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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Palm was successful until people replaced their Palm Pilots with cell phones that do the same thing and are smaller. In this case DAP’s are here to stay, it seems. Anyway, I’m excited. MP3 Players can only get better as the result of increased competition.

Posted by Joshdude in Long Beach, CA on February 11, 2006 at 8:03 PM (CST)


To quote from the article, Bill says: “I don’t think what’s out in the market today is the final answer”

He is right, an DAP and video player (like the iPod video) is not the “final answer” for me.  The “final answer” device for me would be to have all of the iPod video capabilities wrapped up in a cell phone and is also an FM tuner and voice recorder and can record line in.  Also my “final answer” device would allow me to use my cell phone service to download all of my music and video content that I currently own.  For example, allow it to wirelessly download from an online storage account.  Instead, today I have to hook up my iPod to my computer to refresh or update my content. 

So Bill, if you can create a final answer device like I described above, yeah, then you might be out Apple.  But, what will more than likely happen is that Apple will think of this first and create my dream “final answer” device before you do.

Posted by iSheep on February 11, 2006 at 9:51 PM (CST)


yeah, right billy boi, we’ve heard that before, and all you and your bitches, I mean ‘partners’ have managed to come up with is crrrrapp.  ipod is still kicking all ass.  numerous ‘mp3 players’ makers have given up, dell has dropped its hdd based versions, (to bring something else later?), 40% of cars sold in US will have built-in iPod support this year, a galaxy of iPod accessories, radio stations, web sites, its the favorite give-away prize to win, 1 Billyun songs sold coming up in a month, adding more video content sources, and on and on.  basically tons of momentum.  on the other hand…Real Networks? please.  Crapster?  asymptotically approaching zero.  Yahoo?  I don’t think so.  MusicMatch? who are they.

However, there is NO reason Apple+iPod+iTunes+iTMS CAN’T be taken down.  Apple HAS to keep making the shots, 2 and 3 pointers, they HAVE to stay ahead of the pack because the pack remains relentless and hungry, they don’t have no room for major mistakes, but they know this game already, and they know how to play it and play it well.

However, MickeyShaft hates seeing Apple get some cred, and that bit about Apple surpassing Dell’s market cap sticks in their collective craw.  Notice whose lawyer is doing the frivolous negative publicity lawsuit about Apple’s alleged “design flaw” and “possible hearing loss”?  MickySoft’s own.  He is also behind a previous anti Apple/iPod suit.  Steve Berman: <>

This is how these pigs “compete”.  They can’t make a better product so they seek to slime and damage.

Gates said about making them cheaper, and like they behind the scenes funded SCO’s suit against the world, they could just as easily help fund makers’ efforts to undercut Apple on price, a la Dell “Walmart of PCs”.  Maybe a big reason Apple has remained free to succeed on their merits is that Gates hasn’t figured out a way to leverage their Windows monopoly.  They can put their crapware on every pc sold, they can default to certain other online music stores, (windows only, of course), they can subsidizecheap ass players, they can maybe, if they work together really hard, get all this to work as smoothly as Apple’s triumvirate, but I don’t think they can surpass, nor keep up. 

Gates and emBalmer like to mouth off and say things about what they’re going to do, someday, in the future, but never have details, and never come up with what they blathered about.  The thing is some people will listen to them and believe them and that’s all they’re hoping for by these statements.

Posted by LeonardSmalls on February 11, 2006 at 11:58 PM (CST)


One thing MS could do is help OEMs to put a “free” player in the box with every new pc sold.  That is the same “bundling” method they have used with software all these years.  It’s their tried and true way of competing.

Don’t think that MS is going to bring competition.  They won’t. They don’t.  They don’t compete—they cheat.  The only time they put effort into actually competing on the merits of the product in the market place is when they have to, but they will still also cheat.  It is in their DNA.  They don’t see it as cheating, rather just simply being clever.  They will tie your shoelaces together before the race, let the air out of your tires, payoff the refs in the game, pay the owner of the ball field to use turf that works better with their shoes, all perhaps not exactly illegal, (unless you are a monopoly doing this to get into another market), so they see it as fair and this is how they think they compete. 

