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The Partnership That Could Have Changed Everything

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the better-than-the-zune dept.

Microsoft 167

DesertBlade writes "Bloomberg is reporting that, at one point, Microsoft had considered an Apple/iPod partnership before it released its own MP3 player. Microsoft was apparently displeased with MP3 players partnerships they had already made, notably the Creative and Dell models. This information came from court documents introduced in an antitrust lawsuit from Iowa. From the article: 'Microsoft had been working with partners on music devices for at least a year before Apple introduced the iPod in 2001 and catapulted to a dominant position in the market. Microsoft and its partners failed to come up with compelling hardware and had difficulty getting software to properly connect music collections on computers with their devices.' If this Apple/Microsoft partnership was formed how would this have changed the Microsoft and Apple dynamics?"

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Massive Anti-Trust Case (1)

mrfett (610302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696070)

if Apple and M$ had teemed up, wouldn't that just loose the lawyers en mass?

Re:Massive Anti-Trust Case (0, Troll)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696348)

if Apple and M$ had teemed up, wouldn't that just loose the lawyers en mass?

Try learning English before using foreign phrases.

Re:Massive Anti-Trust Case (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17697156)

if Apple and M$ had teemed up, wouldn't that just loose the lawyers en mass?
Try learning English before using foreign phrases.
Funnily enough the one word he did get right--loose--is the one that almost everyone gets wrong. As in "let loose", "you have a loose pussy; think about getting a vag tuck", or "if don't you stop being such a God-damned spelling fascist, someone will come along one day and yank your ball-sack loose."

Re:Massive Anti-Trust Case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17697210)

Funnily enough the one word he did get right--loose--is the one that almost everyone gets wrong. As in "let loose", "you have a loose pussy; think about getting a vag tuck", or "if don't you stop being such a God-damned spelling fascist, someone will come along one day and yank your ball-sack loose."
Funnily enough, funnily isn't a word.

Re:Massive Anti-Trust Case (1)

letxa2000 (215841) | more than 7 years ago | (#17697398)

If this Apple/Microsoft partnership was formed how would this have changed the Microsoft and Apple dynamics?"


Who cares??? It didn't happen and doesn't matter.

If... (5, Funny)

NsOmNiA91130 (942812) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696090)

If they teamed up, we would have Windows running on Macs. Oh, wait...

Re:If... (2, Funny)

ear1grey (697747) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696562)

...but Windows running on a Mac is just a PC with a nice case. Oh, wait...

Re:If... (5, Funny)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696812)

...but Windows running on a Mac is just a PC with a nice case.

Not exactly. It's more like a visitors pass into Hell instead of being a permanent resident - you can always leave when it all becomes too much.

Re:If... (1)

Cr4wford (1030418) | more than 7 years ago | (#17697586)

Been reading Dante? ;]

Re:If... (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17697126)

Heh... Microsoft calling Apple: Please Please save us!!!... fat chance.

Read down further in the article... (3, Funny)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696094)

...and you will be treated to the comment that's going to be my next .SIG line here.

"Longhorn is a pig!" -- Jim Allchin

And this was said when Allchin was heading up development on Longhorn. Hilarious if it weren't true, even more hilarious because it is.

Re:Read down further in the article... (1)

LinuxInDallas (73952) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696382)

I'm curious. We know that Microsoft scrapped most if not all of the original Longhorn work during the development of what would become Vista. Perhaps Allchin's remarks were made in reference to the original Longhorn. The original work was supposedly complete crap and unmanageable.

Re:Read down further in the article... (3, Funny)

Pandare (975485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696608)

So they got rid of what, exactly?

Re:Read down further in the article... (1)

Naksu (689429) | more than 7 years ago | (#17697974)

all of the good features :)

Like this: (4, Funny)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696098)

"Hey! You got chocolate in my peanut butter!"

"You got peanut butter in my chocolate!"

