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MacRumors
Apr 22, 2004, 05:36 PM
RealNetworks' CEO made news (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2004/04/20040415103342.shtml) last week when publicly asking for Apple to allow them to license Apple's Digital Rights Management format to use with their online music store. Such a license would allow Real to sell digital music downloads that would be compatible with the Apple iPod.

Cnet reports (http://news.com.com/2100-1041_3-5198043.html) that Steve Jobs publicly dismissed such cooperation, saying "To be honest, it's just not worth it" at the annual shareholder meeting. Jobs notes that Real's music service has been "less than successful."

howtoplaydead
Apr 22, 2004, 05:41 PM
I don't know that Apple should "open" the iPod for their own good, but it would be beneficiary to the consumer and possibly sell more Ipods as well as gain trust from the public by such a open-sourcey kind of move.

iggyb
Apr 22, 2004, 05:41 PM
Still wish Apple would open up to formats like .ogg and FLAC.

Viv
Apr 22, 2004, 05:43 PM
He called it like it is! who are real now anyway?

Viv

bcsmith
Apr 22, 2004, 05:45 PM
The only reason not to do this would be if the Music Store was making money, but various peeps from Apple have said time and again that the sole purpose of the music store is to drive iPod sales. Had they opened up to Real's service, then Real could also drive iPod sales. Not necessarily a bad thing. If Real's service fails down the road, then the customers could just switch to the iTunes Music Store and still use their iPod.

-- Ben

JohnGillilan
Apr 22, 2004, 05:47 PM
I agree that Real has been "less than successful," however, wouldn't this deal have seemed like a positive step in the right direction for AAC to overcome WMA in the legal download arena??

Macmaniac
Apr 22, 2004, 05:52 PM
This topic is very sticky, we want the ITMS, and iPod to grow, however we don't want them to be strangled by being a closed platform, however, we are uncertain if that is necessarily a bad thing. Maybe we need Allen Greenspan to decide this:)

Don't panic
Apr 22, 2004, 05:54 PM
i think it's not a good move.
Maybe it's not "worth it" in the short run, but my impression is that it would have been a strategically smart move, because it would have extended the perception that Apple, unlike Microsoft, is open and that AAC/fairplay is the way to go. Hope they know better and this won't come back biting us in shaded areas

hayesk
Apr 22, 2004, 06:09 PM
i think it's not a good move.
Maybe it's not "worth it" in the short run, but my impression is that it would have been a strategically smart move, because it would have extended the perception that Apple, unlike Microsoft, is open and that AAC/fairplay is the way to go. Hope they know better and this won't come back biting us in shaded areas

The average music listener doesn't know or care about stuff like that. They buy the music device and then go to whatever store supports it. Real brings nothing to the table.

DGFan
Apr 22, 2004, 06:15 PM
i think it's not a good move.
Maybe it's not "worth it" in the short run, but my impression is that it would have been a strategically smart move, because it would have extended the perception that Apple, unlike Microsoft, is open and that AAC/fairplay is the way to go. Hope they know better and this won't come back biting us in shaded areas

It's not like they can just give Real some secret code and it will all magically happen. There are complications with having a media player contain music from two separate programs yet still be integrated in the same list. It's possible that the iPod simply isn't set up to handle this. And I am sure the changes are not trivial. So then the question really is, why should we add this to the iPod when we can be working on new products?

rfenik
Apr 22, 2004, 06:16 PM
Realplayer sucks and it always has. I remember when I used Windows how it used to clutter the desktop with "join AOL" icons and take over all your file associations. Real was too big of an application and took too long to load.

jackieonasses
Apr 22, 2004, 06:20 PM
even though he has made mistakes before (steve) he has to know what he is talking about. plus (as said before) real is way to slow/big

Frisco
Apr 22, 2004, 06:23 PM
It's actually easier to find gold than it is to find the free RealOne Player link on their website. They want your credit card # :eek:

swissmann
Apr 22, 2004, 06:24 PM
If Apple can run all other iTunes Music Store and iPod wanna be's about 6 feet under the ground I think it if fine that they keep everything so tight under their control. However, I see this being a lot like DOS and Windows eventually winning the general market in the early days of the mac. Lots of people back then thought that Macs are great computers and really respected them but still bought the other computer. Consumers do weird things. If the iTunes music store and iPod end up like the mac is today sweet but only serving a niche then we see a repeat. I almost think that Steve thinks this is a second chance to do what the Mac should have done in the first place (rule the world).

Spock
Apr 22, 2004, 06:24 PM
I think Steve is a little selfish over his iPod. This will be His un-doing.

rainman::|:|
Apr 22, 2004, 06:24 PM
i think it's not a good move.
Maybe it's not "worth it" in the short run, but my impression is that it would have been a strategically smart move, because it would have extended the perception that Apple, unlike Microsoft, is open and that AAC/fairplay is the way to go. Hope they know better and this won't come back biting us in shaded areas

it's not something that's going to get any attention, the only people that would care would be people who have a particular reason to us another service as opposed to iTunes... and frankly, how many reasons are there? Apple's made great strides in inclusiveness, getting a huge library of music, and will (hopefully!) be available internationally any time now. Their service has the famous "user friendliness" that Apple has always attracted people with. I shouldn't think more than a fraction of users would think less of Apple for this, and they're probably not going to be Apple fans to begin with.

The other reason is a bit more complicated... sony will soon be starting their own music store, which will presumably be non-iPod. Sony could pretty easily yank it's songs from iTMS, if they were competing for the same userbase. As long as Apple stays proprietary on this, their music stores never compete-- so Sony Music doesn't have a direct reason to pull out of iTMS. But if they went head-to-head, sony would be licensing it's assets to a competitor, not a good thing. Obviously Sony already competes with Apple, but purely on the electronics front-- And sony electronics and sony music are separate.

paul

Penman
Apr 22, 2004, 06:25 PM
RealNetworks' CEO made news (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2004/04/20040415103342.shtml) last week when publicly asking for Apple to allow them to license Apple's Digital Rights Management format to use with their online music store. Such a license would allow Real to sell digital music downloads that would be compatible with the Apple iPod.

Cnet reports (http://news.com.com/2100-1041_3-5198043.html) that Steve Jobs publicly dismissed such cooperation, saying "To be honest, it's just not worth it" at the annual shareholder meeting. Jobs notes that Real's music service has been "less than successful."

Jobs is full of it. Apple claim to want fair access to platforms (like XP) and then deny it when it's in their interest. Let's just admit that Apple are no better than anyone else in this area.

Frankly it worries me. Apple are small and if they keep people like Real and Sony out they'll either club together and beat him or the biggest, fastest company will win. Either way it won't be Apple.

pgwalsh
Apr 22, 2004, 06:26 PM
even though he has made mistakes before (steve) he has to know what he is talking about. plus (as said before) real is way to slow/bigThe article does point out that this could be 1985 all over again. History repeating itself. I don't see the harm in opening the standard to everyone, not just Real. As mentioned above.. it may drive more sales of iPod. I think they should push for the defacto standard and have people hop on their DRM standard.

7on
Apr 22, 2004, 06:28 PM
I think Steve is a little selfish over his iPod. This will be His un-doing.

Kinda like the Mac was his undoing back in '84?

sushi
Apr 22, 2004, 06:38 PM
The average music listener doesn't know or care about stuff like that. They buy the music device and then go to whatever store supports it. Real brings nothing to the table.
Maybe.

But having more suppliers/supports of ACC can't be bad.

Not sure that I understand his reasoning.

Granted most folks will purchase an iPod, then go to the ITMS as the provider. However, I would think that being able to use the iPod with more than one store that has ACC content would be good.

The iPod has a limited life span due to the battery issue. So an iPod purchased today will last say 1-3 years. At that point in time, folks will upgrade to a new iPod or something else. The key for Apple is to keep their customers returning for more. If having only one source (iTMS) for ACC content causes customers to look elsewhere, then Apple's current success in this arena will be short lived.

On the otherhand, the iTMS works very well. So maybe it will be the one. Then again, maybe not.

Sushi

kansast
Apr 22, 2004, 06:41 PM
Egad.. I hope we don't look back on this in a few years with regret..
I certainly hope that the iPod and the iTunes music store nothing but success.. but oh this just seems arrogant.. O.k. so maybe Real is not relevant... but.. but..

CrackedButter
Apr 22, 2004, 06:42 PM
The article does point out that this could be 1985 all over again. History repeating itself. I don't see the harm in opening the standard to everyone, not just Real. As mentioned above.. it may drive more sales of iPod. I think they should push for the defacto standard and have people hop on their DRM standard.

Was Steve at the helm in 85 though?

BornAgainMac
Apr 22, 2004, 06:51 PM
I am looking forward to the Microsoft Music Store to compete directly with the iTunes Music Store. I would like to see Microsoft lose a turf battle. The media will basically be free advertisement for Apple.

Microsoft lost the browser wars on the Mac platform.

barnett25
Apr 22, 2004, 06:51 PM
The average music listener doesn't know or care about stuff like that. They buy the music device and then go to whatever store supports it. Real brings nothing to the table.


This quote sums up my thoughts on the subject and I think it deserves a second post.

jocknerd
Apr 22, 2004, 06:52 PM
The iPod has a limited life span due to the battery issue. So an iPod purchased today will last say 1-3 years. At that point in time, folks will upgrade to a new iPod or something else. The key for Apple is to keep their customers returning for more. If having only one source (iTMS) for ACC content causes customers to look elsewhere, then Apple's current success in this arena will be short lived.

