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Microsoft Music Store in 2004?

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
51,578
13,194
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Microsoft plans to introduce a music download service in 2004 and was recently hiring for a senior-level marketing position for the upcoming service.

First mention of a Microsoft Music Store came in June 2003 when Microsoft was said to be demoing their version of the online music store to record company executives. Bill Gates later confirmed that Microsoft was exploring the development of a music download service.

According to the article, Microsoft will be offering the service through its MSN Web site.

While Microsoft is only one in a series of music download services being launched over the next year, it has the unique position of being able to promote its service with all Windows installations which could provide them with a significant base market Apple presently enjoys this advantage on the Mac platform with their iTunes jukebox software.
 

punter

macrumors 6502
Feb 22, 2003
265
0
Australia
plus they have more money to burn then any other company in the world. And if steve is to be believed, online music stores so far are a place to do just that. Unless we see a ms ipod. It's probably only a matter of time.
 
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stefman

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2002
156
4
Wonder what kind of antitrust implications if they use their desktop monopoly to get sales of their music store.
 
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jholzner

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2002
1,384
0
Champaign, IL
I think competition is good but in this case Microsoft could ruin apple in the music download business just because it will be installed on all PC's...then again...it won't work with the iPod and everyone wants one of those!

Good Luck Apple.
 
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avus

macrumors regular
Nov 4, 2002
196
0
From WSJ:

A spokeswoman for the software giant confirmed that Microsoft's MSN Web site will offer such a service in 2004, but declined to provide further details.

If that's the case, then Apple has nothing to worry about...right?
 
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Exponent

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2002
193
347
Silicon Valley
Here's an angle to think about:

The Microsoft XBox has a hard drive, and runs a Windows variant. It can, I believe, hook into your stereo system.

What if this service worked on the XBox? Would Microsoft then own the "home stereo digital music" market then as well?

There are lots of angles on this market - that's what makes it fun and scary!

I just hope Apple licenses it's protected variant of AAC, lest us owners of these files get locked out of other music playing alternatives. (For those zealots out there, no, the iPod is not the be-all and end-all for all applications. For many uses, it is far from ideal.)
 
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walexx

macrumors member
Jul 18, 2002
49
9
Sydney
Apple had better hurry up with its World Wide Download service so that Windows users get in the habit of using Itunes.

The more users the better chance Apple has of fighting off MS.

We have iTunes for Mac, and now PC, now we need IMS for the rest of the world before MS comes in and spoils the party.

The iPod might be the best portable music player out there, but others are coming, and the only reason the ipod is so popular is becuause its fashionable to have the ipod. ONce it loses its cool factor and other come on the market, Apple had better be prepared for a fight.

I think Apple need to introduce a cheaper ipod for people who just want music and not a portable HD aswell. Bring back the 5gig iPod at say $99.00 and bring down the price for the rest of the range, and then they will dominate the market pushing out any newcomers. Also please please please apple put in a built in FM radio.

MS always copies APPLE and because all those ignorant people out there trust them, they never know it was Apples ideas, and so MS gets the credit and the marketshare.
 
Comment

splashman

macrumors 6502
Jun 23, 2003
350
0
This time, I think MS is too late

Remember how everyone was saying that iTunes was doomed in the Windows market because they were tardy with startup? (There never seems to be a shortage of Chicken-Littles, does there?) Regarding MS in 2004, that assessment may be more appropriate.

Consider that by the time MS jumps in, most music-hungry users will already have chosen a service (lots of advertising right now and through the holidays). More than likely, a few of the services will already have died out, leaving only a couple of biggies (iTunes & Napster?) and a niche provider or two. And since the rate of first-time computer users has slowed greatly in the last few years (i.e., near market saturation), MS can't count on getting a ton of users of their music service by default (new computer buyers signing up with MS because it came pre-loaded and they don't know any better).

Over time, integration with the OS may help them, but initially, they'll have to have some kind of "wow" feature to woo savvy users that are quite happy with iTunes. And I expect the only "wow" that will escape my lips upon seeing the MS music service will be followed closely by, "That's ugly!"
 
