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SeattlePI.com reports on Bill Gates' question and answer session with high school students in the Seattle area on Friday.

One student asked Bill Gates if Microsoft was going develop an MP3 player to compete against the iPod.

Gates admitted that Apple had done a "fantastic job" with the iPod, and that Microsoft had been working with their partners on how they can can make less expensive devices with better connectivity and photo/video support. Gates also said:

"I don't think what's out in the market today is the final answer. But again, it just shows the magic of software. Apple did a very good job on iTunes, did the user-interface design right. That means we'll have to match all that good work and do something even better."

Gates promised that we can expect "some pretty hot products coming out over the next couple of years." The article points out that Apple's end-to-end user experience control is an advantage over Microsoft which relies on 3rd party PC manufacturers and MP3 manufacturers.

Steve Jobs had previously commented on the lack of a iPod killer products and felt that "Microsoft is going to have to get into the hardware business of marking MP3 players."
 

ScottB

macrumors regular
Jul 13, 2005
176
0
Britain
They can just try, nothing microsoft can make will compete in build quality to just about anything. Unless they offer compete intergration with windows media player that is, that will hurt iPod sales. All they'll have to do is make a one time popup in WMP and they'll get a few million sales.
 
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e-clipse

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Jan 28, 2006
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By the time Microsoft gets their copycat iPods out on the market, Apple will already have something more innovative and user friendly.
 
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Chaszmyr

macrumors 601
Aug 9, 2002
4,267
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Yvan256 said:
Is there really people out there who use anything else than iTunes, even on Windows? :confused:

Sadly, there are.


What some of Apple's competitors don't seem to realize, is that they're in a race against the clock. The longer Apple continues selling songs via iTMS, the more they cement their position as the market leader.
 
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Verto

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2005
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Denton, TX
ScottB said:
They can just try, nothing microsoft can make will compete in build quality to just about anything.

They don't need to compete in build quality, just look at their OS market share vs. Apple's.

I think Creative stands the best chance of competing with the iPod, backed by some funding by Microsoft, or integration with the ROW music stores.
 
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alywa

macrumors 6502
May 6, 2004
350
1
Well, that is actually a pretty good response to the question that was posed before him. In the past, CEOs had been quick to say the iPod was a fluke, that they will lose their lead soon, etc.

Bill, for all of the bashing we like to do here, isn't a dumb guy. He knows that they've been beaten in this arena thus far, but he's right that the game isn't over yet.

The rest of the industry could very easily make a huge dent in iPod sales with a unified front. The subscription model isn't working thus far, but I think it could take off once subscription movies are available.

-alywa
 
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DTphonehome

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2003
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Way to reassure your shareholders, Bill. "Hot new products" in the "next few years"? Wonderful! Can't wait for Xmas 2010!
 
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Stridder44

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Mar 24, 2003
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California
Yvan256 said:
Is there really people out there who use anything else than iTunes, even on Windows? :confused:

There are retards who hate iTunes/iPod. I always ask them why and they just continue their rant....


/doesn't get it either
 
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Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
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alywa said:
Bill, for all of the bashing we like to do here, isn't a dumb guy. He knows that they've been beaten in this arena thus far, but he's right that the game isn't over yet.

I was gonna say the same thing if I didn't see your post.

How else did you expect him to answer that question? He said what he had to say, which is also completely true. He's probably working on an iPod Video competitor right now, which is both doable and smart, since the video market isn't a lost cause for Microsoft yet.

And anyone who keeps saying that nothing can compete with iTMS + iPod, you're sadly mistaken. Like the large majority of consumers, nobody gives a rats ass about iTMS. iTMS is the market leader in online music sales, but they're the leaders in a miniscule market. I bought my iPod to put my legal and illegal mp3s on it, like most people, and if videos become the next big thing, lots of weird video clips from the internet, along with some movies from various sources, will end up on that thing.

iTMS is just a blade of grass in a massive field. Really.
 
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zap2

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Mar 8, 2005
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Verto said:
I think Creative stands the best chance of competing with the iPod, backed by some funding by Microsoft, or integration with the ROW music stores.

Creative almost did not make any money last time the went public with the earnings, the also reason teh did is becuz someone gave the 10Million. Apple went through with with Mac OS, and MS help them out, but i don't Apple will be help creative!

The Mp3 was is different then the OS war is, the OS war is old, and people already Windows. The Mp3 war is new, and MS does not have an bonus other then lots of Cash but they would probley end up losing Money(like the xBox!)
 
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d.perel

macrumors regular
Feb 3, 2005
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DTphonehome said:
Way to reassure your shareholders, Bill. "Hot new products" in the "next few years"? Wonderful! Can't wait for Xmas 2010!
Yeah, those comments sounded like the vague, upbeat marketing tongue that all execs are forced to use these days
 
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dornoforpyros

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2004
3,070
3
Calgary, AB
Surprisingly enough I'd say this is more of a complement to apple than a battle cry.

