Analyst: Unlike Microsoft, Apple has the advantage by not licensing their technology

“Microsoft Corp.’s deal with RealNetworks may strengthen its position against close competitors, but analysts say the company still faces major hurdles if it wants a slice of Apple Computer’s [music] market dominance,” Elizabeth Millard reports for eWeek.

“Despite having more power through the partnership to compete against close competitors, Microsoft will find it difficult to gain even a portion of Apple’s market share, said Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg. ‘Microsoft has been in a position where they’ve been licensing the technology, but it hasn’t taken off,’ he said. ‘They have the steak but not the sizzle.’ In targeting Apple, Microsoft will have to deal with new challenges, he added. Most notably, it will have to balance the needs of multiple partners. ‘When you’re in the business of licensing, you’ll have several partners, and you have to be careful not to show favorites,’ Gartenberg said. ‘Apple isn’t partnering with anyone or licensing their technology, so they have an advantage.'”

Full article here.
And there, you have it: the truth. Well, except for the “partnering” part. Apple has partnered with HP in the past on iPod rebranding and Apple is partnering with Motorola for iTunes on mobile phones. Still the truth remains: Apple, by not licensing FairPlay (or allowing WMA on iPods), has the advantage. Thank you Mr. Gartenberg for stating it so nicely.

[Thanks to MDN reader “sketchtrain” for the heads up on this article.]

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Related articles:
BusinessWeek: Microsoft fumbles while Apple turns the needlessly complex into the beautifully simple – October 13, 2005
Video report: Apple CEO Steve Jobs discusses new iPod, iMac and earnings report – October 13, 2005
NBC TV shows up next for Apple’s iTunes? – October 13, 2005
Analyst: Real and Microsoft deal ‘doesn’t change the dynamics for Apple in any way, shape or form’ – October 12, 2005
Apple’s video play likely to unsettle movie, TV, advertising and retail markets for years to come – October 12, 2005
Analyst: ‘media companies will call Apple to strike deals, Front Row is Media Center done right’ – October 12, 2005
Analyst: Apple rewriting media distribution rules, more people will consider switching to Mac now – October 12, 2005
Apple and Disney usher in new media era – October 12, 2005
Apple posts QuickTime of ‘One More Thing’ special media event – October 12, 2005
Apple’s Front Row with Apple Remote and iMac G5: media center done right – October 12, 2005
Apple introduces new thinner iMac G5 with built-in iSight video camera, ‘Front Row’ media experience – October 12, 2005
Apple releases iTunes 6 with 2,000 music videos, Pixar short films & hit TV shows for $1.99 – October 12, 2005
Apple unveils new 5th generation iPod, now plays music, photos, and video – October 12, 2005


  1. Microsoft may be able to hold its ground in battling Apple’s Quicktime, said IDC analyst Dan Kusnetzky. Windows holds approximately 94 percent of the worldwide shipments of client operating environment software in 2005, With Linux at about 3 percent, and Mac OS at 2 percent. Blahblahblah….

    They’ve been licensing the technology to find something that will work before releasing their own [suitably tweaked] version to steal the market from their licensees. I call that, “vision.” Myopic vision.

    Myopic []:

    1. A visual defect in which distant objects appear blurred because their images are focused in front of the retina rather than on it; nearsightedness. Also called short sight.

    2. Lack of discernment or long-range perspective in thinking or planning: “For Lorca, New York is a symbol of spiritual myopia” (Edwin Honig).

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