reports. “This week, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company reported soaring revenue and profit for the second quarter, with iPod sales generating $1-billion, or almost one-third of Apple’s total revenue. The iPod is converting long-time Windows users to the Apple platform, Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s chief financial officer, told analysts on a conference call. The ripple effect from the portable music player included a 43-per-cent increase in the number of Apple Macintosh computers sold in the quarter, a 70-per-cent increase in traffic to Apple’s 102 stores and a doubling of in-store sales from a year earlier.”
Avery reports, “It would be a mistake to think, however, that Mr. Gates and his team have been caught flat-footed, as they were 10 years ago by the Internet. ‘Our story is harder to tell,’ says Greg Barber, vice-president of the home and entertainment division at Microsoft Canada Co. and a member of the consumer strategy team in Redmond. ‘It’s not just music, it’s video, TV and photos, and even communication in terms of smart phones. Our story is a little harder to tell because it is broader and because it is done jointly through partners.'”
Avery reports, “The winner in the race is likely to be the company that can take the elements of home entertainment and combine them into a single neat fashion that is easy for the consumer to embrace, Puneet Jain, a senior marketing manager for Sony of Canada Ltd., says. Today, Apple Computer claims bragging rights as the company that has most closely achieved that. It is expanding the iPod’s capabilities to carry photos, and many are hoping Apple will eventually find a way to popularize mobile video content.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Only one company makes computer hardware, consumer electronics, operating systems, and software under one roof: Apple Computer, Inc. That is why their solutions work so well for the users of the products. Apple controls the entire widget to create seamless, solid, elegant solutions vs. the disjointed “too many cooks in the kitchen” approach of the Wintel hegemony.