On the otherhand, the iTMS works very well. So maybe it will be the one. Then again, maybe not.

Sushi

If the iPod's lifespan is only 1-3 years, there may not be much in long-term success for it. I didn't pay $500 for an iPod to have it die in such a short time.

asim
Apr 22, 2004, 06:53 PM
fairplay requires a central computer to authorize a computer. if apple licensed this to real, would apple be in charge of taking care of real licenses or does real implement their own computer authorization service? i'm assuming real (or the licensee) takes care of it, because then they could offer their own terms (four computers maybe, different burning limits) based upon their negotiations with record companies.

hulugu
Apr 22, 2004, 06:54 PM
Machiavelli, Von Clausewitz, Sun Tzu....

Real can be, if nothing else, a kind of client state to hold back Microsoft and WMA. The trouble is, if Apple tries to go it alone with no partners but HP, the others will, seeing Apple as the top dog, go after Apple. I don't think Apple can compete directly against Microsoft, Real, Sony, etc. at the same time.
Hey Jobs, you need allies! Glaser might not be the one, but Apple needs to find friends real fast. They are many PC-users who are nervous about the format war that is brewing and everyone is concerned, rightly or wrongly, about the possibility that Apple may be pushing Beta. And, after reading the history of both the Macintosh and the Beta tape, I believe Apple is heading down the same road. It will take time before Apple starts to see declining sales, but it will happen if there enough competitors.
Jobs seems to believe that once he has customers who have bought hundreds of dollars worth of AAC w/ Fairplay and iPods they will be forced to stick to that standard, hence the reason PlayFair is such a threat. But, I tend to believe that Apple will be marginalized, hemmed into its own ghetto of AAC that it will hurt the platform so much it will be rendered moot.
I'm worried Steve and I hope you have some tricks up your sleave, because it's not just Microsoft I'm worried about, they haven't been sucessful in a new market yet, but I'm worried about a Sony-Microsoft partnership.
Frankly, though I know they'll **** it up Janus scares me.

rfenik
Apr 22, 2004, 06:56 PM
Here is how I see it: The download link for iTunes is easy to find - a link is on the Apple homepage, they have the domain "itunes.com", all the features in iTunes are 100% free, and it doesn't require a registration to download.

The free realplayer is hidden behind a bunch of deceptive links and requires you to fill out a form before you can download it. It's not as user friendly as Apple, so I don't think the two belong together.

Funny how iTunes is the most user friendly piece of software out there but QuickTime still requires you to hit 'later' every time you start it.

CrackedButter
Apr 22, 2004, 07:04 PM
Here is how I see it: The download link for iTunes is easy to find - a link is on the Apple homepage, they have the domain "itunes.com", all the features in iTunes are 100% free, and it doesn't require a registration to download.

The free realplayer is hidden behind a bunch of deceptive links and requires you to fill out a form before you can download it. It's not as user friendly as Apple, so I don't think the two belong together.

Funny how iTunes is the most user friendly piece of software out there but QuickTime still requires you to hit 'later' every time you start it.

Change the date in QT to 1980, saves changes, reload it, click later and change it back, never bothers you again.

EDIT, this is for the windows version, silly me! :p

crees!
Apr 22, 2004, 07:05 PM
Realplayer sucks and it always has. I remember when I used Windows how it used to clutter the desktop with "join AOL" icons and take over all your file associations. Real was too big of an application and took too long to load.

Just when I thought it was safe you had to bring back the nightmares.

ccuilla
Apr 22, 2004, 07:27 PM
sony will soon be starting their own music store, which will presumably be non-iPod. Sony could pretty easily yank it's songs from iTMS, if they were competing for the same userbase.

There might be some anti-trust reasons that Sony cannot just "yank" their music from a direct comeptitor as you suggest. Besides, Sony wants to sell music. In the end they probably don't care how or where people buy it, as long as they buy. This seems like an unlikely scenario. What also seems unlikely is that the Sony music store will have any music except that which is offered by Sony music...only one of the "Big 5". Hardly a compelling competitor to iTMS.

nure11
Apr 22, 2004, 07:27 PM
I'm kinda back and forth on this, but when it comes down to it, I think Steve made the right decision. Like some said before, consumers are going to go buy their music player first, and whats the hip/cool one to get now? The iPod or iPod Mini of course. So they bring it home plug it into their computer and decide they want to try out this music downloading. So they go to BuyMusic, or Napster, or Real and see it doesn't work on their iPod! They way to stay ahead in the game is to keep the iPod the most wanted music( and maybe other media?? ) player out there. And if Steve and everyone else at Apple keeps up with what they are doing with the iPod, I don't think we have much to worry about. What Apple needs isn't a partnership where they are sharing formats/DRM, they need more like the HP deal. Get other companys to jump on the band wagon, in order to get the iPod out there even more. Just my two cents.

rjwill246
Apr 22, 2004, 07:28 PM
Machiavelli, Von Clausewitz, Sun Tzu....

Real can be, if nothing else, a kind of client state to hold back Microsoft and WMA. The trouble is, if Apple tries to go it alone with no partners but HP, the others will, seeing Apple as the top dog, go after Apple. I don't think Apple can compete directly against Microsoft, Real, Sony, etc. at the same time.

This is valid, and worrisome for Apple, if two things happen. 1) The iPod loses market share because of competitors. This could happen if other products are perceived as better, but opening the iPod up to other services doesn't fix this issue. It is up to Apple to produce the best product possible and stay if front. 2) The iTMS has less to offer than the other services.
Wth either or both of these scenarios happening Apple would be in trouble, however there is no indication that those storm clouds are on the horizon.
As long as the iTMS is the best place to shop, why would anyone go anywhere else? This assumes that the store continues to offer value. Yes, it is only one choice but if the shirt you want is black, 16" collar and is identical in six stores all at the same price, why not just buy from your favorite out of the six. I see this as Apple's current position and clealry that could change for the worse. Then, Apple has to be prepared to morph and therein lies the greatest worry as they have NEVER done that with grace or ease. Hopefully, the Steve Jobs of today is older and wiser than the stubborn man he once was and would be able to adapt quickly if Apple were seriously threatened. Only time will tell.

deepkid
Apr 22, 2004, 07:30 PM
It's sad to see how many of us Apple fans subconsciously submit to FUD.

Have you no faith in Apple after all of the wonderful accomplishments that it's made over the last 3 years? What will it take to convince you that they have a smart and solid business strategy?

Why must Apple jump all over the opportunity to partner with a company like Real, who's always made great differences between the windows and mac version of its products? Even if this wasn't the case, Real's online music store is the anti-thesis of the iTMS experience. Why would Apple want to drag itself down? If anything, it should align itself with a formidable partner, but who even comes close?

How soon we've forgotten how long it took Real to commit to OS X. Do you remember how long it took for them to release even a beta player? So would it be capable of making a serious contribution to a potential partnership with Apple? It doesn't look enticing.

How convenient of Mr. Glaser to preach about open standards when the only way to play his company's codecs was on their proprietary player. Where's Real's history of supporting open standards? Only out of fear and and and erosion of its perceived dominance did it panic to embrace AAC. Do not be fooled and believe that they've always had a love interest in open standards.

Apple does not have to jump at every offer to date. How could someone seriously write a report claiming that Apple needs to open up? iTMS is just barely a year old and Apple's already partnered with HP and AOL to strategically reach a broader audience. Although challenging it's delivered a windows version of iTunes which works on windows and is free.

Look, just because the mac os isn't in the dominant position, does not mean Apple has to say yes to every offer that comes along. THAT would truly be Mr. Jobs' undoing. It should continue to partner smartly and when it feels it's right.

Relax.

Steve M
Apr 22, 2004, 07:45 PM
Here is the CURRENT situation:

1. The iPod is, by FAR, the most successful personal digital music player on the market. It's a household word. Folks who aren't even all that technically savvy know what an iPod is, but they have no clue what an "MP3 player" is.

2. The iTunes Music Store is, by FAR, the most successful online music store available. It's the easiest to use, most convenient, has an exceptionally large library, lots of great exclusives, and is always adding new features and more & more music and books.

Currently, that is how things are. And given that current state of affairs, it makes NO SENSE for Apple to:
- Dilute iPod sales by opening up AAC/Fairplay to other MP3 players
- Dilute iTunes Music Store sales by allowing iPod to play .WMA files.

It makes zero sense to do this as things stand right now.

But it would be trivially easy to allow third party MP3 players to support Fairplay-DRM'd AAC files. Heck, you can play music purchased from iTMS on any MP3 player right now -- just burn, re-rip as MP3, and you're all set.

It would also be technologically easy to enable the iPod to play .WMA files.

It's MOSTLY a matter of licensing technologies.

Believe me -- if the situation changes where either or both of those maneuvers makes sense, Apple could make these changes VERY quickly.

But for now -- there is NO POINT in doing it.

Oh yeah, and as to the comment about iPod's supposed short lifespan due to the "battery" issue -- what a load of FUD that is. You can have Apple install a new battery, and there are several companies that will replace the iPod's battery for FAR less than the cost of buying a new iPod. This is NOT an issue. I fully expect to be able to use my iPod for an unlimited amount of time, even AFTER the original battery dies.

J-Squire
Apr 22, 2004, 07:47 PM
The iPod has a limited life span due to the battery issue. So an iPod purchased today will last say 1-3 years. At that point in time, folks will upgrade to a new iPod or something else. The key for Apple is to keep their customers returning for more. If having only one source (iTMS) for ACC content causes customers to look elsewhere, then Apple's current success in this arena will be short lived.



