Microsoft needs Apple’s support if they want Windows 8 tablets to have a chance

“One thing that could put many [consumers] off Windows 8 slates is the lack of iTunes,” Killian Bell reports for Cult of Mac. “Microsoft knows this, and it knows it’s a real problem that could kill Windows 8 tablets before they’ve even hit the market in the minds of many consumers. For Microsoft to make Windows 8 a success, it’ll need the support of its biggest rival: Apple.”

Bell reports, “A huge portion of Windows users use iOS devices that they sync with their PCs, and the iTunes Store for purchasing music, movies, TV shows, and apps. Of course, they need iTunes to do that.”

“There’s a good chance that Apple — a company famous for playing by its own rules — will decide it doesn’t want to play ball. And if that turns out to be the case, it’s one reason why consumers may decide not to adopt a Windows 8 tablet,” Bell reports. “Rick Sherland, an analyst with Nomura Securities, believes ‘the incentive is for Apple not to do this.'”

Read more in the full article here.

Jay Greene reports for CNET, “Microsoft declined to comment on the matter, and Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment. There’s little doubt, though, that Microsoft has thought about the challenge. ‘We’d welcome Metro-style applications from Apple in the iTunes case,’ Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said during the company’s financial analyst day last September. ‘I don’t know what we’d see there. But we’d certainly welcome those.'”

“It’s also becoming clear that, as Microsoft moves closer to launching Windows 8, users will have two different experiences with the operating system. Those that buy PCs and tablets running the traditional x86 architecture with chips from Intel and AMD will be able to run all the apps they currently do, including iTunes. But users who opt for tablets that use the ARM architecture won’t be able to use all the apps they’ve come to expect on Windows PCs,” Greene reports. “‘This is Microsoft fragmenting itself,’ Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg said.”

Greene reports, “Without the same apps available on all devices, Microsoft runs the risk of confusing consumers. And Apple is likely to be more than happy to muddle that marketing message and not deliver a Metro-version of iTunes. After all, the company has no desire to help Microsoft make any inroads into its tablet dominance. ‘People are lining up in the cold and rain to buy the new iPad,’ Gartenberg said. ‘Is anyone going to line up to buy Windows 8 on ARM?'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, so the “little, tiny, niche guy” needs Apple now?

No iTunes for you!

• “We are in the Windows era — we were, we are, and we always will be.” – Steve Ballmer, November 2011


    1. No! Never! Perish the thought!

      To MS board members: “go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep little she-eeep..”

      (now don’t ever raise that question out loud again for fear they hear you…)

      1. Windows users absolutely hate iTunes. They keep saying it’s piece of bloated and sluggish crap that doesn’t belong on a Windows computer. Windows already has Windows Media Player so why would they need iTunes? I’d really be surprised if Microsoft actually wants iTunes on Windows 8 devices.

        1. ….because, some windows users don’t want an android or windows phone, some users enjoy iphones, or ipods. Not every one who owns a windows computer doesn’t own an iphone/other apple product. itunes is the simplest for managing apple branded devices. You are right, it is terrible on windows though, I won’t deny that. however, for me at least, the benefit outweighs the cons.

  1. Technically Apple has the exact same “fragmentation”: Apps on the Mac do not run on iOS. I don’t really see any difference and I don’t see why consumers (stupid enough to buy anything from Micro$oft) would either. I love bashing M$, but I don’t think consumers will be “confused” by this since they already have this “problem” (even if they own a Windoze machine and an iOS device- they have the exact same “problem” today and I doubt that this “confuses” them).

    Just sayin’…

    1. Apple’s fragmentation is different: iOS and OS X share core technologies, but they are distinct operating systems with different interfaces designed for different purposes.

      Windows 8, however, is one OS intended for both PCs and tablets. In a misguided effort to prevent fragmentation, both Metro and Desktop interfaces are there on both tablets and PC’s (which leads to very a jarring experience when the interface switches between them.)

    2. The difference is that developers have no incentive to create apps for Windows 8 because Apple absolutely kills it in app sales. We’ve already seen articles where app developers are abandoning Android because of fragmentation, but mainly due to the value of their time — they simply don’t sell enough Android apps to justify the time required to develop an app for Android.

      And Android is far, far more widespread and has an installed user base than Windows Mobile.

    3. macman1984 is right,

      This only affects WOA (Windows on ARM), which will pretty much be tablets. How many *Windows* users are expecting to be able to run iTunes on a Windows tablet? If they’re so disappointed, what would they do, try to run iTunes on an iPad…that’s not going to work either.

      Yo dawg, I heard you like tablets, so I got you running iTunes on your tablet so you can sync your tablet to your tablet.

  2. It is advantageous for Apple to have a version of iTunes for (desktop) Windows, because it helps Apple sell more iPods, iPhones, and iPads.

