Enderle: Microsoft’s ‘PlaysForSure’ going to be a long-term problem for Apple

“After watching the rest of the high-tech industry unveil its coolest electronic gadgets at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week, Apple Computer Inc.’s Steve Jobs stands poised to unveil his own company’s latest and greatest at this year’s Macworld Expo,” Matthew Yi reports for The San Francisco Chronicle. “While Apple’s size may pale in comparison to some of the high-tech heavy hitters like Sony, Samsung, Microsoft and Intel, the Cupertino company remains the team to beat when it comes to digital entertainment, particularly in music, analysts say. ‘Everyone has Apple in its crosshairs,’ said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Jupiter Research, a market research firm.”

“Tech industry analyst Rob Enderle agreed that Apple’s success with the iPod and its online iTunes Music Store — which now sells popular TV shows like ABC’s ‘Lost’ as well as music — has made the firm an easy target,” Yi reports. “In fact, Enderle said he believes Apple’s success may prove to be a ‘massive problem’ as competitors gang up on the firm. Just last week, more digital content providers were announcing additional deals with competitors like Microsoft and others that use the software giant’s Windows operating system. ‘Some of the big announcements like the Microsoft-Starz Entertainment deal (to make TV shows and movies available online) will not work with Apple products,’ Enderle said… ‘It is the entire market. Pretty much everything at (the Consumer Electronics Show was) going back to Microsoft and its Plays for Sure (digital rights management scheme). And that’s going to be a long-term problem for Apple,’ Enderle said.”

Full article here.
Rob Enderle: an idiot savant minus any extraordinary skills.

Again, when the time is right (and early 2006 is nowhere near the right time), Apple will license FairPlay and the also-rans that are still around will maul each other in the mad dash to sign on the dotted line. Online music outfits will drool, so they can sell their content to what will soon be 100 million+ iPod owners, and/or media player makers will meekly ask Jobs how high to jump, so they can finally play billions of dollars of iTunes Store content.

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Related articles:
MacDailyNews to present live coverage of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ Macworld Expo Keynote – January 09, 2006
Harvard professor: Apple’s iPod may not stand the test of time, Mac won’t continue to gain share – January 09, 2006
Microsoft debuts ‘PlaysForSure’ logo to signify incompatiblity with Apple iPod, iTunes Music Store – October 15, 2004


  1. Jobs just needs to release a mac mini with a tuner built in. Since Plays for Sure does not play on the mac, people will buy the mini and buy more from iTunes MEDIA Store.

    Apple would sell a million PVR mac minis in one month if they would release it. If it had a Cable Card Slot in it, I would buy two.

  2. Oh, for Christ’s sake. Of *course* MS DRM scheme is going to be a problem for Apple! They are still the biggest, baddest dog on the block, and they have tons of allies using their software, and something like 15 times as many computers running their software. If you don’t think that’s going to be a problem for Apple, you’re too blinded by the RDF.

    This is not to say that Apple cannot still have great success in this marketspace, and still be the leader, but to say that Apple shouldn’t worry about MS’s offering is just dumb.

  3. Yeah sure, perfection through mediocrity, or design by committee. Everyone does it so it must be right. THINK DIFFERENT already! We have the right to ask questions and weigh our alternatives.

  4. I actually think he has a point.

    Apple’s continued success is frustrating EVERY other player out there and now instead of just focusing on their own success, they are putting more effort into destroying Apple.

    I really hope Apple knows how to deal with it, because even though they are in a massive lead now, there is an increasingly powerful enemy on the move towards it.

    Apple’s products are the best out there at the moment, and hopefully they will remain the best indefinitely, but regardless of quality, Apple needs to improve its defenses.

  5. Yes it will be a problem. If all these companies want a bite of the media pie, and Apple continues to keep it zipped up while Microsoft lets everyone in, eventually the sheer size of competition will wash Apple away. They may have the best solution now, but if they keep forcing other companies to go elsewhere and join forces to build competing products something’s going to hit them hard.

    And I guarantee it won’t run on a Mac when it does. I’d rather see Sony, Yahoo, etc. all using Apple technology to ensure it “Plays for sure” on my Mac for years to come. As it is, Steve’s setting us up to get locked out of whatever these media giants come up with, and you have to consider that it just might be better than what Apple offers?

    We may be king of the hill now, but I bet we’re going to be pissed later.

  6. Sometimes this site is just way to quick to say “retard.” It IS going to be a long term problem and one Apple is going to have to continually fight. I absolutely hope Apple comes out as supreme ruler of all things media in the end but they have a long battle ahead of them. Microsoft has finally gotten off its big bloated ass and even if its not as good as Apples offerings they are still a giant and when a giant moves you have to be ready to dodge and parry or you might get smashed.

  7. Thank you Hairbo, my point exactly. Sometimes this site frustrates me with how badly they go the propaganda route. I don’t mind a Apple friendly and supportive site, but to bad mouth whenever anyone says anything anti-apple is just a bit ridiculous.

  8. Once iPod sales begin to level off and/or lose market share they just need to license compatibility with iTunes to other manufacturers and then at the worst license FairPlay it’s not really rocket science.

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