So don’t think that MS will bring good old fashioned may-the-best-product-win competition, they won’t.  They fear that, and they don’t know how to do it.  They will bring Monopoly Power and try to cheat their way up.  That my friends is The Microsoft Way.

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


Hey, looks like someone here was right! Check this out:

This seriously pisses me off. I’m sure there will be load of PC losers out there who will switch from iTunes to this. It’s totally a rip off, and I’m wondering if Apple can do anything about it using its iTunes copyright. What do you think?

Posted by Adam on February 12, 2006 at 2:59 AM (CST)


This seriously pisses me off.

So what if it cribs off some of iTunes’ art? Everyone KNOWS it’s not iTunes, and even if they don’t have a clue, people will figure it out soon enough after downloading and installing.

Frankly I think SongBird will attract the Winamp crowd instead of iTunes users, especially if it doesn’t interface well, if at all, with an iPod. And Apple’s certainly not going to let it tie into iTMS, so that’s two strikes against it already.

I admit though that I like the black, Firefox tech tie-in, wider media format support, potential for customization, and that it’s open-source. Can’t have too much open-source, as far as I’m concerned.

Posted by flatline response on February 12, 2006 at 6:29 AM (CST)


Interesting link to but it includes the following exclusions:

“We will also be able to play music played from the iTunes Music Store if Apple provides an API to their FairPlay DRM” (so they can’t now) and

“We don’t have support for any devices yet but we are working on it.”

So apart from the fact that it can’t play iTMS songs and it won’t connect to an iPod, it’s a winner!

Apple aren’t known for releasing their intellectual property as open source so I don’t don’t expect them to give up their iTunes customer base to help out those poor starving Microsoft engineers any time soon…

Posted by Andrew on February 12, 2006 at 6:39 AM (CST)


Most likely what microsoft has planned is to copy the iPod as much as possible, without getting sued. Then to top it all off put an FM tuner on it. Then say that it’s better. That’s what every other company has done.

I don’t see any other company coming out with anything new. Where is my ability to stream satellite radio on the go. Where is my gapless playback or for the very least crossfade? Where is my ability to sync my player wirelessly to my computer? Those are three things that other companies can add to their players that would give them an edge over the iPod. But do they do it? No!

They just slap on useless out dated fm. They just slap on a voice recorder that is equally useless for most consumers. Then say I have more features and I should be better. How about giving me something new? Something that I really want. Things that consumers have been begging for. If Micosoft is smart they won’t just come out with yet another mp3 player that has an fm tuner, recording abilities, can play movies, works with subscription services, is cheaper than the ipod and is in a pretty package. The consumer is tired of just little tweaks and mods to the some old boring standard. Give us something risky. Push the envolope.

I want some cometition. Right now I’m bored as can be. No one’s doing jack $hit right now. If microsoft thinks they can really bring it then I want them too. However if they aren’t going to break the mold then they should just sit it out. The world is filled with enough sub par mp3 players.

Posted by Glorybox3737 on February 12, 2006 at 2:12 PM (CST)


No ones gonna buy a microsoft product they all stink the big one… like windows XP what a waste of moolah. and the xbox 360 what a great product…lol, ROFL, no im joking its not a great product.

Posted by ipoder555 on February 12, 2006 at 5:24 PM (CST)


You do realize that this is the umpteenth time in the past two to three years that Gates has tried to topple iPod’s dominance with his Microsoft Mafia of Mediocre MP3 devices.  He’s starting to sound like a broken record.  Here are some other things he’s failed to topple:

Sony PlayStation

No one’s knees are gonna buckle over this.

Posted by Frank Z on February 12, 2006 at 7:33 PM (CST)


I think Bill Gates really doesn’t care as much.  He doesn’t feel the need to prove himself anymore.  *cough* Richest man in the world.  *cough*  Most generous philanthropist ever.  Jobsie feels that need to prove himself, which i think he pretty much has.  Anybody else feel the “new” iPods aren’t improving much?  This question is directed to non-Apple fanboys.  So please, hold your breath.

