Microsoft Vs. Apple

Microsoft is looking to take a bite out of Apple's lion's share of the digital-music marketplace with three new products.

logo
Ultimate Guitar
0

MTV.com reports, Microsoft is looking to take a bite out of Apple's lion's share of the digital-music marketplace with three new products that promise to do whatever Apple's iTunes and iPod can do, and more.

The software company on Thursday (September 2) launched a preview of MSN Music, a digital download service comparable to Apple's iTunes music store and Napster 2.0. The new service allows users to listen, download or browse through a catalog of 500,000 songs from all the major record labels, as well as 3,000 indies. Another half million songs will be added to the library shortly. Like most of its competitors, MSN Music features artist information, streaming music and radio, and charges 99 cents per downloaded track and $9.99 for complete albums.

But unlike iTunes, whose downloads will only play on Apple's own iPod portable device, tracks from MSN Music can be transferred to more than 70 devices, including small flash memory players, ones made by iRiver and Dell, and one of the Windows-compatible Portable Media Centers that Microsoft also unveiled Tuesday.

While this feature is a major step in giving consumers a choice in where they can take their downloads, the point might be moot given that 70 percent of the portable-player market uses iPods, which are not compatible with MSN Music. Because of technology inherent to the iPod, the device will only directly play tracks downloaded or ripped from a CD using iTunes.

MSN Music also boasts exclusive content, such as the four live Kanye West songs currently available, and music from artists ? such as Radiohead, Madonna, Dave Matthews Band and the Red Hot Chili Peppers ? who have either limited or no tracks at all on other services.

Unlike most portable music players currently on the market, Portable Media Centers are not confined to just audio files but also play video and display still pictures. Available Thursday at Best Buy stores and other retailers shortly, the first of a line of PMCs was developed by Creative Labs Inc. and features a 20 GB hard drive, capable of holding 9,000 songs or 85 hours of video; a 3.8-inch LCD screen; and replaceable, rechargeable batteries capable of continuously playing 22 hours of audio or seven hours of video. It retails for $499, about $100 more than the iPod. A 20 GB PMC from Samsung, and 20GB and 40GB models from iRiver, will be available later this fall.

Taking advantage of the video capabilities of the PMCs, Major League Baseball and the movie download service CinemaNow have already developed content for the devices. On mlb.com, PMC users can download full games; 20-minute condensed versions of games, which skim over lengthy at-bats, pitching changes, etc.; weekly blooper and home-run shows; and classic games. CinemaNow, meanwhile, features more than 200 titles. Pay-per-view rentals run $2.99-$3.99, while permanent downloads you can keep forever are priced at $9.99-$14.99.

Tying MSN Music and the PMCs together is Windows Media Player 10, the latest version of Microsoft's popular media player. Featuring a more friendly interface, WMP 10 allows users to rip digital tracks from CDs and transfer them to portable devices, and also download songs from MSN Music and other online stores such as Napster, MusicMatch, MusicNow, CinemaNow and Wal-Mart, among others.

