Bill Gates confronted by glowing Apple logos as every single blogger at meeting uses Macs

“Microsoft convened a small group of bloggers today at their Redmond headquarters to discuss the upcoming Mix Conference in Las Vegas,”
Michael Arrington reports for Techcrunch.

Highlights of the day included:
• The receipt of a Zune as a gift (the third I’ve received from Microsoft – I now have all three colors)

• Seeing the look on Gates’ face when he walked into the room and every single one of us had a Mac open on the desk in front of us – Niall Kennedy had also set up a makeshift wifi network using an Airport
• An hour-long anything goes Q&A session with Gates

Arrington reports, “One of the questions that I asked was his opinion on the long term viability of DRM… Gates said that no one is satisfied with the current state of DRM, which “causes too much pain for legitmate buyers” while trying to distinguish between legal and illegal uses. He says no one has done it right, yet… His short term advice: ‘People should just buy a cd and rip it. You are legal then.'”

Full article here.

Gates responds to the Macs in the room: “Q) Do you despair at the number of Macs in the room? A) We’re happy about it. We sell a lot of software for the Mac!” – Steve Rubel of Micro Persuasion, another blogger in attendance.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Scarbro” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: We would have loved to see that look on Gates’ face. Get used to it, Bill. So, according to Gates, people shouldn’t be buying music from Microsoft’s Zune store, they should be ripping CDs instead?

[Attribution: Macworld UK]

Related articles:
Apple’s Mac market share surges, up 35-percent year-over-year as growth accelerates – November 01, 2006
Analyst: Apple has ‘real shot at dramatically expanding Macintosh market share’ – October 31, 2006
Analyst: Apple Mac gains market share, the reason why is significant – October 26, 2006
IDC: Apple Mac attained 5.8% of U.S. market share in Q3 06 – October 18, 2006
Gartner: Apple Mac grabbed 6.1% of U.S. market share in Q3 06 – October 18, 2006
Apple Q4 earnings results: $546M net profit on $4.84B revenue, sold 1.61M Macs, 8.729M iPods – October 18, 2006
Gartner: Apple Mac grabbed 4.6% U.S. market share in Q2 06 – July 19, 2006
IDC: Apple Mac attained 4.8% U.S. market share in Q2 06 – July 19, 2006
Dude, you got a Dell? What are you, stupid? Only Apple Macs run both Mac OS X and Windows! – April 05, 2006
Why buy a Dell when Apple’s Intel-based computers will run both Mac OS X and Windows? – June 08, 2005


  1. MDN missed it in the Take –

    Gates isn’t saying people shouldn’t be buying Zune music, he is saying they shouldn’t be buying Zune OR PLaysForSure music either!

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  2. Redmond is sure giving away alot of Zunes.

    It’s cool that all of Mac’s were there confronting Gates, but it isn’t going to matter after Vista is released. The masses will think it is the greatest thing ever, and of course all the wintel boxes will ship, by default, with it on them.

    Market Share is still going to be an extremely hard thing to come by for Apple.

  3. While at first it seemed that the latest rumor of the iPhone
    being released next week sounded crazy — on second
    thought there is an argument in favor of that being true.

    Apple needs MWSF to be about the Mac and about its new
    capabilities and companion in the livingroom: the iTV thing.

    With Steve Jobs having to showcase Leopard, and the iTV thing
    he has already promised to tell us about at MWSF in January,
    adding the announcement of the iPhone at that time would be
    a distraction at best (if all the media’s attention goes to the phone)
    or even a disaster — if the iPhone is simply a good old phone
    made by Apple but which disappoints the wild expectations of
    consumers of Apple products and investors in Apple stock.

    By letting the iPhone out of the gate first Apple is ensuring
    that at MWSF there will be no disappointments, the keynote
    can focus on Leopard, their new Core 2 Duo machines, and
    their interactivity with the iTV in the world’s livingrooms.

    The iPhone will be just another peripheral that can connect
    with Apple’s hardware and software, including iTunes & iTV.