Posted by Jegero on February 12, 2006 at 10:33 PM (CST)


Jegero asked if anyone felt ipods are not improving much.  I think Apple is falling behind.  I have an ipod G4 20GB.  However, my most recent mp3 player purchase was a Sansa m230 for $40 last November because I wanted an FM tuner/radio in an MP3 player for the gym.  The televisions at the gym will broadcast their audio through FM frequency, so you can tune in, and listen to football games on the weekend, or whatever they have broadcast.  It is great, and yes, and FM tuner is now becoming the deal breaker for me when I consider a future mp3 player.  Yeah, you can mention that $59 FM radio accesory that Apple put out in January, but that thing is a joke, I don’t want anymore accessories!  All of my albums are in MP3 format and I have never bought any music from iTunes because I hate being locked in (the same with Windows Januse wma too).  I do use iTunes to subscribe to podcasts, but all of the podcasts I’m subscribed to are MP3 format anyway.

Face it, the iPod has fallen behind.  The new Sansa e200 series looks awesome from looking at the previous articles in ilounge.  Because of my experience with Sansa so far, I’m hooked on flash based players, I love the battery life.  If Apple doesn’t start beefing up the features on their flash-based players, then I’m switching over to Sansa for good.

Posted by iSheep on February 13, 2006 at 9:59 AM (CST)


To reply to Jegero, No I don’t think Apple is losing it’s touch. If people look at the iPod line it isn’t THAT innovative or THAT revolutionary. Most the changes through out the generation have been natural progression. Make it thinner, more capacity, add color and then video. That’s not innovative that’s just the natural flow. What’s inovative is the click wheel. However Apple is a smart corporation. Their success lies in that. For example the iTunes and the iPod combo. That’s not innovation that’s just smart corporate thinking. The move with the nano. Once again smart corporate thinking. Mass advertisment…you get the point. They haven’t lost any of that smart corporate thinking.

The public has made the iPod out to be something it’s not. Every iPod has been a test product. Messing around with different features to see what’s best. As with the 5G. They were testing the market to see if they should come out with a real video player. Of course it could have been better. However if it had been, less people with 5Gs would feel the need to switch over to the soon to be video iPod. People need to think of Apple like it truly is, a corporation that just wants your money.

The competition has always been right along with the iPod. Just in the shadows. There are better products out there and always have been. People are just now starting to realize this, since now more people are buying mp3 players and looking for other options. Apple still provides the total package. They still provide stunning looks and they still provide a reliable thoughtful product. None of that’s changed.

Also just because a player doesn’t have FM radio doesn’t mean it’s fallen behind. FM radio is dying. There is internet radio, satellite radio (9 million customers) and of course people now have thier whole msic collection on them. All of these options are commercial free and have more variety than FM. The iPod is about moving forward. FM is not where the furture is at.

Posted by Glorybox3737 on February 13, 2006 at 4:14 PM (CST)


Why would anyone use aac? I would never just lockmyself in with a particular company. I use higher quality Mp3 formats. If someone wants to come over and grab a cd of mine on my computer go for it. Why lock yourself in?

Posted by Goodlovin in chicago on February 14, 2006 at 12:35 AM (CST)


yeah right. all you have to do is look at Windows Media Player, quite possibly the worst piece of software ever created. It’s embarrassing how inferior it is compared to the Quicktime player and format. Now imagine that as the backbone video software on this so called microsoft ipod killer.

bill gates’ greed and arrogance never ceases to amaze me. Can he really be so diluted to think Microsoft has every created or will ever create anything as functional and cool as Apple?

Posted by aaron on February 14, 2006 at 6:23 AM (CST)


bill gates kaireega buney fada boshey ! :P

Posted by yamanu on February 18, 2006 at 8:01 AM (CST)

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