CES: Microsoft Music Service and Entertainment

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Apr 12, 2001
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Bill Gates gave his keynote speech at CES on Wednesday night. CNN offers a summary of events of the presentation.

Microsoft unveiled a new music service called "Urge". Previous reports of Urge had revealed that Microsoft and MTV were joining forces for the new music service. The new service launches with over 2 million songs for purchase or subscription-based service. Few other details are otherwise available. The Urge.com site simply says "Coming Soon." Urge will be promoted through their Windows Media Player and appears to be Microsoft's answer to iTunes.

Gates also announced partnerships with Intel and their Viiv platform which will allow users to have more entertainment based machines -- providing DVR functionality and more. Microsoft's upcoming revision to Windows called "Vista" will be the operating system for these machines.

Also mentioned:

- DirecTV Content transferable to Portable Media Centers
- Upcoming HD-DVD support for Xbox 360
 

Lacero

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Jan 20, 2005
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Without an iPod killer, Urge will fail. I might be eating crow in a few years though, if Apple royally screws up not licensing Fairplay
 

arn

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note: MacRumors hasn't traditionally covered much of CES in the past... because it mostly wasn't relevant to the Mac in particular. This year, things have changed a bit. So, a bit of coverage to keep us up to speed. Intel's keynote might be somewhat interesting. Since it's supposed to be the launching ground for Yonah/Viiv.

arn
 

JDOG_

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Nov 19, 2003
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I don't know, I'm really not going to slam MS on their performance tonight. To me the technology they unveiled looks very exciting, even if it is from Microsoft.

I am excited to see what Apple rolls out next week, but am also excited we're getting Intel technology from now on too :)
 

Trowaman

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Nov 3, 2003
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From the CES reports so far I'm a bit concerned for iPod. iPod has taken the mp3 player market, problem now is it's the media center to go market.

The reports for the Sony PSP and XM radio to go players are what is worrying to me. The PSP will be built in with Sony Connect which will do videos (and full access to the Sony catalogue). The PSP is also getting a tv tuner.

If we're just thinking computers now, we're naive. It's now officially media boxes and making them to-go. It's crucial the mac mini becomes a media box now considering were everyone is going with this stuff.
 

840quadra

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I love Apple and their products, but lets face it, this is a big threat to Apple. Hopefully they can raise the bar soon, and offer higher quality versions of downloadable videos, and TV shows, as well as a more advanced media device for the home..


The fact that Apple makes the whole widget (Systems, portable systems, displays, software, and network), gives them an advantage if they use it correctly. I truly hope they don't squander the money and advancements they have made! Only time will tell what we can expect, I hope Apple does well :)
 

Phat_Pat

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i am resisting the urge to make a joke


whats up with Microsoft's funky names (and spell checker automatically capitalizing Microsoft?)

vista now urge?

"hasta la vista to your senses.... forget trying to hold back those urges... now try and keep calm for ERUPTION... the new media player that will have you screaming for more."
 

texasmafia

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Mar 19, 2005
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I agree that the iPod is only the leader in the MP3 player world. In the world of media to go they aren't ahead by much and in many cases are way behind. If they don't debut a Movie service soon and an iPod or some other device that is portable, plays music, movies and has wifi they are in serious trouble. People want their content to go and wanna be able to get content on the go. Apple must deliver.

I think they will!
 

windowuser82

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Jan 2, 2006
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Phat_Pat said:
whats up with Microsoft's funky names (and spell checker automatically capitalizing Microsoft?)

vista now urge?
My generation. 18-25 year olds. Time and time again "exciting" words have drawn in the spenders. Xterra, Xtreme,Urge, even Vista promote a sense of activity, outdoors, lively, etc. 60 year olds aren't going to be around long enough to be return customers :)

Who'd want an operating system called Limponoodle anyway?

I was very, very impressed with Gates and the keynote. Thanks to detestable greatness of bandwith clogging streams I was able to see it. I must say Vista looked and acted much better than I originally thought. I'm not a HUGE fan of Microsoft and even though I use and have used Windows for a very long time, I haven't seen anything that impressive from them before; Until now.

Gonna add more Microsoft stock to my portfolio and possibly put off that first Mac purchase :)
 

dr_lha

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A link up between Microsoft and MTV on online music would seem like a dream ticket for Microsoft if only for one thing. MTV's target demographic are people who own iPods. Unless URGE works with iPods (which of course it won't) it will fail to capture any significant market, and just enters the already crowded WMA player market.
 

LimeiBook86

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May 4, 2002
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This is sort of a good thing.

It's ok, competition can spawn more innovation. Let's see what Apple can come up with...this should get interesting! :D
 

HiRez

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Jan 6, 2004
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Urge will be promoted through their Windows Media Player and appears to be Microsoft's answer to iTunes.
Er...wasn't the MSN Music Store (or whatever it was called) also "Microsoft's answer to iTunes"? Yeah, how did that work out?
 

