Bill Gates: Microsoft, partners working to combat iPod | iLounge News


Bill Gates: Microsoft, partners working to combat iPod

Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates said today that Microsoft and its hardware partners plan to continue working on new digital media devices to challenge the iPod’s dominance.

“Apple has done a fantastic job with the iPod,” Gates told high school students at the company’s annual Minority Student Day. “We are talking with partners about how we, working with those partners, can make even better music players. We’ve got some in the market today. I’d say in total they have about 20 percent market share, which is lower than we like, and so we’re seeing where we can come together to make a device that’s less expensive and connects in better ways, does photos and videos in better ways.

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Good! Bring it Bill!  That can only mean Apple will be forced to improve upon their own superior product which would only be good for consumers.  Here’s to many more years of dominance ahead.

Posted by smiling skull on February 10, 2006 at 6:41 PM (CST)


“Between us and our partners, you can expect to see some pretty hot products coming out over the next couple of years”. Didn’t Sim Wong Hoo have something similar to say a year or two back ? War on Apple, Plays for Sure, blah blah blah.

I’d be genuinely interested to see what MS and partners have planned.* Is the iPod’s current position of dominance unassailable ? No, not inthe long terms, but something jolly good is going to have to be put on the table to challenge the iPod. Something considerably more substantial than endless promises of “It’s going to be really good when it gets here!” - the 2006 remix of the old “It’ll be an iPod killer” mantra.


*Actually not so much, given that I use a mac. The chances of Creative, Napster et al working with my setup are nigh on zero.

Posted by Brendon Parsons on February 10, 2006 at 6:53 PM (CST)


I wonder if Microsoft realizes that Apple is basically locking people onto their ipod, by having the DRM, but if you don’t buy from the ITMS I guess you don’t have to worry. Still, MS would need a superior device with better integration than iTunes. I don’t see that happening because WMP just flat out sucks.

Posted by macbullet on February 10, 2006 at 7:15 PM (CST)


I’m for whatever it takes for Apple to stay on its toes and keep the iPod and iTunes at the top of the game. Bring it on Mr. Gates! Competition is good for everybody! Hopefully though I’ll never ever have to buy a PC to use whatever Mp3/Video player comes in the future. Apple getting iTunes into the PC was a a great and needed move for them to get the type of marketshare penetration they have now. Unfortunately, whatever Microsoft and Bill Gates comes out with in the future will not need that same support of Mac hardware to succeed. The software would just need to be intuitive and easy to use and integrate well with the hardware. I see Microsoft trying to emulate Apple and their iTunes/iPod/iTunes store model. Everybody can see this coming. Let’s hope Apple continues to make iTunes and the iPod better and better!

Posted by Tenchi211 on February 10, 2006 at 7:24 PM (CST)


It’s not so much worry for Apple. If they can kill off   iPod mini for a nano after just a year or so, they sure can get something better. By the time MS and co unveil their iPod killer, Apple has long gone with pretty much into the future such as uh, can I say a slim.touch screen.wi-max video iPod?

Posted by digi9 on February 10, 2006 at 11:53 PM (CST)


Wasn’t the xBox 360’s power supply brick a hot product for some?? ;)

Posted by zapod on February 11, 2006 at 12:14 AM (CST)


I’ve heard it all before, Bill….Let me know when you actually have a well-designed, competitive product.

Also, was anyone else ticked off by the redundancy of this statement:  “We are talking with partners about how we, working with those partners…”

Posted by Cameron T. on February 11, 2006 at 12:33 AM (CST)


I bought a Apple iMac 6 months ago, it is my first household computer since my ‘Amiga 500’.

Don’t get me wrong I can use computers fine, I just used to use them for email (cafe).

  Quite simply I have no reason to say this, I have no bias, I took a risk and bought an iMac with no knowlage of Apple at all. Just bought because it showed up in the top 3 computers of every magazine!

  These computers are unbelieveable and windows seems like my “Amiga 500” NOW, no word of a lie!

“Bite that one Bill”

Posted by brendan Sheehan jnr on February 11, 2006 at 1:45 AM (CST)


I think it will take more than just an MP3 player to beat apple.  MS has to look at the whole picture not just half of it.  If I’m MS engineer, I would come up with an MP3 player that would actually do something different.  I would actually integrate a crossfading feature to my MP3 Player and patent that so that no other competitor such as Apple or Sony can touch my mp3 player for awhile.  And I would focus more on simplicity, which Apple already has taken place with.  But overall, just come up with something simple and is not intimidating interface and of course, try competing with the iTunes software.

