Microsoft’s Bach talks Apple iPhone, DRM, Zune, and more

“Steve Jobs wants the music business to drop restrictions for digital tunes. But Microsoft, which began competing head to head with Apple in the digital music business last fall, is happy with the way things are, says media exec Robbie Bach,” Dan Frommer reports for Forbes.

Frommer reports, “On Tuesday, Apple chief Jobs suggested that the music industry stop forcing online music services like his iTunes to use software that restricts what people can do with the music they purchase, such as sharing it with friends.”

Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices division, spoke with Frommer and drops such gems as:

• Apple’s iPhone “doesn’t really change things for us in any fundamental way… Our view is that our strategy is more the correct one. People think, ‘Gosh, I need a device that works in my work style and my lifestyle,’ and the fact that we’re strong on the business side and have all the lifestyle capabilities like music, like video, like text messaging–all those kinds of things, we think give us a big competitive leg up.”
• Apple’s iPhone is “$500 and a two-year contract… But at that price point, the size of the market you’re going to reach is going to be relatively limited. That’s not a knock on Apple–they’re going to drive the price point down just like everybody else does. But most people would have said, ‘Hey, we’re not ready to have a $500 phone.’ When you look at something like a Motorola Q or a Samsung BlackJack or a T-Mobile Dash, you say ‘for a lot, lot less money, I can get that functionality today,’ and maybe that’s the direction more people will go.”
• Zune Phone? “Right now, I can tell you that the Zune team is really focused on producing great innovation in the music device space… I wouldn’t expect there to be much focus beyond what we’re trying to do in the core music space.”
• “Today’s Zune continues to sell well, and we’re continued to focus on things we can provide to those customers. Obviously the team is working on things for the future.”

More in the full article here.
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Related articles:
Buh-bye: Senior Zune exec exits Microsoft – January 31, 2007
Report: Microsoft Zune screens cracking from overheating battery pressure – January 31, 2007
Last quarter: Microsoft lost $289 million on Zune, CE devices – January 26, 2007
RealMoney’s Comeau predicts: ‘Microsoft will kill the first Zune media player by midyear’ – December 16, 2006
Desperation time? Microsoft Zune already being discounted by retailers – December 13, 2006
Microsoft Zune plummets to 5th place in U.S. digital media player market share with 2.1 percent – December 04, 2006
Analysts: Microsoft needs to ‘rethink’ as interest in Zune fades fast – December 01, 2006
Microsoft’s Steve Jobs-wannabe J Allard has 9 iPods and uses an Apple Mac – November 28, 2006
Amazon’s bestselling MP3 players list chronicles Microsoft Zune dud – November 20, 2006


  1. Microsoft is amazing. They are obviously in denial and can not see what is going on. They still think their monopolistic position will translate into success for a medicore product. That may have worked in the past, but things have changed.

    Microsoft are like vacationers standing on the beach, looking out to sea, and wondering where all the water went.

  2. “Today’s Zune continues to sell well, and we’re continued to focus on things we can provide to those customers. Obviously the team is working on things for the future.”

    I like this corporate language. Let me translate it.
    There is a lot of information so I will divide the text into smaller chunks.

    “Today’s Zune continues to sell well…” means “Today’s Zune sales numbers are significantly lower than we expected, but we’ve sold some.” Selling well? It doesn’t get any worse than “well” in business slang.

    “…and we’re continued to focus on things we can provide to those customers.” means “we don’t have a clue what do do with that mess so we continue to push the thing out of the doors and support those few unfortunate ones”.

    “Obviously the team is working on things for the future.” means “We are desperatly looking for work someplace else, the sonner the better.”

    What an avoider.

  3. The World’s Smartest Man, His Highness The Lord of Apple, P. T. Barnum, Steven Jobs has spoken – actually he has written, but that’s just a detail.

    DRM is over and that’s all there is to it.

    Gentlemen: start your download engines, and share, share, share until your heart is content.

    If you get any flak from the government or from the music industry (morons, right?) just refer them to Lord Jobs.

  4. Zune Tang where are you? Calling Zune Tang. Come out, come out wherever you are!

    Where is Zune Tang hiding?

    Has MDN has locked your posting name out? Good. Go somewhere else to play, jerk.

    Way to keep that loser out, MDN.

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