BlueRevolution

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Jul 26, 2004
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840quadra said:
I love Apple and their products, but lets face it, this is a big threat to Apple. Hopefully they can raise the bar soon, and offer higher quality versions of downloadable videos, and TV shows, as well as a more advanced media device for the home..
I still say downloadable video rentals would corner a hitherto untapped market and ensure iTunes' continued market dominance. I mean, yeah, some places offer streaming rentals, but if they can adapt their DRM to expire after a specific time and be playable on portable players, they're looking at the iPod all over again.

windowuser82 said:
Who'd want an operating system called Limponoodle anyway?
I would be ALL OVER that. seriously. if somebody came out with an OS with a name like that I would be totally unable to avoid buying a copy. and what was wrong with Longhorn? I think that name got more press than Vista did.

Phat_Pat said:
when did mtv start caring about music again?
did they ever?

HiRez said:
Er...wasn't the MSN Music Store (or whatever it was called) also "Microsoft's answer to iTunes"? Yeah, how did that work out?
but... but... this one has a snappy name. (uh, if you redefine "snappy" to mean "dorky, capitalist and kind of dirty sounding".)
 

p0intblank

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Sep 20, 2005
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Urge is going to get stomped on by Apple so hard... it's going to hurt. :) I've said it before I will say it again: Apple is way too far ahead into the game for anyone to become remotely close. Sure Microsoft is huge and their service may be a success, but this does not mean people will ditch iTunes. iPod + iTunes integration = perfect. People will not ditch Apple for Microsoft.

Sorry if this post seems unclear.. I'm getting tired. o_O
 

texasmafia

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Mar 19, 2005
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p0intblank said:
Urge is going to get stomped on by Apple so hard... it's going to hurt. :) I've said it before I will say it again: Apple is way too far ahead into the game for anyone to become remotely close. Sure Microsoft is huge and their service may be a success, but this does not mean people will ditch iTunes. iPod + iTunes integration = perfect. People will not ditch Apple for Microsoft.

Sorry if this post seems unclear.. I'm getting tired. o_O

It isn't Apple versus Microsoft. It is Apple versus EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WHOLE FREAKIN WORLD! That is the danger. Everyone else can decide to play together and all of the sudden Apple is out in the cold just like they were about 20 years ago. I love Apple and I really think behind the scenes they are ahead of the game but I don't want everyone around here thinking Apple has it in the bag when it comes to portable movies. They are nowhere close right now and they better catch up quick. When you have tons of players who will all work with the same services, and then the iPod that only works with one, then eventually the iPod will lose out unless the iPod or iTunes offers something you can't get anywhere else.
 

.Andy

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Jul 18, 2004
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Phat_Pat said:
when did mtv start caring about music again?
They don't. And neither do MS which is why Urge will probably suck. I'm putting my money on the system being set up with DRM and profitability first, with user experience second. Perhaps I'll be pleasantly surprised but I won't hold my breath.

The biggest problem is if (when) Microsoft Starts pushing Windows Media Player as a defacto install and it inhibits iTunes or iPod functionality. Something simple like a WMP irreversible song file arrangement or proprietary ID tagging system could easily lock songs out of iTunes or the iPod. Much in the same way as Apple uses Fairplay to lock out other mp3 player manufacturers.
 

Raidersmojo

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Jul 3, 2005
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anyone else see how microsoft will be throwing some Xbox360 owners in the cold by offering HD-DVD support for their players? hmmmm.....


they keep trying to screw everyone for cash and such, everyone I know around this area is getting sick and tired of microsoft

vista looks pretty and acts well so far, yeah. but whats going to happen when virsu's and everything else hits the table?

apple needs to fight on many different fronts right now. Music and movie industry, the intel switch, working on OS, portable players, and everything else. they need to expand quickly. they have the music industry on lock right now.

10.5 needs to look prettier, be faster, and steal some of the cool little vista tricks it can do and make them better. so they can go "you have that well we have this too!"

movies need to be expanded in a totally new way. we need something like a PSP. the ipod is nice but it needs to be able to do more.

we also need this DVR technology in our macs.

Apple can make a HUGE splash by letting Sony use OS X on its PS3. whats a better way to get OS X out to a ton of people? let it work on a console thats going to ship 10 million units (in japan alone :D :D :D )

microsoft is coming at us hard during the transition period. I'm sure apple is ahead of the game, but I don't want to look like a fool to all of the people who I have converted over to the apple side
 

matd

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Jul 14, 2004
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Remember :wasn't it Sony that promoted their "Connect" stuff thanks Mc Donald's ? It wasn't a big success for Sony. I would have preferred by far a McDonald's-Apple partnership.
The MTV-Microsoft partnership will also fail because as said before the target audience of MTV are iPod owners
MTV's target demographic are people who own iPods.
I don't think that nowadays MTV has the same influence on teens and kids as it had years ago.
So who would like to buy a second MP3 player just to be able to listen to the Urge songs, perhaps with "WMA/DRM - Readable only on Windows device or whatever" restrictions ? For me it will be flop...
By the way the logo has a really poor design, it gives me the feeling of a :"well let us launch something to compete against Apple on the MP3 market", but without any self-confidence.