OK....According to general market place theory, your comments are backwards. By making iTunes only compatable with the iPod, then when a consumer goes to upgrade their iPod in 3 years, they look at the investment they've already made in that iPod (by buying all this music, or the time spent ripping their CD's to AAC) and realise that it is too costly to change to another player, so they get another iPod. Even if the competitor's player is cheaper, the true cost will involve repurchasing all the music they got from iTunes, and re-ripping their CDs to wma or mp3.
Theory states that if you want to hold customers, you need to increased the perceived cost (whether time, or money) of switching to a competitor.

In relation to all those saying that this 'closed format' is the '84 mac repeating itself, I would suggest the a personal music player and a personal computer a COMPLETELY different things. One person's music player has very little need to be compatable with another's. Having worked in an Apple store, I can say that windows users who come to buy iPods do not even ask about compatability other than if it runs on windows.

gensor
Apr 22, 2004, 07:47 PM
Last quarter they said it made money. A bigger point is that it drives many Apple customers and Windows customers to the Apple site. You know that Apple sells other things on that site besides music. :)

thatwendigo
Apr 22, 2004, 07:49 PM
The only reason not to do this would be if the Music Store was making money, but various peeps from Apple have said time and again that the sole purpose of the music store is to drive iPod sales. Had they opened up to Real's service, then Real could also drive iPod sales. Not necessarily a bad thing. If Real's service fails down the road, then the customers could just switch to the iTunes Music Store and still use their iPod.

The store is turning a profit, as of this last quarter. Apple might not be making a lot of money, but it's anoter source of revenue at this point, and it will likely only get more lucrative as time goes on and the investment in backend matures.

Also, Apple has always been about controlling the user experience. Licensing out in the past has hammered then on that point, with the cloners running off in their own directions. One of the main reasons that the mac platform is so much easier and more appealing is that very control, and losing it would relegate Apple to the same cesspool that entraps Microsoft and Windows developers.

ZildjianKX
Apr 22, 2004, 07:52 PM
If the iPod's lifespan is only 1-3 years, there may not be much in long-term success for it. I didn't pay $500 for an iPod to have it die in such a short time.

Here Here , I've had my Rio 500 for 6 years and still use it. If my iPods dies, I'll never get another one. I'm already pissed off enough about it's battery life and tweaky software... battery meter and random recharging anyone?

thatwendigo
Apr 22, 2004, 07:55 PM
Here Here , I've had my Rio 500 for 6 years and still use it. If my iPods dies, I'll never get another one. I'm already pissed off enough about it's battery life and tweaky software... battery meter and random recharging anyone?

I have to wonder what happens to these units you guys have. I don't get the problems everyone talks about, and I've dropped my iPod down a half flight of stairs. My battery life is around what it was when the unit was new.

Funky.

Frisco
Apr 22, 2004, 08:13 PM
Can someone please explain to me how the ITMS helps sell iPods? I have the impression iPod or not most people still download through P2P.

Looking at my purchased music playlist I have downloaded 174 songs off of ITMS, but am I the exception?

In regards to Real, I can't possibly see how this would have hurt them. Open Source is the future!

The Mac is Steve's baby and every decision he makes revolves around her. He doesn't really care about ITMS, or Pixar. He cares about his baby--the Mac. Sometimes he can be too overprotective of her though, like most fathers.

Why is the Mac a she? Because the Mac is way to elegant to be a He ;)

Steve M
Apr 22, 2004, 08:28 PM
iTMS helps sell iPods because iTunes and iPod are so intricately related. Both are advertised on the same Apple page, and in Apple TV ads. They're more after the mass market than the people who would probably get their music from P2P anyway.

SiliconAddict
Apr 22, 2004, 08:35 PM
The only reason Jobs didn't bite is the way Real came at him. The guy is the biggest most arrogant ***hole out there. From what I hear bigger then Gates and in most cases it sure has heck isnít warranted. Short of Real crawling on their hands and knees to him he would have laughed them off.
Quite honestly I expect to see the iPod at a 10% market share in 5 years. Job's ego will guarantee that it will occur. :mad: Reality time you stubborn ***. You are going to be marginalized out of the market at some point if you donít get some team members on board and sure as heck HP is NOT enough.
Enjoy the good times because when you are on top of the clouds the fall is a killer.

Le Big Mac
Apr 22, 2004, 09:24 PM
The only reason not to do this would be if the Music Store was making money, but various peeps from Apple have said time and again that the sole purpose of the music store is to drive iPod sales. Had they opened up to Real's service, then Real could also drive iPod sales. Not necessarily a bad thing. If Real's service fails down the road, then the customers could just switch to the iTunes Music Store and still use their iPod.

-- Ben

That's how I see it too. If iTMS were making money obviously it would be different, but this is like letting anyone sell your razor handles but only you sellthe blades.

Le Big Mac
Apr 22, 2004, 09:29 PM
There might be some anti-trust reasons that Sony cannot just "yank" their music from a direct comeptitor as you suggest. Besides, Sony wants to sell music. In the end they probably don't care how or where people buy it, as long as they buy. This seems like an unlikely scenario. What also seems unlikely is that the Sony music store will have any music except that which is offered by Sony music...only one of the "Big 5". Hardly a compelling competitor to iTMS.

Sony could end its deal with apple without antitrust concern. Whenever the contract is up, it's up.

But here's why Sony probably won't. Say they do, because they want to make their site the "exclusive" place to get Sony music. Well, at that point, all the other music cos. do the same thing. Then consumers are stuck with a bunch of different music stores that may or may not work with their devices. And sony has to start offering their music in all sorts of formats. The convenience of online music sales declines, and we're back to Napster, Limewire, KazAa, etc.

J-Squire
Apr 22, 2004, 09:30 PM
That's how I see it too. If iTMS were making money obviously it would be different, but this is like letting anyone sell your razor handles but only you sellthe blades.

ummm....would the razor handle perhaps be the iPod? How many others are selling their own iPod that is compatable with iTunes? Zero last time I checked.

Pegano
Apr 22, 2004, 09:31 PM
I think we all agree that the expansion of the iPod to new territory is a generally good thing, but with Real, I sing a different tune. Their format is garbage, they have annoying and poorly designed software, and they have a general reputation of harassing customers about updates, buying full version etc. That's not something I'd want to be associated with if I was Steve.

J-Squire
Apr 22, 2004, 09:45 PM
I think we all agree that the expansion of the iPod to new territory is a generally good thing, but with Real, I sing a different tune. Their format is garbage, they have annoying and poorly designed software, and they have a general reputation of harassing customers about updates, buying full version etc. That's not something I'd want to be associated with if I was Steve.

Well said. Many people seem to be saying how desperately Apple needs allies if it is going to continue its dominance of digital music. It is true that in the long run Apple will need partnerships, but in order to continue to truely dominate, it needs SMART partnerships. HP is a SMART partnership because it gets iTunes into the homes of millions of people. REAL is not a smart partnership because the company has crap products that do not align with Apple's brand perception in the market place.

Jobs and Co have said a few times now that they are constantly looking for partnerships to further expand iTunes and iPod, and we have seen a few already (HP, Pepsi, AOL) and will see more. They don't need to jump into bed with everyone in order to survive

LoopHoles
Apr 22, 2004, 11:19 PM
how can we know what Steve-o has in mind? The HP deal hasn't really kicked off yet and maybe there are other deals apple is up to.

Also, Real is not a company I'd associate with if I was in Apple's position. They have not given me a good impression with their customer service. Why? I subscribed to some premium soccer highlights online and when I went to cancel the subscription at Real Online, the site asked me to call a 1-800 number (with a long wait). :eek: When you subscribe to something online, you should be able to cancel it online, period.

MrMacMan
Apr 22, 2004, 11:30 PM
Still wish Apple would open up to formats like .ogg and FLAC.

Yes yes yes.


Thank you from preventing me from going on a 3-5 pharagraph rant about these wonderful formats.


FLAC, OGG --> Great Codecs the iPod needs to support... NOW.

hulugu
Apr 22, 2004, 11:56 PM
It's sad to see how many of us Apple fans subconsciously submit to FUD.

Have you no faith in Apple after all of the wonderful accomplishments that it's made over the last 3 years? What will it take to convince you that they have a smart and solid business strategy?

Why must Apple jump all over the opportunity to partner with a company like Real, who's always made great differences between the windows and mac version of its products?

I think Glaser is an idiot who obviously knows nothing about politics, history, or economics since he's so intent on making comparisons between Apple and the Soviet Union. I also think his offer was at best a failure to understand his future partners and at worse extortion.
However, while I believe in Appleóif I didn't I wouldn't have ponied up $150+ in songs from the iTMS, or own an iPod, or a Powerbook for that matteróI hope that they have a good hold on this particular tiger. I'm not concerned about Microsoft, but instead a larger movement against Apple by a host of competitors at once, hence the reference about Machiavelli: the middle-princes should take the weaker members and use them against the strong, so he says at least.
I'm worried about Apple because I beleive that there is more at stake than just the iPod or the iTMS, but rather the whole platform is in trouble if MS is able to make WMA the standard. While the MBU has been great for Apple, I'm concerned the guys who are in charge of Exchange Server while be the same group making decisions about WMA for the Mac. Therein lies the danger.
Interestingly enough, I was reading a review of Sony's new ultra-thin netbook in T3 a British tech/advert magazine and they noted that Apple's iTunes was included. Huh!?
Is Sony stealthily included iTMS like HP? Or did these guys make a mistake? Does anyone around here also own a brand-new VAIO?

doogle
Apr 23, 2004, 12:15 AM
The only reason Jobs didn't bite is the way Real came at him. The guy is the biggest most arrogant ***hole out there. From what I hear bigger then Gates and in most cases it sure has heck isnít warranted. Short of Real crawling on their hands and knees to him he would have laughed them off.
Quite honestly I expect to see the iPod at a 10% market share in 5 years. Job's ego will guarantee that it will occur. :mad: Reality time you stubborn ***. You are going to be marginalized out of the market at some point if you donít get some team members on board and sure as heck HP is NOT enough.
Enjoy the good times because when you are on top of the clouds the fall is a killer.