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Sabenth

macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2003
887
3
UK
Another one but we knew this one was coming diffrance this one cand cause damage or can it???

wait and see
 
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ITR 81

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2003
1,052
0
To me they will be coming late to the plate because by then Apple will have started opening up overseas stores and I doubt MS will open worldwide first because they have to jump through the same hurdles Apple did. Also with a new store opening what seems like every week or so I doubt there will be a big market for MS Music store as almost everyone would have by then picked their fav's by then.

MS is really looking to burn money..they are burning money everyday with the Xbox and now they are looking to burn even more money in this business. Why don't they just spend their own money on fixing all their exploits instead of trying to copy everyone else.
 
Comment

leenoble

macrumors member
Jul 3, 2003
77
0
Subtlety of a brick

..it has the unique position of being able to promote its service with all Windows installations which could provide them with a significant base market Apple presently enjoys this advantage on the Mac platform with their iTunes jukebox software.

The iTunes music store is currently entered by clicking on one icon in the sources pane of iTunes. There is no other way in. There is no other promotion for it on my system (unless you count the Apple emails to which I have subscribed).
Would Microsoft be as suitably restrained in driving traffic to their music store...

HEY, IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU'RE LISTENING TO A 5 YEAR OLD CD ALBUM.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO BUY SOME UP TO DATE MUSIC.

[YES] [MAYBE LATER] [REMIND ME EVERY ***** TIME I HEAR ANYTHING THAT I DIDN'T BUY FROM MS]
 
Comment

OziMac

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2003
438
4
Ha ha. I find the bit about 'providing more consumer related music promotion' to be a lark. In other words, MS will shovel more record industry marketing tripe down our throats than iTunes does. I don't know how long it will last, but does anyone else feel that one of iTunes big selling points is that it lets you look at music and download it with very few obstacles and 'promotional material' in the way? Some people just want to buy music they like, not music forced upon them.
 
Comment

walexx

macrumors member
Jul 18, 2002
49
9
Sydney
I totally agree.

The fact that you can browse at your leisure without being distracted is a big plus for IMS.

Lets hope MS do come out all guns with all the irritating pop ups and banner advertising and promos shovedi in your face so that people will apprecaite the simplicity of using iTunes instead :)
 
Comment

Adurbe

macrumors member
Jan 22, 2003
65
0
Wales
Dont forget the EU....

Us poor chaps in europe have no download service worth using so apple really should start offering a service to us too...

But the EU is tackling MS on their media player monoploly in paticular, if the EU suceed (which i feel they may) It will crush Microsofts ideas, allowing hardware companys to include whatever player they wish with each having access to the full Media Player APIs

Although technically this will onlyaffect the EU market @ first it would only be so long before the U.S. followed suit
 
Comment

gola

macrumors member
Sep 8, 2003
33
0
bergen, norway
cheaper ipod is a bad idea

Originally posted by walexx
I think Apple need to introduce a cheaper ipod for people who just want music and not a portable HD aswell. Bring back the 5gig iPod at say $99.00 and bring down the price for the rest of the range, and then they will dominate the market pushing out any newcomers. Also please please please apple put in a built in FM radio.

I hear this all the time, and think it is a very bad idea to introduce some kind of cheap ipod. Basic marketing (and social) knowledge tells us that making a consumer ipod would make the ipod "uncool" among the cultural-technological elite, and in the end kill it. Let the copyists take care of the consumer part, as they always do.
 
Comment

Analog Kid

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2003
5,687
4,279
Re: This time, I think MS is too late

Originally posted by splashman
Remember how everyone was saying that iTunes was doomed in the Windows market because they were tardy with startup? (There never seems to be a shortage of Chicken-Littles, does there?) Regarding MS in 2004, that assessment may be more appropriate.

Consider that by the time MS jumps in, most music-hungry users will already have chosen a service (lots of advertising right now and through the holidays). More than likely, a few of the services will already have died out, leaving only a couple of biggies (iTunes & Napster?) and a niche provider or two. And since the rate of first-time computer users has slowed greatly in the last few years (i.e., near market saturation), MS can't count on getting a ton of users of their music service by default (new computer buyers signing up with MS because it came pre-loaded and they don't know any better).