Posted by Oliver on February 11, 2006 at 2:10 AM (CST)


I’d like to see anyone take on the reigning dominator in pretty much anything (except when that dominator is Porsche, my one hardware soft spot), if only to have the champ prove themselves worthy. But as I said a week or so ago, I don’t see the sloths at Redmond being able to come up with anything superior to the iPod package.

MSFT has become the IBM of the 21st Century. They’re so big and such a behemoth that they’re incapable of thinking fast on their feet. As much as I’m NOT a Windows/MSFT fan, I really wouldn’t mind it if someone, even MSFT, gave Apple some heartache.

But I just don’t see it happening…unless they did it like Internet Exploder did to Netscape and simply give away their ‘super’ DAP devices and “iTunes killer” for free, or at least hideously cheap. (Now THERE’S a thought…)

Posted by flatline response on February 11, 2006 at 3:05 AM (CST)


I think the reason why Apple in recent years has done very well, espaically with the pod, is because of how well its engineers have dedicated themselves to their products. It is almost as if these designers are in complete synced with their products, at the same time, able to connect their vision to the consumer. From the mac towers, mac mini, and that piece of artwork the pod video, these are all pieces of creation, espacially crafted from almost pure engineering. If Bill and his juggernaut Microsoft want to tackle little ole Apple he will have to understand what creating is all about. It is not enough to make something just to make money or to try to create something better. He and his team will have to go to that place where all geniuses go. The same place where writers go, where art comes from. No doubt he is a genius, but just because someone has an high iq does not nessassarily make him creative or imaginitve. Who else can make the nano the way it is unless they are an obsessive creator…....but then again maybe i just like Apple

Posted by Kastor Troy on February 11, 2006 at 3:25 AM (CST)


What’s this jive talk that MS has a 20% market share? I havn’t seen an MS MP3 players. Not to say it doesn’t exist, but 20% share? Where is it?

Posted by Countach on February 11, 2006 at 5:59 AM (CST)


Yes, Microsoft is coming out with their own iPod.  When it crashes you will need to simultaneously press buttons on each earbud as well as a third button on the device with your elbow to reboot it.  It will have have many more menu options such as “play audio xOut over WMP input mode” and a host of other options that you won’t have a clue what they mean.  And it will be possible to load viruses into songs that will integrate nicely with Outlook to automatically email your boss recordings of you singing in the shower.

Posted by MicroPod on February 11, 2006 at 6:13 AM (CST)


I’ve said this from the very beginning 4 years ago, that for every iPod Apple sells, there is, for better or worse, another user committed to the iTunes experience. Each song purchased is just another reason not to switch. Granted you can convert, and Microsoft may even provide an automatic method, AAC to WMA, but the vast majority of iPod users are not going to see a need to switch their entire libraries to a new format. Just personally, I cannot for the life of me see what could convince me to switch my iPod to another player AND thus switch my music library (at least the iTunes-purchased portion which is substantial) to Windows Media. I mean what could possibly improve that would motivate such an arduous task?

When Gates says that they need to build a better experience, that really is going to be an almost impossible task. As we have seen within the graveyard of “iPod killers”, feature matching and price are not going to be the determining factors. I honestly feel that inertia and great Apple innovation are going to be hard to overcome. Bill, that’s a BILLION SONGS you’re trying to get people to switch!

Posted by D9 on February 11, 2006 at 7:23 AM (CST)


They could do it.  Remember when Palm had 80% marketshare?

Posted by Gordy. on February 11, 2006 at 8:17 AM (CST)


I’d really like to think that Microsoft could do this. But the trouble is, if they had even the slightest clue about it, one would be hard-pressed to explain why they did everything else they have done over the last thirty years…

Posted by Magic Rabbits on February 11, 2006 at 8:55 AM (CST)


ipods unstopable

Posted by ipoder555 on February 11, 2006 at 10:25 AM (CST)


Its tough… I cant really think of any user interface… other than some kind of direct link to the brain that will actually make it easier to control a media player.

This concept of a circle just works so well…

Posted by Lazyguy on February 11, 2006 at 10:27 AM (CST)


Competition is good. Opposition from a real opponent such as Microsoft can only help us; it would force Apple off of its comfy throne and push it into making needed but minor improvements, such as better non-scratch cases, option of eliminating the 2 second gap, and other simple improvements.

Posted by Munkey on February 11, 2006 at 2:54 PM (CST)


**Apple did a very good job on iTunes, did the user-interface design right. That means we’ll have to match all that good work and do something even better.**

Ya they are most likely going to copy iTunes, just like they copied Lisa

Posted by passerby on February 11, 2006 at 5:44 PM (CST)

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