I have to say it...the visual aesthetics (layout, use of "emoticons") let alone the language make this post look so aggresive. Congratulations Siliconaddict this is one scary looking post.

pgwalsh
Apr 23, 2004, 01:10 AM
It's sad to see how many of us Apple fans subconsciously submit to FUD.

Have you no faith in Apple after all of the wonderful accomplishments that it's made over the last 3 years? What will it take to convince you that they have a smart and solid business strategy?

No.. No faith! They screwed up big before and they can do it again. Remember thier market share is getting smaller. Thank god their MP3 business is doing well or they would probably look pretty bad right now. I'll have more fiath when things turn around and market share grows. I want SOLD RESULTS OF MARKET GROWTH... :eek:

Belly-laughs
Apr 23, 2004, 02:09 AM
When ITMS is launched in Europe, the EU commission will force Apple to license AAC/Fairplay to 3rd parties. I think consumer organisations will demand it too. Both donīt like monopolists or emerging ones.

I agree with others who feel that to fight WMA you need to make AAC more popular amongst other vendors as well, both player manufacturers as well as music stores. If Apple still has the best user experience surely a large amount of consumers will still prefer the iPod/ITMS combination? Steve may be right in not teaming up with Real, but I have a feeling that it has just as much to do with battle of egos as it has to do with business sense.

yamabushi
Apr 23, 2004, 02:19 AM
Seems like Jobs is just making excuses for less than stellar computer sales and avoiding more strategic partnerships by diverting attention toward current iPod sales growth. Next year if iPod sales are sluggish, where is investor excitement going to come from?

True, Real is not the ideal partner for the iPod. That would be Sony. I would be very interested in a Sony branded iPod and music store. Regardless, Apple will have to open up its system at some point or risk becoming a passing fad.

topicolo
Apr 23, 2004, 02:43 AM
Like so many people have said before, the reason real has been "less than successful" is because of their craptacular software. Everybody hates it. To me, real's software always annoys me with its "usage tracking" and endless stream of ads. Real may just be the one company I hate more than M$.

The point is, Apple is make the right decision to snub real because spending any resources on that dying failure of a company would just be a waste of apple's talent. Good job Jobs, keep dissin' them.

greg75
Apr 23, 2004, 03:47 AM
Bill Gates: "To be honest, it's just not worth it [ developing Office for MacOS X ]". Gates notes that Apple's operating system has been "less than successful."

greg75
Apr 23, 2004, 04:38 AM
The free realplayer is hidden behind a bunch of deceptive links and requires you to fill out a form before you can download it.
real.com -> Free Player tab at the top -> Free Download

There is no form, only ignorant and/or lying Mac zealots.

dcranston
Apr 23, 2004, 05:06 AM
real.com -> Free Player tab at the top -> Free Download

There is no form, only ignorant and/or lying Mac zealots.

Uhm, dude, did you try clicking on that link? You have to enter an email address, click on "new customer", which brings you to a page that asks for your name, gender, birth year, and new password, all before you can download the software.

Seems to be a form to me.

Plus, just look at real.com for a second. You're a newbie. You're looking to get RealPlayer. Will you choose the light grey text at the top right corner (or perhaps the size 7 font at the bottom), or are you more likely to choose the very obvious orange box that says "Free Download"? Well, you have to pay close attention to realize that the OBVIOUS box is actually a trial version (aka, give us your money for the "full" version, fool), whereas the light grey text is the free version.

Either way you'll be filling out a form though...

So before you call everyone mac zealots (especially in this case, dude, it's real, not MS!), try clicking on the link you prescribe as the antidote! :)

rdowns
Apr 23, 2004, 05:23 AM
Well said. Many people seem to be saying how desperately Apple needs allies if it is going to continue its dominance of digital music. It is true that in the long run Apple will need partnerships, but in order to continue to truely dominate, it needs SMART partnerships. HP is a SMART partnership because it gets iTunes into the homes of millions of people. REAL is not a smart partnership because the company has crap products that do not align with Apple's brand perception in the market place.

Jobs and Co have said a few times now that they are constantly looking for partnerships to further expand iTunes and iPod, and we have seen a few already (HP, Pepsi, AOL) and will see more. They don't need to jump into bed with everyone in order to survive

Well said. The companies Apple has chosen to partner with, at this point, are household names and market leaders. That is very good for Apple and hopefully, people will see them as more than a niche player when the likes of HP, AOL and Pepsi partner with them.

That being said, Apple does need more partners to keep and extend their dominance in this market. Another high profile PC manufacturer would be great (Won't be Dell since they have their own player) I'd bet that once HP starts selling iPods, some of their competitors will come running to Apple to take away an advantage that HP has over them.

I'd like to see Sony ditch their doomed music selling venture and partner with Apple. Put iTunes on Sony PCs and let Sony sell iPods. Give Sony music preferred treatment at the iTMS.

What other PC manufacturers could Apple do an HP-type deal with? Gateway? Toshiba?

With so few PC manufacturers, Apple needs to line up others. How about a deal with EarthLink? They already push their ISP service, a music deal would be a nice extension and open up iPod and iTMS to millions more. Others?

greg75
Apr 23, 2004, 06:16 AM
Uhm, dude, did you try clicking on that link?
Yes, I did, dude.

real.com -> Free Player tab at the top -> Free Download

gives me a page with download links to several continents.

I click on the "Seattle, WA" link and the download starts.

No form.

billyboy
Apr 23, 2004, 07:16 AM
When ITMS is launched in Europe, the EU commission will force Apple to license AAC/Fairplay to 3rd parties. I think consumer organisations will demand it too. Both donīt like monopolists or emerging ones.



That would certainly get Apple a lot of publicity. The first company in history to be deemed a monopolist before they even make a sale!

Apple might be good, but they aren't that good! iTMS is the US legal music download market's love child and has hit the ground running faster than any company in the market, but even so only has a tiny percentage of total music sales. Likewise Apple has a monopoly on the Macintosh platform, but that is hardly illegal in the scheme of things.

The bottom line with iPod alliances is the continued ease of use, and to keep that as it is, Apple needs total control over the whole music download, music playing product. HP should think themselves lucky they had a choice of blue for their HPod.

billyboy
Apr 23, 2004, 08:05 AM
With so few PC manufacturers, Apple needs to line up others. How about a deal with EarthLink? They already push their ISP service, a music deal would be a nice extension and open up iPod and iTMS to millions more. Others?

Think outside of the PC industry. iPods are a lifestyle choice. Nail the people with an iPod-esque life style and you have potential partners. Gucci, Mercedes, and all the other designer companies I know nothing about!

whatever
Apr 23, 2004, 08:20 AM
Let's step and think about this for a second.

1. Besides Porn, what online services actually make money outside of the US (come to think of it Porn is the industry making money hand or fist on the web). One minute people discuss Europe as a grand united federation and then the next people say "well, my country, XYZ, has these special laws designed to screw the man. If I was Apple I would continue to offer iMS in only those countries who have fair laws.

2. Everyone who wants an iPod have already bought them (some of us on our 2nd iPods). It didn't matter what platform they worked on or what Music Store they were compatible with.

3. Remember back in the day, the iPod only supported MP3. The only reason the iPod supports Secure AAC is because that is what Apple had to do to get sign off from the labels. Why the hell would they give that up other Music Stores? That's like Apple giving Real all of their exclusive music formats.

Granted the iTMS is a loss leader for Apple, but hey if we can drive
Apple can drive everyone else out of the market place (like Amazon.com did) then they can think about licensing their technology.

Or we can think of it this way, should Virgin Mega Store help save Tower Records?

Also don't you think it's a little desperate of the Real to go to the press like they did.

Whatever

Spock
Apr 23, 2004, 08:32 AM
Kinda like the Mac was his undoing back in '84?

Yep, Real was a money maker for Apple. Compatibility is going to be an issue for the iPod maybe not now but in the future. Apple has not given iPod users choice to use the iTms.

hayesk
Apr 23, 2004, 09:02 AM
Bill Gates: "To be honest, it's just not worth it [ developing Office for MacOS X ]". Gates notes that Apple's operating system has been "less than successful."

Office for MacOS X makes lots of cash for Microsoft. I don't know if it's still true, but MS used to make more money from the average Mac user than PC user. (Mac users required less tech support, and paid more for office)

digitalbiker
Apr 23, 2004, 09:14 AM
If the iPod's lifespan is only 1-3 years, there may not be much in long-term success for it. I didn't pay $500 for an iPod to have it die in such a short time.


If you use your ipod fairly regularly it will die in 3 years or less. I bought 3 ipods when they they first came out, all are now dead.

The good news is that if it is just the battery, the battery can be replaced fairly cheaply. However in my case, all three iPods suffered from complete disk failure. The iPod is definitely a short lifed device and I sort of think that Apple needs to make consumers more aware of that fact.