I mean he doesn't point out any flaws, he compliments apple, and then outlines some point of what M$ would need to meet in order to take on the iPod.

This was rather level headed over all
 
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inkswamp

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Jan 26, 2003
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It's telling that he gave a BS, corporate-speak answer to a kid. That might work in a boardroom, but a kid wants to hear yes or no. You might suspect that he actually has no idea what they're really doing and that MS has no solid plan or strategy to take on Apple. :D
 
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jrk07

macrumors regular
Oct 24, 2005
165
0
That actually makes me think that Bill Gates may be a cooler guy than I thought, he actually has respect for competitor's creations.

That said, I doubt Micorsoft can come out with anything that will compete with Apple's elite iTunes and iPod combo anytime within the next year or so. Maybe realistically around mid-2007, but as another poster already said, the iPod will have morphed into something way different (and hopefully even better) by then.
 
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aegisdesign

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Apr 19, 2005
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Stridder44 said:
There are retards who hate iTunes/iPod. I always ask them why and they just continue their rant....


/doesn't get it either


Well, on Windows it does stick out like a sore thumb, takes up a load of RAM and is pretty CPU intensive compared to some of the other players like foobar or QCD. Of course, it does a lot more than the other players, like intelligently sync your library instead of having to use the windows explorer and drop files on a disk, but that doesn't seem to bother Windows people. And for whatever reason some of them seem to like WMA too. As I said in another thread, they're used to things being awkward, difficult or longwinded rather than just working.

Apple does need to work on making it consume less resources though just as they need to fix the interface on OSX so it's not some hacked OS9 throwback. Roll on iTunes 7. :)
 
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drblank

macrumors regular
Feb 12, 2006
111
0
Bill Gates on Microsoft's iPod Competitors

Here is the fundamental problem. Microsoft has continually copied Apple's ideas.

If I were Microsoft, i would pay attention to developing Mac OS X applications and quit trying to copy something that is already captured the marketplace. Microsoft has NEVER made any hardware that was any good. Hence the not-so-popular XBOX. It has a LONG way to go before it catches up to the others.

Since Microsoft has YET to make an Operating System that is plagued by viruses, worms, trojan horses, if I were Microsoft, I would go into another direction.

Heck, Microsoft Office for the PC is 2003 and for the Mac is 2004. What the heck is wrong here? They are resting on their laurels and .Net didn't work, Net Meeting isn't catching on and they are just wasting the money they extract out of corporations for their Monopolistic crap.

Vista is going to be so far behind OS X, they should just start making bug free OS X applicaitions. They would be a much better company is they did. Then we call all rejoice in their failed attempt to bring out a good OS without forcing people to buy their crap.

Microsoft is going down hill fast and Bill Gates is getting VERY worried. Heck, Windows Media Center is also a joke. Just remember it didn't work when he tried to demo it at CES 2005.

Mr. Bill is a wanna-bee than can't be. Apple should come out with a promotion calling it "THE REAL THING". Coca Cola should give them the rights to use that slogan. :)
 
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thewhitehart

macrumors 65816
Jul 9, 2005
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397
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I would like to see a non-proprietary format for files that work across all players. That's too much to hope for, though. I've been burning a lot of my CDs onto iTunes lately, and only now noticed that the tracks are formatted into AAC instead of regular old MP3. My only problem is that I like to make compilation CDs and some of the car stereos only support .wma. Now I'm not sure if burning all my CDs to iTunes is that important, although I do plan on streaming music through an express to my stereo.

I get a kick out of seeing the little "Works for Sure" icon next to the microsoft supported MP3 players in the Best Buy flyer. Works for sure my ***. :D
 
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cycocelica

macrumors 68000
Apr 28, 2005
1,800
3
Redmond, WA
alywa said:
Well, that is actually a pretty good response to the question that was posed before him. In the past, CEOs had been quick to say the iPod was a fluke, that they will lose their lead soon, etc.

Bill, for all of the bashing we like to do here, isn't a dumb guy. He knows that they've been beaten in this arena thus far, but he's right that the game isn't over yet.

The rest of the industry could very easily make a huge dent in iPod sales with a unified front. The subscription model isn't working thus far, but I think it could take off once subscription movies are available.

-alywa

I totally agree with what you said. The hand-held video devices is new and there is still time to make something that could compete with the iPod video.
 
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thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,662
2,036
Pennsylvania
This is old news that doesn't relate to mac rumors at all.

but besides the obvious..
I would welcome a MS mp3 player. it would not only force MS to start developing media player for OS X again, but it would bring some competition to apple.

The iPod really is starting to lose it's gusto, and there are some things I sorley miss from my XP days that iTunes doesn't do...
 
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