    Selling the media (such as songs and videos) through iTunes is mostly a “value-added service” for Apple’s hardware customers (which helps sell more Apple hardware). Why would Apple even consider extending that service to Windows 8 tablet customers? Is there a version of iTunes for Android?

    1. This was more true at a time when the iOS was PC dependent. However, this is no longer the case. Thanks to iCloud, iOS devices are now autonomous. They do not need the support of a PC…. At least when it comes to iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

      Considering that those are such a large chunk of apple’s revenue… who cares about the rest? in fact, it will keep some people from upgrading to windows 8…

      1. You said “upgrading to windows 8…”.
        Bzzzzzt! Sorry, fail – you used “upgrading” in the same sentence as “WIndows 8” (well, Windows anything, really!)

      2. Well, no… It’s true that iOS devices are more “autonomous” now, but Apple still sells are large number of iPods that are not “touch,” and they have sold a huge number of devices up to this point that rely on iTunes. AND there are Windows users who use iTunes by itself, as a media store, CD ripper, media manager, and media player.

        So there is an expectation and obligation for Apple to continue to release iTunes for Windows, for Intel-based PCs. But supporting Windows 8 tablets does not help Apple sell hardware. It just gives Windows 8 tablet customers a “free ride” on iTunes. Apple was very adamant about not allowing Palm to get a free ride on iTunes for their Pre.

        The only reason for supporting Windows 8 on tablets is if supporting Windows 8 on tablets hurt Android on tablets. But since Android has not been a threat to iPad, I doubt it will happen for that reason.

  3. Apple should make iTunes available on Windows8, not necessarily as a metro app.

    Microsoft has helped Apple in the past, still has their MacBU.

    Hasn’t Steve called this ‘presumed’ war over?

    Competition is always a good thing and anyway they are in enough trouble as it is 🙂

    1. “Microsoft has helped Apple in the past, still has their MacBU.”

      Oh, really?

      You mean, like the time MS wanted Apple to ‘knife the baby’ that is Quicktime?

      Or, how about the time Bill Gates slavishly copied Mac OS as an upside-down, reversed version in an attempt to get around Apple patents because Apple wouldn’t release the OS for commodity hardware, and then, had a former sugar-water sales bozo (John Sculley) sign away Apple’s family jewels to Microsoft? Gates even had audacity to tell Steve Jobs that the only reason Apple had the Mac GUI was because Steve had ‘broken into Xerox and stolen the TV first’. What a buffoon.

      You mean that noble and friendly MS??

      You mean that kind of ‘helping’ Apple??

      Don’t even try to cite the time that MS ‘rode in on their white horse’ and ‘invested’ US$150 million in 1997. That was nothing but a litigation settlement and was but a fraction of the cash & assets Apple had at the time.

      Steve tried to downplay the acrimony at the Macworld Expo, but everyone knew what was going on. Bill Gates knew full well that a new version of MS Word was about to be released. In fact, it was ready, but Gates used it as leverage to get Steve to capitulate on a number of legal issues.

      The only reason the MacBU still exists is because MS makes a *lot* of money off of Mac users.

      Microsoft is nothing but a den of thieves & copycats.

      Karma is a bitch and they deserve what’s coming.

    2. Apple has enough competition in the music and media business from Amazon. So should Apple release a version of iTunes which works with Amazon’s store?

      Uh, no.

      And Apple will never, EVER release a Metro version of iTunes for any version of Windows mobile/8/9/10 (if it exists that long) OS.

    3. The current Office for Mac is crap!
      Even basic formulas don’t work properly in Excel from Windows to Mac. Visual Basic is even worse! The VBA macros I write at work on the PC there, for the most part, fail in Office for OSX.

      1. And MS-Exchange is worse …

        And MS-Access is completely *missing*.

        I think the response here is pretty darn obvious: Make Mac-Office on OS X 100% compatible first and then we’ll talk.


  4. No, Apple needs to offer their office apps to the PC users and cut them off from the Microsoft Office crap so that the same apps on their iOS devices sync with the one on their PCs. Maybe offer a few other Mac only programs and pound their software cash flow into the ground. So, if Microsoft had to sell their office crap at the same ultra cheep price that Macs down load theirs for, how long will the Microsoft Empire survive? Crush them Tim Cook! Crush them!

    1. This. Oh my god, if this happened, I would laugh long and hard while apple totally SMASHED Microsoft 🙂 🙂

      Microsoft lives off software sales. If they couldn’t rip you $350 for office, and everyone was buying iWork at $41…. hahahaha

      1. I disagree. If people are looking at the costs to replace a computer, and a Mac and Windows PC are roughly the same (for similar features), but they have an iPhone or iPad and want to be compatible with their office software, then it is a HUGE advantage to Apple to have iWork available for $300 LESS than MS Office.