I am not the only one who has had that experience. Most of my co-workers who bought iPods have had the same experience. There are also websites full of compliants on dead iPod batteries and disk drives.

I still love the iPod and I have bought another because I use it a lot for audible.com content. I also don't mind buying the newer versions and 3 years is not a bad life-span. I just think Apple might do a better job of pointing out average life-span so that consumers are not miss-led into thinking this device lasts as long as say a "boom Box".

Surfernate
Apr 23, 2004, 09:52 AM
I've had my 10 GIG (the first one) for two years now and I'm really quite happy. It still has almost a full 10 hours of battery life (really). It doesn't get heavy use so the battery should last a long time. Anyhow a cottage industry has sprung up to replace the battery for pretty cheap so I'm not too concerned. The iPod batteries are pretty inexpensive these days, only about $50. How much would AAA batteries cost for the same number of uses? (I figure about $200 in replaceable AAA batteries). The math and value is pretty clear to me.

1-3 years is also the de-facto life expectancy of a PC by the way. People are accustomed to it. It's a planned obsolescence cycle.

Also, here's my take on Real. I HATE it. For all of the above reasons and the fact that it downloads a useless cr*p link to my desktop for every freakin stupid media clip. My wife thinks it's great. She has almost no tech savvy (like 90 percent of computer users I might add). She has no knowledge of it's failings and therefore does not care.

It's a messy issue. Microsuck has the upper hand in that they sell a cheaper, more ubiquitous, off-the-shelf experience (don't even try to argue that).

Consider this:
Alternative fuels are clearly superior in many ways but gasoline is going to run it's full life cyle for the mere fact that almost every car in existince uses it and there's a gas station on every corner. That is what Mac users and the open source movement are working against. The PC as we know it has to complete a similar life cycle which is currently at or near it's market apex. There was a time when the automobile was just brand new (like the personal computer 20 years ago) and fuels still had not sorted themselves out. But within a generation gasoline had pretty much cornered the fuel market and that is what we live with today, and all of it's inherent evils come along for the ride.

Not that Jobs is fundamentally any better than Gates, he just has to work a LOT harder now. Just like our new emerging open source software Prophet mister Torvalds.

Zaty
Apr 23, 2004, 10:08 AM
I am looking forward to the Microsoft Music Store to compete directly with the iTunes Music Store. I would like to see Microsoft lose a turf battle. The media will basically be free advertisement for Apple.

Microsoft lost the browser wars on the Mac platform.

MS didn't lose the browser war, to use your expression, they merely got out of the race and you know why? MS is so big that they don't have any obligation (market share!) to spend a lot of money on writing and developing free software on a "foreign" platform. Secondly, one day MS could use IE's (or its successor's) absence on the Mac platform for their own marketing, they could for instance say something like:"If you need the best Internet browser, use IE which is only available for Windows"... :)

Surfernate
Apr 23, 2004, 10:32 AM
Actually, you have a good point on that. Safari, while is has some nice features, is still just a thorn in the side of web developers. I have difficulty accessing online banking functions and other issues and the technical support people basically tell me that if it isn't Windows they are clueless.

If it's not Windows it doesn't exist!

Did you know that most people think Office does not exist for the Mac? (well, we have it but it's still a grossly inferior version in a LOT of ways)

Remember that, and make sure to make a LOT of noise to Apple and other developers to get our platform compatible with the rest of the lemmings. Separatism and superiority, whether real or imagined , is a lonely existence.

Try showing a true blue PC tech your Mac someday...see the fear in their eyes...it's real.

People I know who use PC's constantly and repeatedly say "I'm sick of this thing, my next computer wil be a Mac". But fear of the price and newness keeps them buying cheap chinese Microsuck boxes every time. And complaining to me about their virus and software problems.

Wow, I'm bitter......

CombatWombat
Apr 23, 2004, 11:03 AM
I fully support anything that brings Real Networks closer to death. I find it funny that the king of closed formats is now whining that other people will not open up. Plus, coming from the PC side real player is quite possibly the worst program currently in wide use. It is a horrible, horrible program. I understand the Mac version is MUCH MUCH better but I just can't get over how bad the PC versions are. I will dance a happy little jig when that company finaly dies.

pgwalsh
Apr 23, 2004, 11:05 AM
Actually, you have a good point on that. Safari, while is has some nice features, is still just a thorn in the side of web developers. I have difficulty accessing online banking functions and other issues and the technical support people basically tell me that if it isn't Windows they are clueless.

If it's not Windows it doesn't exist!

Did you know that most people think Office does not exist for the Mac? (well, we have it but it's still a grossly inferior version in a LOT of ways)

Remember that, and make sure to make a LOT of noise to Apple and other developers to get our platform compatible with the rest of the lemmings. Separatism and superiority, whether real or imagined , is a lonely existence.

Try showing a true blue PC tech your Mac someday...see the fear in their eyes...it's real.

People I know who use PC's constantly and repeatedly say "I'm sick of this thing, my next computer wil be a Mac". But fear of the price and newness keeps them buying cheap chinese Microsuck boxes every time. And complaining to me about their virus and software problems.

Wow, I'm bitter......I agree with everything you've said. I'm rebuiliding some webpages and I have a hell of a time with Safari. Some reason, it's the only browser not rending the page right. However, my friends (developers) know about safari, but don't care.. They were showing me email based pages in XUL and I couldn't even use it on Safari.

dcranston
Apr 23, 2004, 11:45 AM
Yes, I did, dude.

real.com -> Free Player tab at the top -> Free Download

gives me a page with download links to several continents.

I click on the "Seattle, WA" link and the download starts.

No form.

So there are two ways I was able to accomplish what you described:

1. Already have an account with real.com and have the cookie info stored in your browser. Although you do still have to "log in" with user name and password.

2. Use a PC. Believe it or not, Real.com looks different (and acts differently!) on a PC vs. on a Mac. You're absolutely right, there's no form for the PC version... how utterly annoying.

Of course, the app itself asks you for the that information on the PC I found, so they get you either way.. :)

mullmann
Apr 23, 2004, 12:29 PM
Also, Apple has always been about controlling the user experience. Licensing out in the past has hammered then on that point, with the cloners running off in their own directions. One of the main reasons that the mac platform is so much easier and more appealing is that very control, and losing it would relegate Apple to the same cesspool that entraps Microsoft and Windows developers.

This is the point most often missed in the cries for Apple to open up Fairplay/Mac OS/whatever to other vendors. Apple is what it is because it operates a closed-loop shop: whatever the product, everything starts and ends with them. Open things up too much, and Apple stops being Apple. Just look at iTunes on Windows. Apple did a great job porting the software to that OS, but I'm not sure anyone would claim that the quality and experience of using iTunes on Windows are what they are on Mac OS.

This is Apple's defining characteristic and it probably almost always will relegate them to also-ran status even in markets that they create, but they are what they are. Change too much and they stop being the company we're all so passionate about.

mullmann
Apr 23, 2004, 12:50 PM
No.. No faith! They screwed up big before and they can do it again. Remember thier market share is getting smaller. Thank god their MP3 business is doing well or they would probably look pretty bad right now. I'll have more fiath when things turn around and market share grows. I want SOLD RESULTS OF MARKET GROWTH... :eek:

Be careful not to confuse market share growth with growth overall. Apple is growing its user base; if the rate of that growth lags the industry overall then Apple's overall market share slips. But that doesn't mean that Apple doesn't have a healthily-growing business. Apple probably will continue to slip overall because a large portion of the overall market share numbers reflects businesses, a segment where Apple does not compete. Look at other segments, however, and the story is different. Apple increased its year-over-year market share in education, for example.

Penman
Apr 23, 2004, 01:47 PM
Here is the CURRENT situation:

1. The iPod is, by FAR, the most successful personal digital music player on the market. It's a household word. Folks who aren't even all that technically savvy know what an iPod is, but they have no clue what an "MP3 player" is.

2. The iTunes Music Store is, by FAR, the most successful online music store available. It's the easiest to use, most convenient, has an exceptionally large library, lots of great exclusives, and is always adding new features and more & more music and books.

Currently, that is how things are. And given that current state of affairs, it makes NO SENSE for Apple to:
- Dilute iPod sales by opening up AAC/Fairplay to other MP3 players
- Dilute iTunes Music Store sales by allowing iPod to play .WMA files.

It makes zero sense to do this as things stand right now.

But it would be trivially easy to allow third party MP3 players to support Fairplay-DRM'd AAC files. Heck, you can play music purchased from iTMS on any MP3 player right now -- just burn, re-rip as MP3, and you're all set.

It would also be technologically easy to enable the iPod to play .WMA files.

It's MOSTLY a matter of licensing technologies.

Believe me -- if the situation changes where either or both of those maneuvers makes sense, Apple could make these changes VERY quickly.

But for now -- there is NO POINT in doing it.

Oh yeah, and as to the comment about iPod's supposed short lifespan due to the "battery" issue -- what a load of FUD that is. You can have Apple install a new battery, and there are several companies that will replace the iPod's battery for FAR less than the cost of buying a new iPod. This is NOT an issue. I fully expect to be able to use my iPod for an unlimited amount of time, even AFTER the original battery dies.

1) When have Apple ever moved 'very quickly'?
2) iPod is getting close to Kleenex. It's advantage as a brand will be lost like 'walkman' when others have better cheaper products.
3) The public don't drink the kool-aid. They buy HP digital cameras because they're cheap. If they wanted quality and were prepared to pay for it (and wait for features) they'd buy more Macs.

