Microsoft plans to convert iPod users by replacing iTMS songs with free WMA format songs

“Ok, by now it’s more or less an open secret that Microsoft is going to shift away from its current model and go straight after the iPod with a portable media player of its own, but we’ve landed some exclusive details about the new player courtesy of a trusted insider who is party to some of the discussions Microsoft is having with potential content partners,” Peter Rojas reports for Engadget.

“To attract current iPod users Microsoft is going to let you download for free any songs you’ve already bought from the iTunes Music Store. They’ll actually scan iTunes for purchased tracks and then automatically add those to your account. Microsoft will still have to pay the rights-holders for the songs, but they believe it’ll be worth it to acquire converts to their new player,” Rojas reports. “Right now the new player is schedule to launch in November.”

Full article, with a blurry photo, here.
Microsoft’s code name for their iTunes Music Store replacement plan: “Pure Desperation.” Why Microsoft feels the need to “own” every market it sees is beyond us, but it will prove to be their downfall.

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130 Comments

  1. This is just like Microsoft. If you can’t beat ’em, lose money until you do!

    – Beat Netscape by giving away software (well, it was a novel idea at the time)

    – Establish Xbox by selling it at a loss.

    – Now give away songs just to try and win people over to their WidoP gadget (upside down and backwards, as always)

    Pathetic if true.. but entirely in keeping with their past.

  2. Mr. Ballmer, if you think I’m going to let you secretly replace my premium roast coffee with freeze-dried Folgers Crystals, to quote Judas Priest, you’ve got another thing coming.

    MW: means. As in, the ends justify the means in Mafiasoft’s warped view.

  3. As long as Apple maintains high quality, it’s going to be hard for people to go elsewhere. They just won’t want to.

    If people have been used to Windows as “good enough,” they’ve gotten a taste of great. Chances are, they’ll stay.

    Some trends are empty and shallow and some are trends because their legitimate, culture-wide phenomena based on something real, useful, and interesting. The iPod isn’t a flash in the pan.

  4. Hmm, lemme see if I can do this.

    iTunes has sold over a billion songs. Microsoft proposes to allow its users to redownload any AAC-protected songs in WMA format. But the record companies — greedy bastards — certainly won’t buy into a straight-across trade, so MS is gonna have to pay *something* for the new download.

    We know that Apple doesn’t make more than about a dime on the dollar for downloads. The record labels get the other $0.90. So, let’s say Microsoft strikes the deal of the century and gets to re-download the songs in WMA format for $0.50.

    1 billion songs time $0.50 is, um… 500 million dollars.

    And if every one of us iPod users downloads every AAC-protected song in our library from MS on Microsoft’s dime, and then downloads NOTHING ELSE from Microsoft…

    Could be a VERY expensive education.

    MW “certain” — MS is CERTAIN to regret this ill-conceived decision.

  5. “They’ll actually scan iTunes for purchased tracks and then automatically add those to your account.”

    Shouldn’t I be a little concerned that M$ is offering to “scan” my computer?

    What else will they be looking for, or placing there?

  6. Why for god sakes would I want to replace my current songs with the same thing from them? How does this somehow make it any better? I’m sorry but I don’t see any point to it except wasting a lot of bandwith for something I already own and works perfectly. This just doesn’t make any sense at all. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”rolleyes” style=”border:0;” />

  7. If this is true, it sounds like Microsoft is trying to beat Apple at it’s own game.

    -Apple releases Leopard which will allow users to run their PC apps without Windows.

    -Microsoft releases x-player which allows users to listen to their iTunes songs without iTunes or an iPod.

    This competition is getting interesting.

  8. 1. Sounds just like the move MS made against Netscape (people still remember Netscape?) by giving away IE for free and then eventually “integrating” it with the OS.

    2. Sounds like the move MS made against Sony by selling each Xbox at a loss to gain market share (same with the 360).

    Apple will need to come out with all new iPods and iTunes content for the xmas season to blow MS away.

  9. Why for god sakes would I want to replace my current songs with the same thing from them?

    ————

    The only reason you would do this is if in fact Microsoft releases a player that is actually better than the iPod. I highly doubt this will happen, but anything is possible…

  10. Microsoft is like a spoiled kid in a toy store: “I want that! And that! And that and that and that..!”

    It absolutely feels it must own every market it enters. Be the dominant player. Make the rules. Set the standards. It’s willing to lose prodigious piles of money placing product at a loss in order to gain market share and eventually own the market.

    That’s what they are going to attempt to do here. They will lose money on this project, maybe for years, thinking that the end result is worth it.

    The mind of a greedy, socially maladjusted 5-year-old: “I want that! And that!”

  11. This could be just a judas goat, a trial balloon floated by M$ to see if it can flush out Apple’s willingness to license Fairplay while freezing the iPod upgrade cycle.

    There are a lot of things that could go wrong with M$’s ploy, but I cannot help but wonder if this is part of the FUD war, not so much designed to entice current iPod owners to switch–how does this make you want to switch from your iPod?–but as to convince new iPod buyers and prospective iPod upgraders to wait for the M$ product, AND possibly startle Apple into licensing Fairplay.

  12. If this is true, it sounds like Microsoft is trying to beat Apple at it’s own game.

    -Apple releases Leopard which will allow users to run their PC apps without Windows.

    -Microsoft releases x-player which allows users to listen to their iTunes songs without iTunes or an iPod.

    Good point Maczeus. The whole Leopard virtualization has got to be pissing of Redmond big time! This may be Microsofts way of getting even. God knows they have the money to do it.

    Still Microsoft would have to come out with one heck of a player to entice iPod users to switch. Especially if Apple comes out with a WiFi iPod.

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