“The announcement of Zune did one thing, if one thing only. It didn’t just send fear through the hearts of iPod product planners, but through those beating organs of Microsoft partners too,” Charlie Demerjian writes for The Inquirer. “For the Vole has a long history of screwing its partners, sometimes on a whim, sometimes with planning, and we are in the midst of another chapter of that book.”
“For those of you living in a cave, Apple built a better mousetrap, painted it white, and made it the object of pretentious fashion-slaves everywhere. They sell by the millions, and Apple now controls about 80 per cent of that market. Microsoft came along with a slew of third-rate, knock-off technologies, none of which is worth writing about, with crushing DRM baked in to the DNA,” Demerjian writes. “The software giant did about as well as the guy at the county fair offering to hit you on the head with a crowbar for a mere $100, and now all the other Microsoft providers together control a quarter of Apple’s marketshare.”
Demerjian writes, “For the first time, Microsoft is making the damn thing instead of licensing the code or protocols. You have companies like iRiver who make really great products on an R&D budget less than what the Vole spends on coffee for its ad people. It won’t be able to compete. So, with Zune, Microsoft is going to take an already fragmented market, IE not iPod, and steamroller over it. In a year, you will have a choice between iPod and Zune, with a bunch of no-name store brand clones clinging by their fingernails to the low-margin market. If you made the mistake of partnering with Microsoft over media players, you are going to get crushed.”
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “LinuxGuy” for the heads up.]
On one hand, Microsoft’s “partners” deserve what’s coming to them because they really have failed quite miserably. On the other hand, Microsoft remains one of the scummiest companies on earth.
Apple cannot lose. And Microsoft cannot win. That Microsoft is even trying Zune now only highlights their rampant mismanagement and bad decision-making.
The Zune announcement didn’t send fear through the hearts of iPod product planners, it sent laughter from their bellies.
If Microsoft’s Zune shows any real signs of life — a longshot based on history; Microsoft’s been trying to best iPod for half a decade already — Apple CEO Steve Jobs can simply license FairPlay to Microsoft’s former “partners” at very favorable terms to Apple, as they do face Microsoft’s big scary steamroller. Favorable terms will naturally include dropping “Plays For Sure” Windows Media DRM compatibility and FairPlay exclusivity for an extended period of time.
People aren’t going to stop buying iPods just because some other lesser companies finally have iTunes-compatible players. Ditto for buying from the iTunes Store. Jobs has to be thanking Microsoft which must be why he goaded them into this Zune nonsense in the first place. After everyone else licenses FairPlay from Apple, then everyone — except Microsoft — will be iPod+iTunes compatible. Game. Set. Match.
SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.
[Update: 1:50pm EDT: revised “past history” to read simply “history.”]
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