Apple is selling and marketing iPods the same way it does it's other products. Everyone here loves it. It'll be easy for Apple to prove and establish a market for digital media without dominating it long term. It's the direction we're headed in.

To be really successful they should partner with anyone who wants to use the format and move forward with the technology. All the consumer electronics companies know this (which is why new formats live and die on support not technology).

Sony's Minidisc players were tiny and cool before iPod, they didn't sell for lack of support.

I want Apple to win but at this rate in 2 years we'll be arguing the merits of the interface while the market's locked into a competitor and we're overpaying for elegance. Sound familiar?

Mr. Jobs is in many ways a genius but he's a high-end geek. He's not about what's popular and Pop music and pop culture is.

titaniumducky
Apr 23, 2004, 02:33 PM
The only reason not to do this would be if the Music Store was making money, but various peeps from Apple have said time and again that the sole purpose of the music store is to drive iPod sales. Had they opened up to Real's service, then Real could also drive iPod sales. Not necessarily a bad thing. If Real's service fails down the road, then the customers could just switch to the iTunes Music Store and still use their iPod.

-- Ben

Actually, it would be difficult to make the iPod work with Real's software - especially since Apple has no control over it. The iPod's firmware would have to be altered. iTunes code would have to be altered. So would Real's code. If any problems occurred, it would tarnish Apple's name. That's the ultimate downside.

MacBram
Apr 23, 2004, 03:03 PM
A couple of posts have shown concern over Apple pushing "Beta" or backing the wrong horse, or whatever. I don't see the analogy. Emerging technology of the eighteies isn't quite the same as standards support today. A VHS tape and VCR was completely different from a Beta tape and VCR; now we're talking about Apple choosing whether or not to implement the reading of a readable format.

It's more akin to the regions of DVD's. One DVD player is like another, but until recently you didn't see many universal players. The movie industry can just as easily press a DVD in one format as another. I don't think record companies are going totell Apple it can no longer have access to their content just because Apple chooses to encode it differently to the majority of others --others who are in bed with Microsoft which would like to get its hands on the rights to all media content in the world.

Besides, if the trend is going to be toward individual arrangements with independent artists, then Apple has the edge because musicians know Apple's cool.

If you're concerned with a Beta/VHS scenario, why do you have an Apple computer? If we go down the WMA route, pretty soon all ripping software is going to be controlled too, and you won't be able to choose your own standard of choice in your own home. But, hey, we'll be compatible. Compatible according to Microsoft (homogenous). Compatible to Apple means your tools can do whatever you want them to do.

Rip

ClimbingTheLog
Apr 23, 2004, 03:35 PM
Still wish Apple would open up to formats like .ogg and FLAC.

Once more then - the iPod uses the PortalPlayer chip for codec - it doesn't support .ogg or FLAC (unless the new ones changed that). Anyway the old ones don't.

greg75
Apr 24, 2004, 02:24 AM
Once more then - the iPod uses the PortalPlayer chip for codec - it doesn't support .ogg or FLAC (unless the new ones changed that). Anyway the old ones don't.
The PortalPlayer chip has two ARM7TDMI cores, which is more than enough to decode at least Ogg Vorbis (don't know about FLAC).

afields
Apr 24, 2004, 01:39 PM
I think whats missing from this debate is the fact that Real Player sounds HORRIBLE. Their sound quality it terrible.

kingtj
Apr 25, 2004, 02:27 PM
Now this, I agree with. It appears that .ogg, at least, may be in OS X's and the iPod's future. After all, it's a format popularized on the Unix platform, which is what OS X is based on, and it's an open standard (no licensing worries to deal with if you want to use it).

I can completely understand why Apple didn't want to work with RealNetworks though. Real is slowly going down the tubes, and they're just trying to force someone big to partner up with them, to keep their format alive.

From the beginning, they made it pretty clear that if Apple wasn't going to be friendly to them, they'd shun them and try Microsoft. Sounds like more of a threat to me than someone truly wanting a partnership.

There was a time when I was excited about RealAudio format - but that was years ago, when they were the only major player supporting multiple platforms for streaming audio. They turned their software into a messy, bloated kludge that constantly nagged you to purchase it - and meanwhile, the other formats made real advances that allowed them to stream audio and video better than Real did.

I have nothing saved on any of my computers that's in .RA format, that would ever want to store on an iPod to listen to later. It's just not going to add value to my iPod listening experience at all.


Still wish Apple would open up to formats like .ogg and FLAC.

Maverick
Apr 25, 2004, 10:43 PM
The only reason Jobs didn't bite is the way Real came at him. The guy is the biggest most arrogant ***hole out there. From what I hear bigger then Gates and in most cases it sure has heck isnít warranted. Short of Real crawling on their hands and knees to him he would have laughed them off.
Quite honestly I expect to see the iPod at a 10% market share in 5 years. Job's ego will guarantee that it will occur. :mad: Reality time you stubborn ***. You are going to be marginalized out of the market at some point if you donít get some team members on board and sure as heck HP is NOT enough.
Enjoy the good times because when you are on top of the clouds the fall is a killer.

Since you obviously know how to run Apple better than Jobs, why don't you go show him how it's done? Maybe you could even find a way to stuff a G5 in a Powerbook.

Jobs doesn't know what he's doing anyway. Creating the #1 MP3 player and #1 music store on the market. How arrogant! :rolleyes:

123
Apr 26, 2004, 04:48 AM
Jobs doesn't know what he's doing anyway. Creating the #1 MP3 player and #1 music store on the market. How arrogant!

quote:
' Because of my role, my group was extremely sensitive to Wintel's threat to the Mac platform. Apple still had about a 20% market share at the time, but there was a prevailing company-wide mentality that ignored Wintel altogether. "We make the best computer and best OS, why would anyone want to buy anything else?" '

doogle
Apr 26, 2004, 06:45 PM
If this article: http://www.macminute.com/2004/04/26/ipodhistory
is right and Glaser let the iPod slip thru hishands then give Jobs a break! Glaser is the guy with no vision for the future - obviously!

pgwalsh
Apr 26, 2004, 07:06 PM
hahahahaha I'm sure jobs soley made the decision on what type of support... he makes all of Apples decisions from top to bottom.. He micromanages everyone... You can't even poop at Apple without SJ's ok.. haha...

wdlove
May 9, 2004, 05:15 PM
Apple's unexpected challenge: dominance

Underdog risks losing early lead in digital music

By Reuters *|* May 9, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO -- The runaway success of the iPod poses a happy problem for Apple Computer Inc. that the computer maker has not had in years: how to remain the market favorite, not just the favorite underdog.

Apple has sold more than 3 million of its sleek iPods, taking nearly 50 percent of the market for digital music players, and its iTunes online music store claims 70 percent of all songs bought online.

But now Apple faces a renewed push by Microsoft Corp., which wants to shape the digital standard for music on the Internet, raising the risk that Apple could again fail to hold early gains in a fast-growing market, analysts said.

''The ultimate risk is that they do get marginalized, just like they did in the PC area," said Phil Leigh, an analyst with market research firm Inside Digital Media.

For now, Apple remains the commercial force to be reckoned with in digital music, an unaccustomed front-and-center position for a company that founder Steve Jobs has compared to BMW for its reputation for engineering excellence, high sticker prices, and single-digit market share.

http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2004/05/09/apples_unexpected_challenge_dominance/

justin216
May 9, 2004, 05:19 PM
I find it quite comical that an MP3 player is what is really putting Apple on the map again. Hopefully this will move some people over to the greener grass.

Mac Dummy
May 10, 2004, 06:23 PM
Still wish Apple would open up to formats like .ogg and FLAC.

Sometimes I dream that Itunes supports WMA...then I wake up. :D

It would be cool though if Apple supported it, 97% of users in the world can play it and I wouldn't have to wait for Itunes to offer some of my favorite bands, however they are getting better.

killergator
May 10, 2004, 08:51 PM
Hmm,
I wonder if maybe Apple already has plans for video content downloads to an IpodTV. Adding Real to the mix would have given them access to some proprietery apple mobilQT code. Reengineer that model and Real is back in business as a competitor again. I do not think Steve would dis Real unless he knew they were on the way out and desperate. Just my take on it.

mhatter
May 12, 2004, 01:22 AM
I am looking forward to the Microsoft Music Store to compete directly with the iTunes Music Store. I would like to see Microsoft lose a turf battle. The media will basically be free advertisement for Apple.

Microsoft lost the browser wars on the Mac platform.

I don't think MS is sweating losing 3-5% of the population from those using its (free) browser. If anything, now they don't have to maintain it...

I wouldn't bet against MS on the music store thing. I love Apple, but SJ has stars in his eyes again. Just because you make the best product, heck just because you break the mold, doesn't guarantee success. If Apple had liscensed the Mac OS to other computer makers early on, they'd be no MS right now. Steve gets a little crazy with his world domination dillusions. WMA will be the Windows of music players, and AAC the Mac OS, unless he changes course.

Speaking of Sony, remember how everyone said Betamax was better than VHS?

kingtj
May 12, 2004, 09:40 AM
Quite true and well said.... Although I think the reality neither MS nor Apple wants to face is, *neither* WMA nor AAC is going to become a "world standard" of music formats.

The winner has been good old MP3 all along. Those really into high quality audio are now looking at formats like FLAC that don't compress the audio too much and lose quality, but still save some space over just storing things as raw .WAV files or what-not.