Over time, integration with the OS may help them, but initially, they'll have to have some kind of "wow" feature to woo savvy users that are quite happy with iTunes. And I expect the only "wow" that will escape my lips upon seeing the MS music service will be followed closely by, "That's ugly!"

Microsoft is never too late... They're like the government. The might be wrong, they might be slow, they might be stupid, but they have inertia. All they have to do is plop down in a market and refuse to move and they'll eventually own it.

MS was way late into the Web. They used to come into the Media Lab and talk about how misguided everyone was to be focusing on the Internet as a force in computing. Netscape had 95% market share, and now look at them.

MS was late in the PDA market-- Palm owned it without a question. CE failed for years. Now look at it.

Heck, MS was late getting into the GUI game...

No, MS is never late. Especially given the fact that everyone but iTMS has foolishly chosen the MS audio format-- all those users will eventually get lazy and just consolidate their libraries with whatever MS has bundled, or more likely get tired of having to redefine their default player and and having to reorganize their music libraries with each upgrade.

It's not about making money on this venture for them, it's about not losing in an emerging market. I don't think MSN has made money yet, but they're not pulling the plug and conceding the market.
 
Comment

Analog Kid

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2003
5,687
4,279
Originally posted by stefman
Wonder what kind of antitrust implications if they use their desktop monopoly to get sales of their music store.

Same as always, I'd guess. "We told MS to play nice, and they said they would, so we're dropping the charges."

They have a pretty good case this time-- Apple is bundling, so there's no reason they shouldn't be able to.

We can't sit here and laugh about how Apple is so far ahead in integrating features and building a seamless experience and then ask to have MS legally barred from doing the same...
 
Comment

Analog Kid

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2003
5,687
4,279
Originally posted by ITR 81
To me they will be coming late to the plate because by then Apple will have started opening up overseas stores and I doubt MS will open worldwide first because they have to jump through the same hurdles Apple did.

Yeah, this will be interesting to see. Does Apple really have a special arrangement with the labels?

I'm guessing they aren't looking at Apple as something special. I think when they decide they're willing to allow international distribution, they'll open it to everyone. They can only gain by doing so.

Apple isn't a limited testbed anymore-- iTunes is cross platform.

In Europe, at least, I think the problem has been that each country has it's own licensing authority. It's just a question of who they're willing to talk to first-- Apple or MS. Given that they've shown little concern for their customers in the past, I'm guessing it's a question of who gives them a sweeter deal...

Doesn't BMG still own Napster? Hmm... Would they rather the world chose WMA or AAC?
 
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Analog Kid

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2003
5,687
4,279
Re: cheaper ipod is a bad idea

Originally posted by gola
I hear this all the time, and think it is a very bad idea to introduce some kind of cheap ipod. Basic marketing (and social) knowledge tells us that making a consumer ipod would make the ipod "uncool" among the cultural-technological elite, and in the end kill it. Let the copyists take care of the consumer part, as they always do.

Except that, at least for now, the "copyists" can't sell an AAC/Fairplay player to the consumer market... Apple isn't licensing the format.
 
Comment

mymemory

macrumors 68020
May 9, 2001
2,495
0
Miami
That software of Micrsof would be another way to import viruses in to your PC.

I do not think MS is gonna be a problem, they never create good interfaces any way.

All the interfaces for PCs take too much room in the desktop, despite all the bugs and security flaws that come together with a MS software.

Be sure some one is gonna hack it and start to download the songs for free or something.
 
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yakirz

macrumors newbie
Oct 18, 2003
19
0
I can't wait to see the DRM

on the M$ service:

"This file is not playable on this machine. In order to play music not from our service with Windows Media Player, you must make a burnt offering to the RIAA, followed by the sacrifice of your first born son in the name of Gates. If we deem you worthy, you may then play a non-Microsoft Music Service file. Thank you."
 
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