Mix: Zune, iHeist, McDonald’s, Steve Jobs

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer expressed to BusinessWeek that he wished Apple hadn’t dropped the price of the 30GB iPod before his company released its Zune Media Player. “Apple put the hammer down there, dropped the price down to $249. If they had been $299, it would have been nicer,” Ballmer said. “They have the advantage of scale. So we’re at $249, too. We don’t make a lot of money, not to start out.”

Three New Yorkers allegedly stole more than $7,000 in iPods from a Target store in Utah and had plans to do the same in other stores, according to police. “Surveillance tape from the Target store in Riverdale showed one of the suspects stuff 39 iPods down an oversized pair of pants and walked out of the store undetected… police also found a map of every Target store in Utah and Nevada tucked inside the seat of the suspect’s car.”
McDonald’s has started testing an in-store digital media service called m-Venue, offering music and videos from Sony BMG, Universal Music Group and others. “The service, announced September 25, allows customers to browse and download music and video from their mobile phone or Wi-Fi-connected laptop when within a specific area in the restaurant,” reports Reuters.

Bloomberg’s Graef Crystal comments on Apple’s stock option troubles. “Apple’s Steve Jobs should give it up,” says Crystal. “Some $85 million or so that the chief executive officer collected because of a sleight-of-hand the maker of the iPod music player and Macintosh computers engaged in when it awarded Jobs some mammoth stock option grants. That’s money that should go back to the shareholders.” [via MDN]

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