The music stores, just like real life stores, will win respective portions of marketshare based mostly on how successfully they can advertise to the public. (They'll lose or keep that marketshare based on the overall buying/shopping experience people have when using them.) The format the songs are sold in is largely irrelevant, because they all use something rather proprietary in the interest of digital rights management. The public doesn't like or really want digital rights management so they either buy the songs however they come and convert them back to MP3 afterwards, or they just deal with it - using whatever player comes standard-issue with the music store they're using.

While doing on-site PC service, I'm often surprised by how many people were downloading music illegally using Kazaa, Morpheus, LimeWire, etc. - only to find those programs loaded their Windows machines up with spyware/adware and rendered them almost unusable. After that, they wanted to get rid of the file sharing stuff, but *didn't have any idea* there were legal alternatives they could use! This tells me that nobody is doing a good enough job of pitching online music stores to the general public! These folks haven't so much as heard of iTunes until I tell them about it. I think those of us with a real interest in computers often forget that we walk around with a heightened sense of attention to computer-related announcements. The average consumer doesn't - so you have to almost "hit them over the head with advertising" to get it to sink in, if you want them to shop online for their music. Microsoft just might do this, by rolling the whole thing into future versions of Windows and coupling it with a marketing blitz. Apple, by contrast, seems to think they're advertising "plenty enough" already, and obviously they aren't....


I don't think MS is sweating losing 3-5% of the population from those using its (free) browser. If anything, now they don't have to maintain it...

I wouldn't bet against MS on the music store thing. I love Apple, but SJ has stars in his eyes again. Just because you make the best product, heck just because you break the mold, doesn't guarantee success. If Apple had liscensed the Mac OS to other computer makers early on, they'd be no MS right now. Steve gets a little crazy with his world domination dillusions. WMA will be the Windows of music players, and AAC the Mac OS, unless he changes course.

Speaking of Sony, remember how everyone said Betamax was better than VHS?

Dom
May 22, 2004, 09:22 AM
One of the attractions of the Apple Music Store for record labels is that it offers liberal, but effective protection of their product. If you open this standard to all online music stores, Apple's Unique Selling Point has gone. It's also likely to mean that players other than the iPod will eventually use this standard. So Apple's appeal to the music industry as a fair but secure online music outlet will evaporate.

Financially it's more beneficial for Apple to ensure good and plentiful product for the Music Store (which translates into music and iPod sales), than to earn money from AAC licenses.

And for those who say Apple is too 'small' to win a fight between other companies, they should bear one thing in mind. Apple may 'only' have 5% of the computer market (still not a bad figure for an individual manufacturer). But it has a substantially higher market share in the music download, and the MP3 Player market. In fact it is the market leader. And in fact, in this area it sets the expectations consumers have of other companies and services. So for once Apple is in a very strong position to dictate their terms to the industry, and to protect a very large revenue source.

Quarkie
May 22, 2004, 04:24 PM
Apple is currently in no position to dictate anything, and the iPod, iTMS, and Apple's DRM strategy, while bellwether technology, are still a business and consumer joke. Apple might be in a position to dictate what happens if they can successfully navigate this inflection point in their history, but that remains to be seen. Based on past performance, I am pessimistic. I don't think they have the required resources or ability, although the recent division spin-off and windows toolkit are cute and, perhaps, baby steps in the right direction.

The digital multi-media content and converged device revolution and marketplace have barely materialized and Apple's apparently 'huge lead' of this complex market still in its infancy will ultimately translate to single-digit marketshare if things continue as they are. The market is more likely destined to be led by a technology and media giant, such as Sony, who can deliver consumer products globally to a degree that Apple can only dream about and will have a user base 2+ orders of magnitude greater than Apple's, once established.

The core concepts of iPod, iTMS, and DRM already exist as other products, in others' hands, and/or can be bought overnight and married with a music publishing powerhouse. Can Apple become a publishing powerhouse on the scale of Sony or Time Warner in the same timeframe? Probably not, and if not, then how are they then going to own or drive the format for music (or players)? How will they do it when Sony has 300 million players in consumer's hands to Apple's 3 million? The answer is that they won't, and the iPod will have to continue to expand support for non-Apple formats if it is to retain any shred of viability. It will be another Apple toy.

So, Apple is likely to be left in the dust by these larger and more adept players, because, while Apple is an unparalleled innovator when it comes to new technology, design, and branding, they are crippled by their own elitism and lack of resources, and perhaps their craziness, when it comes to creating true consumer commodities. The plight of Nicola Tesla comes to mind - a genius, yet he died in debt while others leveraged or duped him out of his own inventions. There are certainly companies that lack Apple's unmatched innovation, but will easily copy the iPod concept constellation and flex their respective genius and superior muscle in mass-marketing and consumer delivery. iToldYouSo, iPod.

What does Apple need to do to stop this? Hmmm...that's a tough question - it may not be possible, but here are a few things that immediately come to mind:

- Hire someone who's only focus in life has been successful, high-volume, consumer delivery and mass production. Apple is completely incompetent in this area. It will really take someone who is willing to make reasonable compromises for the sake of the delivery, which, in this case, is the right thing to do. The product and market exist - get out of the design space, deliver the product, and improve along the way, as necessary.

- Make an iPod with a $50 consumer price-point, even if it initially loses money. The hardware profit model is Apple's undoing. At every point in their history when they have experienced the Promethean opportunity to gain escape velocity into a software profit model, they have failed to make the right decisions, which is why the Mac is still a niche market. Cost reduction is a chicken and egg problem and Apple has the ability to make the leap to volume production to achieve the necessary cost reductions to reach profitability, even on a lost-leader iPod-for-the-masses. At $50, everyone could own one, and isn't that the point? What the heck - give them away with an annual iTMS subscription. If Columbia House can give away 12 free CD's with a music club membership, Apple could certainly explore the benefits of a subsidized subscription model or combination low-cost+subscription, since the unit is useless without music to play on it.

- Recapitalize the company for the purposes of producing the low-cost iPod and entire iPod line in an ultra-high-volume production facility (possibly offshore, since that's where the drives and displays are). Apple has, once again, carved a swathe out of the ether and defined a new standard for the technology and media markets - it's time to bet on the pony to win, even if he did used to be lame. Go, Seabiscuit!

- Merge with Apple Records and create a powerful, unified technology and media entity/brand instead of wrangling in repeated, incredibly stupid legal battles. Both companies have wasted insane amounts of money, time, and market opportunity on this process and could both earn substantially more as a combined media entity than they ever would from winning or deflecting a lawsuit, not to mention the amazing event for the entire world of leveraging and building upon the Beatles' legacy (and others' like Taylor, Shankar, etc.) with a unified Apple technology/media brand. Unfortunately, both companies have huge ego problems and this type of unconventional resolution has repeatedly eluded them to their mutual detriment. Now, maybe it's time for both companies to swallow their egos and 'CEO altitude sickness' with BIG MONEY and the future of this space at stake. Neither can do it alone. But who knows...maybe Apple Records is just as myopic as Apple Computer and, in their own respective fit of greed and ignorance, wants to remain stuck in the '60s.

- Assuming unification, dramatically expand into the media space, ramping new artist acquisition and other multi-media content. I'm personally still waiting for AppleTV to appear. Where is ABC-Apple? :) I mean, don't they conceptually go together like kids and teachers? What an amazing, multi-million dollar, educational brand that would be with the right custodianship, not to mention being on-message for Apple.

- Form additional media partnerships, as possible, with OPEN standards. Provide industry wide OEM DRM technology and lose the proprietary crap. It would be nice to see open win, but it's still a long shot, especially with Sony's emerging standard, wma, etc. Say whatever you want to about Microsoft, but they are much better at forming significant, visionary, strategic partnerships than Apple will ever be. They also saw the media writing on the wall a long time ago and MSNBC has been around since '96. Duh, Apple. While you were building fluffy, personal .mac portals, Microsoft was working on becoming a media entity.

- Negotiate to support ALL digital standards on the iPod and with related tools

Anyway...I just thought this would be a short post, but so much for that. Also, commentary in other posts on Apple being 'marginalized,' is, unfortunately, already late. As of today, even with an apparent lead, Apple is already marginalized because of their inherent nature and repeatedly proven inability to execute. What Apple does in the next 6-12 months with iPod will determine its future, but it doesn't look good.

These opportunities come around once or twice a decade, and it would be nice to see Apple ride the wave (no pun intended), just this once, instead of being plowed under by it. If successful, it could only mean great things for Apple, the Mac, and technology users everywhere, who would benefit from a company with both the innovative vision and the newly understood ability to deliver that vision to the consumer from a dominant market position.

ps. Penman - I'm with you!

wide
May 22, 2004, 06:20 PM
i think apple would rather "open" up to the .wma format than let real incorporate the ipod into their software..no one likes real, and they've been a real pain in the @$$ to microsoft just because they know windows media player, however horrible it may be, is better and more funcional that any version, past, present, AND future, or real player

wide
May 22, 2004, 06:38 PM
These opportunities come around once or twice a decade, and it would be nice to see Apple ride the wave (no pun intended), just this once, instead of being plowed under by it.

"[R]id the wave" is exactly what Apple does [I]not like to do. It goes against their company motto--Think Different.