    Once the iPhone is in use and with a growing user base then
    we’ll have a media event, in August probably, in where Apple
    will announce the iPhone 2.0 with Wi-Max, 1802.11n, etc.

  4. Forced to agree with Husker Mac. The masses thought Win 95 was wonderful. They’ll think the same of Vista, because they’ll compare it with XP, not with X.

    Market share, thankfully, is not really the goal. Profitable growth is.

  5. I have purchased over 1500 songs on the iTunes store, and I am pretty happy with Apple’s approach to DRM. If my friend wants to listen to a song, I just copy it to his iPod or burn him a CD (and it doesn’t disappear after three days)… what’s wrong with that?

    I think anyone who complains about the iTunes DRM just isn’t making any effort to understand the business model. Sure it would be nice if we could all just share music freely… but if the companies can’t make money at it, then there won’t be as much music to share.

  6. He’s wrong. Apple did DRM “right” (as “right” as is possible). For most customers, it does not get in the way; in other words, it is DRM where most people do not run into its restrictions in normal use. That’s one reason why the iTunes Store has 90% of the market and is the 4th largest retailer of music (on any media) in the U.S.

    In contrast, it is obvious that Microsoft did DRM wrong. Just look at the “three plays or three days” DRM restriction for sharing songs on the Zune. If you actually have another Zune close enough to share songs with, the song expires after three plays (or after three days). This “feature” is basically an advertisement to go buy the song. Any customer using this function will be hit in the face with the DRM restriction. That’s DRM done wrong.

  7. His short term advice: ‘People should just buy a cd and rip it. You are legal then.

    Actually you are not legal in the eyes of the music industry.
    That’s why Sony and others are putting DRM on there CD’s to which in some cases makes it impossible to play the CD even in a regular CD player. Sony even got in trouble for a misshap with a root kit found on there DRM protected CD’s.

    iTunes DRM has a minamal effect and works the best and usually a couple of dollars cheaper than a CD. You can record the music onto a CD and then re-rip it and you have a DRM free mp3.

  8. You know, I’m skeptical that the Apple’s xPhone is going to be a success, and I wish I didn’t have to be because I really want it to succeed. The Zune, I’m not skeptical, I’m certain its going to disappear inside of 18 months, and I’m glad. Why am I glad, because the iPod needs some real competition and the Zune’s not it.

    Poor Zune buying saps.

  9. The clue bat of reality just hit Gates in the head. Every laptop was a Mac. It reminds me of the scene in “Titanic,” when the chief engineer of White Star Lines tells the captain that the ship is absolutely doomed.

    MW: room, as in — “Do you mean there is no room here for even one Windows PC?”

  10. Gates is more comfortable now than ever with people buying Macs.

    The profit margin on the Mac version of Office is as high or higher than anything else they sell.
    With Boot Camp Microsoft sells more versions of Windows to Mac owners than ever.
    With Parallels Microsoft sells more versions of Windows to Mac owners than ever.
    With either Boot Camp or Parallels Mac users will be restricted to the most expensive (and most profitable) versions of Windows Vista.
    The next version of Windows Office will have a default file structure which is incompatible with Mac Office.
    …..Mac Office will come out six to nine months after Windows Office.
    …..Windows Office alternative file structure is RTF which loses many of the necessary capabilities of Office
    …..This will force many Mac owners to install either Boot Camp or Parallels and use the more expensive versions of Vista and install Windows Office.
    …..While this is a short term issue (hopefully only six to nine months) once people have bought Parallels/Vista/Windows Office Microsoft will be MORE THAN HAPPY for them to by Mac Office too.
    They are removing necessary (for some people — and most large organizations) features (VBA) from the next version of Mac Office forcing them to buy Windows Office.
    …..This has the same affect as the file structure issue and it has a much, much longer effect. Once VBA is gone from Mac Office it is very likely to *never* come back.

    Gates has absolutely no reason to dislike Apple selling more Macs!

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