        Plus, Windows does not work as well with iOS devices as does OS X. And that will improve in the future (this summer), when Apple adds Dropbox-like features to iCloud to fully replace and improve upon MobileMe and make moving documents from your Mac to your iOS devices simple and fast, and from anywhere.

      2. Uh, no. This won’t happen for similar reasons to Windows’s continued existence today: people don’t run Office because it’s the best, it’s because IT’S OFFICE – the only thing that is 100% compatible with Office file formats and conventions (though that’s also debatable with all the shit they’ve pulled in that department over the years, particularly the Ribbon).

        Offer any kind of alternative and the first question you will get asked is “is it compatible with all my files and macros and formulas and VBA?” etc…
        The second question would be “why should I retrain all my staff” – but again the Ribbon kinda self-destructively puts paid to that one LOL

        This would be why OpenOffice continues to fail to make any dent even though it’s INFINITELY cheaper at $0.

        Specifically Microsoft lives off a software MONOPOLY, where they don’t have to do jack-shit about would-be competitors and STILL get to rake in profits. You cannot take them head-on in that way.

        My friend, people who care less about compatibility with Windows and Office and more about a superior product for their needs… have already gotten themselves a Mac.

        The rest, by definition, can never be reached.

        1. The great thing about software monopolies is that they’re really just one low level format away from oblivion.

          I remember when WordPerfect had a near monopoly. Then one day it didn’t.

    2. I disagree. Apple needs to keep those apps OS X-only, and keep them compatible with iOS versions so that people who buy iPhones and iPads will want to use a computer which has the same office software — a Mac.

      This is a very backdoor, subversive way to slowly remove dependence upon the .doc format and convert people over to something new (iWork). It will take years, but it will win in the end.

  5. “‘We’d welcome Metro-style applications from Apple in the iTunes case,’ Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said…”

    Lol. I bet they would.

    Screw ’em.

    Microsoft’s ‘strategy’ is fine just the way it is. In fact, I like their strategy… I like it a lot.

    “For as long as it takes”, baby!

  6. That’s the advantage of Apple’s strategy to keep Mac OS and iOS distinct and separate. One has a touch-based UI. The other is designed for keyboard and mouse/trackpad. There is no expectation from the user that the an app from one works with the other.

    But with Windows 8, Microsoft is intentionally “kludging” it together. For example, an intel-based tablet can run the current iTunes for Windows, but an Arm-bases tablet cannot.

  7. If Steve Jobs would still be alive, Bill Gates would call him and ask him for one last favor, remind him of the 1997 deal that saved Apple.
    Maybe he actually did that earlier and it’s already a done deal.
    Now however, it would be a bit late to make this call (for several obvious reasons).

    Apple certainly didn’t hurry to make iTunes run on Vista and Windows7, IIRC.
    They’re not going to rush to support it on Win8 – metro or not.

    1. “If Steve Jobs would still be alive, Bill Gates would call him and ask him for one last favor, remind him of the 1997 deal that saved Apple.”

      You are misinformed.

      MS didn’t ‘save’ Apple in 1997. Steve Jobs and his team at Apple did.

      The US$150 million was a fraction of Apple’s cash & assets at the time. It was simply a litigation settlement.

      After years of being referred to as ‘beleagured’, Apple gave the tech-media fodder designed to make Apple look like they were trying to ‘patch things up’ and make MS look like the ‘good guy’ for a change.

      It was marketing, pure and simple, but at the time, the MS loving tech-media lapped it up and hammered the ‘MS saves Apple’ angle.

      It was totally bogus and contrived, but Steve didn’t mind; he was trying buy time to get Apple back on its feet and to do that, he needed some positive publicity. And that, is what ultimately helped Apple: MS paid Apple to play the victim (with MS as ‘savior’) and Apple finally began to get some positive press.

      It bought Steve some time to get the ‘gum-drop’ iMacs to market, streamline the Mac model selection, and get their supply chain in order.

      In hindsight, what Apple accomplished was nothing short of brilliant, but don’t buy into the canard that it was MS’ intervention that had anything to do with what Apple has done since 1997.

      To do so would be comparable to pissing on Steve Jobs’ accomplishments; and his legacy.

      1. You’re half right and your half wrong.

        The important part of the settlement wasn’t the money but it was the guarantee that Microsoft would continue to produce Office for Mac.

        Adobe, as well as many other developers, had not long before dropped the Mac as their primary platform and switched to Windows which, at the time, was a death knell (and people wonder why Apple aren’t jumping to Adobe’s aide to rescue Flash). If Microsoft dropped Office for Mac, that would of been the final nail in the coffin.

        The deal guaranteed the viability of the Mac platform.But that does not mean Apple are suddenly beholden to Microsoft. Far from it.

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