When Steve Jobs was kicked out of Apple (in the early '90s?, I forget...), Apple used to follow an entirely different path than the one they are currently on. As Steve Jobs said, they were run by salespeople, and were not creative enough--thus, they were failing as a company. He turned that all around, and I would hate for that to happen all over again. Jobs did--and is still doing--miracles for Apple. First the iMac, then the iBook, next the iPod...until now there is an entire array of "i" series products made by Apple. If Apple "ride[s] the wave", the initial results may look good, but in the long run Apple will fall from its glory. I think this is why Jobs decided to decline Real's offering--to protect Apple.

In my opinion, Real is a dead company. Microsoft doesn't like them, and apparently neither does Apple. Their software is horrible, and they manage to make trouble for other companies (Microsoft), which hurts the economy and Microsoft's employees. I think it is good that Apple did not agree to go with Real on this one.

P.S.: Please, don't give me any crap about how I am supporting Microsoft in this post. Apple has Quicktime in their operating system, and Microsoft has Windows Media Player. If Apple were a bigger company and if Real didn't want the iPod incorporated into their software so badly, I'm sure they would be anti-Apple at this moment.

Quarkie
May 22, 2004, 09:58 PM
I don't think there's anyone who would dispute that Jobs turned around Apple, but I think you misunderstand. A turn-around isn't enough, and none of my comments are about sacrificing creativity for growth.

Unfortunately, what Apple is known for, among other things, is creating new, innovative products and markets and then failing to capitalize on them. Because of Apple's inability to leverage their own ideas (or "ride their own wave") as the space they created goes super-nova as a consumer commodity, they remain trapped in a relatively small niche, which is not only bad for them, but also for anyone who wants to develop products for Apple and expects to be able to grow out of mom-and-popdom.

If Apple doesn't learn to ride the waves that they create, that's fine. They can continue botching their own growth and will remain a niche company, while other companies, more astute and adept at business and market dynamics, determine the developmental fate of the industry and the future directions of the technology that Apple pioneered.

It's actually good that Windows is out there, because all the developers who had to close their doors or sell out the various times that Apple has imploded, cannibalized their own space, or failed to deliver can actually develop for a platform with significant growth. They also don't have to worry that Windows will suddenly tank due to some unexpected market event, which is a much greater, historical risk for Apple.

Then, as an afterthought, maybe those Windows developers might even make and support a relatively small marketshare Mac product, which possibly barely justifies the development costs. For companies besides Apple, the reality is that a lot of Mac development on major cross-platform applications is, in part, subsidized by the Windows space. Mac-only guys either eke out an existence, or fail and are absorbed by larger companies, or just fade into obscurity. Based on Apple's poor overall/historical performance, how do you even go and get funding to start a Mac-only targeted company in Silicon Valley? You'd probably get laughed out of the board room.

On a positive note, the turn-around is over. Apple doesn't need a Messiah, they need someone who understands business models and can put Apple in a dominant market position where their technology can command the attention and growth it deserves.

"Thinking different" and "commanding market growth and direction on the merits of your own products and strategy" are not mutually exclusive. It's time for Apple to take their own slogan to heart and not blow it as they navigate this landmark moment in the history of technology.

JGowan
May 24, 2004, 04:38 PM
...it doesn't support .ogg or FLAC...My guess is that if those are ever "supported", it'll be with iTunes being able to convert them to AAC files (like WMA now for Windows). I think those who have been crying for this type of support need to just give it up by now. You should go get yourself a 40GB H140 player by iRiver. It supports MP3, WMA, ASF, WAV and OGG music files.

http://www.iriveramerica.com/products/iHP-140.aspx

I'm an iPod man myself (having owned the 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 & 40GB models [thanks, CompUSA TAP]), but I must say the new line of players by iRiver look terrific. Just give up on the "ogg dream" and get an iRiver H140. It's just not going to happen with iPod.

JGowan
May 24, 2004, 04:42 PM
When Steve Jobs was kicked out of Apple (in the early '90s?, I forget...)It was actually in 1985. Amazing that his board would do that to him after just one year after the birth of the Apple that started it all.

Quarkie
May 24, 2004, 06:06 PM
JGowan - Don't feel bad for him - he's had plenty of blood money since then, not to mention getting Apple to buy foundering NeXT software for $400M ('96/'97). Oh...and the Jet. The NeXT acquisition press release was good for a surprising chuckle. It just proves that the path of technology growth defies prediction and is riddled with ironic reversals of direction and fortune.

Oddly enough, it's lucky for Apple that they did kick him out, because otherwise Apple probably would have died a long time ago. It was only Jobs' divergent experience and assets relating to Unix, inspiration for a new iMac design, conversion to a unix-platform OS, and extension into multi-media that have given Apple forward momentum again and preserved it for the near-term. The iMac was particularly interesting in that even though everything had changed, Jobs still picked up where he left off in 1985.

So, as bitter an event as that must have been, it was beneficial in an evolutionary context. Had Steve stayed, his adversarial nature would have been wasted on internecine politics instead of on trying to forge a new, visionary path. Leaving Apple was much healthier and more liberating for him and for the computer industry, and has certainly kept Apple history both colorful and interesting. In addition, he has the added ego bounty of being the "I Told You So" Underdog and returning hero. That's really hard to beat, especially if you're profitable.

Quarkie
May 27, 2004, 01:29 PM
Microsoft to undercut iPod by 80% (http://www.macworld.co.uk/news/index.cfm?NewsID=8776)
...as excerpted from:
Microsoft to undercut iPod price with player (http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36~33~2174543,00.html)

Good for Microsoft, and ultimately, good for the consumer. At least someone is paying attention and knows how to market to the commodity consumer market, not to mention how to own a segment and set standards. They've got it absolutely right and will, no doubt, reap the reward.

This will certainly make for an interesting holiday shopping season, and will dramatically accelerate the erosion of any market position the iPod now holds. Too bad, but on the bright side, Apple has $250, 6-week-lead-time iPod minis to compete with the $50 (probably subsidized) Microsoft product. :rolleyes:

Goodbye iPod, hello WMA player for the masses. :)

ingenious
May 27, 2004, 08:08 PM
Microsoft to undercut iPod by 80% (http://www.macworld.co.uk/news/index.cfm?NewsID=8776)
...as excerpted from:
Microsoft to undercut iPod price with player (http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36~33~2174543,00.html)

Good for Microsoft, and ultimately, good for the consumer. At least someone is paying attention and knows how to market to the commodity consumer market, not to mention how to own a segment and set standards. They've got it absolutely right and will, no doubt, reap the reward.

This will certainly make for an interesting holiday shopping season, and will dramatically accelerate the erosion of any market position the iPod now holds. Too bad, but on the bright side, Apple has $250, 6-week-lead-time iPod minis to compete with the $50 (probably subsidized) Microsoft product. :rolleyes:

Goodbye iPod, hello WMA player for the masses. :)


Ha. You really think its good for the consumer that a monopoly player company has joined the race? With Apple, they're getting a quality device that comes with a quality piece of software: iTunes *and* the iTunes Music Store. When has M$ ever released a good product? If you say Windows XP, I'm gonna laugh in your face! I just fresh installed and I now have more problems than before! Talk about great software! :rolleyes:

daveg5
May 27, 2004, 08:43 PM
dang $50 dollars is too cheap, I still have a 128MB Creative unit i got because of sound in for $129 years back, I am a songwriter. I was about to buy the $99-$150 Ipod that never happened. I dont have $300 for a player with audio in. if Microsoft can give me a 1GB for $50 I will buy, sorry Apple, but what happened to the one they already showed that plays video also. if Apple can stay within $50 about Microsoft's best price on comparable product then I will stay with Apple.
Apple may do what it did in the past and refuse to break even or take a loss on any hardware, even if that means giving up market share like it did with the Mac. Hp will make a clone though, too bad there isn't a Sony Ipod clone, or Panasonic, etc. Microsoft will probably have many clones of its mp3.
Oh well the ipod Dominance was good while it lasted.

Quarkie
May 27, 2004, 10:06 PM
This is definitely good for the consumer. There is a matrix of reasonable features, reasonable price, a software profit model, maybe a service contract-based strategy, and mass marketing of an audio standard that eludes Apple. However, this kind of model will enable the masses with digital music on single and converged device platforms in the hands of a more market-adept company like Microsoft.

Microsoft releases lots of good and "good enough" products, albeit not some without problems, like those of every company. Apple has great, leading-edge design and integration, and also has its share of problems. Should we talk about iPod battery issues? Should we talk about PowerBooks that catch on fire? Should we talk about the OSX 10.2.8 updater? Should we talk about Performa lock-ups? There's a pretty long list for both companies, actually. :)

As for XP, are you sure you're not having hardware trouble that is unrelated to the OS?

Anyway, Apple has had a 3 year head-start in digital music and, unfortunately, may soon have to watch that lead evaporate unless they can find a way to expand their market, quickly. iTunes and iTMS are great, but they're just software. There's nothing mysterious or difficult about them that will prevent another player from creating a comparable, suitable consumer solution.

sambo.
Jun 5, 2004, 07:50 AM
the deal with HP is good for all concerned.

the microsloth move is not unexpected.

i rekon Apple should license out the making of iPods to more and more manufacturers (albeit with some sort of quality guarentee built into the bargain), the real money on the deal will come from content licensing anyway and that is a more long-term revenue stream than the initial sale of the unit.

i can understand why they don't want anyone else selling songs, forcing iPod/clone users to the iTunes shop, but the best way to beat redmond is to get many manufacturers signed up to build iPods and not the microsloth version.

to the person who said M$ can write good software, well, yes, they can. eventually. it only took nine years for them to get windon't to the level of OS 8.6. bloatware for the masses? no thanx.