“Six months must have gone by, because Microsoft is once again promising that its hardware partners are on the cusp of offering competition for Apple’s seemingly ubiquitous MP3 player. Microsoft, of course, doesn’t make MP3 player hardware (not yet anyway) but they’re now working with companies such as Creative, iRiver, and others to ensure that the next generation of PC-based MP3 players work as well, look as well, and integrate as well as Apple’s iPods,” Paul Thurrott writes for WinInfo.
“Guys, let me save you a lot of time and money: It ain’t going to happen. If Apple would simply open up the iPod to WMA (Windows Media Audio) files and PC-based online music services, the iPod would accomplish two things: It would literally be perfect, and it would blow away any reason at all to consider any other kinds of music players. Don’t think Apple will take those bold steps? My guess–and it’s only a guess–is that they will if the competition starts to finally show up,” Thurrott writes.
Full article, including Paul’s examination of “poor” Creative Technology’s situation here.
God help us, we agree with Thurrott’s assessment. Apple will allow WMA on iPod or license FairPlay to other services if or when they need to do so. Right now, of course, there is no reason to do either of these things. Unless or until something like that happens, Microsoft and the portable digital music player makers will be firing blanks.
Thurrott’s come a long way since September 2004 when he wrote, “Apple’s fans would love to believe that one company can go it alone against a consortium of consumer electronics and PC industry titans, both history and current events tell us otherwise. In other words, I’ve got bad news for Apple: Unless you make some changes, and quickly, you’ve already lost the game… If Apple doesn’t change its ways, the company simply won’t survive… If you care about Apple, like I do, it’s time to take a stand and ask the company — no, beg the company — to reevaluate its posture and open its products. Otherwise, we’ll simply look back on the iPod and smile sadly, as we do when we think about other once-hot fads — like Pet Rocks, Rubik’s Cubes, and Ouija Boards.”
Microsoft still working with Philips, Samsung, Creative on Apple iPod killers – August 10, 2005
Study: 32 million U.S. adults plan to buy iPod in next 12 months – July 20, 2005
Needham & Co: Apple ‘iPod Halo Effect’ fueling Mac purchases; predict 43 million iPod sales in 2006 – July 18, 2005
Apple smashes street with record revenue, earnings; shipped 6.155 million iPods – July 13, 2005
Tech writer Thurrott: ‘If Apple doesn’t change its ways, the company simply won’t survive’ – September 16, 2004
WinInfo’s Thurrott: Apple acting ‘petty’ by not allowing Microsoft to sell music for iPod – September 03, 2004
Microsoft’s plan to steal Apple’s rock ‘n’ roll mojo faces rocky road – September 01, 2004
Tech writer Thurrott: Apple must ‘open up the iPod for the good of all music lovers’ – August 03, 2004