68 comments sorted by best / new / date

    RockMusicFan
    Yeah me too. if you have an iPod and iTunes, then the only thing you want to put your music on is your iPod. iPods are awesome anyway.
    edbert
    Way to go Microsoft! An whats wrong with them trying to make money? After all its a business (gee, i wonder if they just wanna make friends!) who's main intention is to make money. God Bless Capitalism.
    nice words "God Bless Capitalism"
    dougiecrystals
    jackobeam: BLOODY HELL!!!! why are we even having this debate! apple is a million times better than microsoft and always will be! i have an ipod and its by far better than any other mp3 player that ive ever heard of or used. end of conversation
    yeah microsoft blows.. just ask any of the 10% of the population who dont have microsoft..... meh i was never into huge mp3s.....but i might look into this one....
    ChurchNSkate
    sorry. its all about apple. anyone want to start an apple fan club here? PM me. and ipods kickass. anyone who says im wrong can go ***them selves, the iPod IS the best mp3 player out there, prove me wr ong.
    RatiugLink
    Wow, now we're getting horrible pointless articles that don't even have to do with guitar.
    M3T4L H34D
    DUDE WILL YOU ALL JUST STFU MAN!!! All this bull about who's better this is just stupid. Everybody has their own opinion. So dont diss em jus kuz they like mac better than pc or pc more than mac
    LastIncarnation
    Microsoft is still a heartless bastard, and everyone that's into computers knows this. I recently switched to a Mac (where I am typing from right now) and I couldn't be happier. Oh, and to add to redwings list, I can program my PowerBook to turn on and off whenever I want it to, with no added software. Can't do that with a PC. And I've wish my old PC's could do that for years. Also, Mac= Unix based. VERY solid. No more retarded program crashes that microsopht is infamous for. Also, networking with PC's is a chore unto it's self. My Apple practically networks it's self. It's a little scary how "smart" the thing is. Woo Apple!!
    lVl lVl_4life
    hmm what does apple being better or pc being a monopoly (not that i believe either of those) have to do with music? or guitar?
    marchoso
    bigbumhole: Mwahaha.. Are you all like american or something, 'cos your all like really gay an' stuff
    Hey Hey Hey... watch what you say... If I wasn't in a happy mood I might take offense to warn you, but fine. I've never used a MAC to compare it with my PC. I have never wanted a MAC because I have found nothing wrong with what i'm using now. If they come out with this new computer that will blow my mind i'll go out and buy one. In the meantime I don't see what all the huss is about.
    RedHotRevolver
    i use a 1998 iMac with OS 10.2, the only thing that I wished i could do is burn cds with iTunes (it only works with built-in burners). i have garageband, iTunes, my iPod, and i just got DSL... computers have never ben better, and i have no grudge against windows.
    Persistent-Lazy
    RatiugLink: Wow, now we're getting horrible pointless articles that don't even have to do with guitar.
    LMAO, Yea seriously have any of you realized this debate has absoulutely nothing to do with music in (almost) any way whatsoever?
    dougiecrystals
    wow by the looks of things, you guys must have horrible PCs.....mine computer is great....when ive gone to the store, the macs blow....
    sharkie17
    who really cares, if you hav an ipod, thats great, i wish i had one, but for those of us who dont, or just dont like ipods. this is for us. so either way everybody wins, we all get to listen to our music right?
    Pumpkins4Life
    hey, why are we even arguing over this its pointless. it must have been a slow day in the music world when we start arguing over operating systems at a UG article
    alienfingersCR
    the stupid thing is why u pay to apple or microsht, that money is going to record labels or bill gates, not the artist, download it at winmx, f*ck them, if talking about piracy, my galleon is bigger then your baby.
    dougiecrystals
    sharkie17: who really cares, if you hav an ipod, thats great, i wish i had one, but for those of us who dont, or just dont like ipods. this is for us. so either way everybody wins, we all get to listen to our music right?
    *thinks* word...
    Pumpkins4Life: hey, why are we even arguing over this its pointless. it must have been a slow day in the music world when we start arguing over operating systems at a UG article
    sadly,has it ever been any different?.... but going on what sharkie said...its true....what is wrong with microsoft making this..i wont deny, the ipod is great, but its not for me, its to big, and i dont really need all the space....
    MetalheadBuddha
    Screw them both! I download illegally!!!.. To any government agents reading this: Im kidding.....
    ndat
    who the fuk actually pays to download shit? Damn I'll buy the cd before I ever download seperate songs. downloading is more of a tool to preview and find out if you like the group or not.
    CíarántheGreen
    Note on the iPods, though: The Battery dies after about 18 months and there is no way to replace it other than send it back to Apple along with like 50 or 100 bucks.
    Mute
    why get so angry? Lets all just see how it plays out. It was inevitable that Microsoft was to roll out a product to compete in this area. If pictures I have found on the internet have taught me anything, its this: Arguing over the internet is like being in the special olympics; even if you win you're still retarded. Enough Mac/PC fights, ok?
    ad_lib_oz
    ^ Pfft. Face it though - Mac's own Pc's in every way except price - they're a bit more...
    Freunleven
    Well, you get what you pay for, right? If you want to go the cheap route, get a M$ piece-of-crap. If you want quality, get a Mac. Incidentally, did you know that Macs don't need antivirus software? Their OS code is so tight that there are no viruses capable of infecting it. If only Uncle Bill cared so much about his product and customers . . .
    erling
    YEA..I got a mac g4 and it rocks...and so does I-pod and i tunes too
    The Jin
    Macs CAN be infiltrated with viruses. only its very hard. my cousin's iBook came up with a virus.
    voodoo_ch:!d
    well, this argument seems to be drawing to a close, which seems like the perfect opportunity to fit in one last annoying statement. apple rules. how anyone can be passionate about a company that takes the meaning of the words 'dull and spiritless' to whole new levels (and just to clarify, thats microsoft) is beyond me, one of those retards who cant understand computers or 3 syllable words.
    jackobeam
    BLOODY HELL!!!! why are we even having this debate! apple is a million times better than microsoft and always will be! i have an ipod and its by far better than any other mp3 player that ive ever heard of or used. end of conversation.
    eastern_riffs
    iPods will always rule.I'm no way spending another $100 for a 'media center' that wont play anything unless you buy or rent it.To hell with that.Besides,iTunes have coupons i keep getting from uncles and aunts.I dont need to spend nothing here. This was some battle.
    doofy_man
    ...as if microsoft didnt have enough ***ing money? jesus...no matter how many ipods and songs apple sells, theyre never going to be the damn monopoly that microsoft is. Microsoft is already making enough money, they should stop trying to make more. they already own like every computer in the universe. besides, i have an ipod and itunes, and i dont care if i can transfer music to another device...i have an ipod
    Andrewbiles
    Not being stupid, but why pay $9.99 for a downloaded album, why not just make shops charge that amount, then everyone will be happy and not have to do this illegal downloading.
    Madsunflower
    if you use software like iTunes or tht new msn music thing theyre on about, its not illegal, handy eh
    cagnius
    Way to go Microsoft! An whats wrong with them trying to make money? After all its a business (gee, i wonder if they just wanna make friends!) who's main intention is to make money. God Bless Capitalism.
    unknownalone
    its funny you say windows is a program built on shit, because apple originally developed the idea for windows, but it was microsoft that stole the idea and released windows. so in reality it was apple who came up with the shitty idea. and if anybody considers microsoft a monopoly then your stupid. if you have a pc you can just as easily use linux, there is nothing saying you have to use microsoft. and the only reason people say apples are better is because their os is formatted so that a 2 year old can use it. windows is just too complex for the apple people, translation - OSX is for retards that are too stupid to use windows
    AnyDJ
    OSX is for retards that are too stupid to use windows
    Wow great diss. Here's one. "your computer is so old it still uses a DOS processor!" That's hilarious! GET A LIFE!!!