In this case, though, read "strychnine" instead of "peanut butter".

Re:Like this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17696152)

And something scatalogical instead of chocolate.

Re:Like this: (5, Funny)

Cinnamon Whirl (979637) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696172)

The mac commercials would have been great:

1st man: Hi, I'm a Mac!
2nd man: and I'm a PC.
1st man: and we're in a civil partnership!
*Cue immediate censure across US*

Oh please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17696100)

...the only alliances Apple makes with Microsoft are those alliances that they absolutely MUST make..ie...MS Office. Apple does anything and everything to maintain complete control of their products and services thus assuring a stable, efficient, elegant design and pleasurable experience. I seriously doubt Apple would ever have given more than a few minutes at best to a thought about partnering with MS in the music space.

This would NEVER have happend, no matter how hard MS pursued it.

AC

Re:Oh please... (1)

DoorFrame (22108) | more than 7 years ago | (#17697120)

complete control of their products and services


Except when it comes to Cingular.

Re:Oh please... (1)

Darkinspiration (901976) | more than 7 years ago | (#17697922)

In this case apple does not have a choice, there is no point selling a cell if no one is willing to carry it. Since apple is not a cellular provider...

Steve Jobs wouldn't have allowed this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17696136)

I don't care how much money M$ would have thrown into the deal, Steve Jobs would never have allowed this. Apple is cool and M$ is an aging old bear. Everybody wants to partner with Apple but nobody wants to partner with M$.

Re:Steve Jobs wouldn't have allowed this (3, Funny)

PixelScuba (686633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17697500)

You left the strikethrough tag on when you wrote the S in 'MS'. I'm not sure how you got it to go vertical, but I'd definitely look into that.

What do you get when you combine MS and Apple? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17696148)

Microsoft in a pink skirt.

Re:What do you get when you combine MS and Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17696206)

I misread this as "Microsoft in a pink shirt", and almost posted the reply:-

"Pink shirt"?.... Peter Norton?!

I know... (-1, Flamebait)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696154)

FTFA: " If this Apple/Microsoft partnership was formed how would this have changed the Microsoft and Apple dynamics?"

How about a MS product that won't give you a BSOD?

Or maybe an Apple product that does give you a BSOD?

Or maybe an iPod with CTRL, ALT, and DEL keys?

Perhaps it would have been even better than that, can you imagine Windows Explorer with an iPod interface?

This could have been the worst thing to happen... it might have given people a reason to buy MS?

Throw a dart at a pile of the last 6 years worth of tech news, that's what might have happened.

Re:I know... (3, Insightful)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696186)

How about a MS product that won't give you a BSOD?

I'm glad the mods were wise enough to mod you down - any OS can suffer that - in Unix and Linux it's called a Kernel Panic. And yes, I've seen enough Kernel pancis in Linux to know that it can happen in any OS...

Re:I know... (0, Troll)

BrainInAJar (584756) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696436)

That's unfair, Linux is a fragile kernel as well.

Any other UNIX should only panic when flaky hardware is involved

Re:I know... (1)

itlurksbeneath (952654) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696598)

Flame me if you like, but I've seen more BSOD's in the last 6 months on XP than I have on my Linux box in 2 or 3 years.

Re:I know... (4, Funny)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696626)

I haven't seen a BSOD in years in either XP or Linux. Have you considered that you may suck at life?*

*No, I didn't actually mean that.

Re:I know... (1)

rossifer (581396) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696840)

I've had five BSOD's on XP. Ever. All were in 2002. Three were because Age of Empires II didn't like something about my laptop's video driver. The other two were turned out to be because my hard drive was doing a gradual swan dive towards complete failure. Since 2002? Zero BSOD's. A few months ago, I discussed this with several office mates and we all agreed that Microsoft had basically fixed BSOD's in XP.

Come to think of it, all of the kernel panics I've seen over the past five years have also been due to bad hardware or me misconfiguring something...

So, why do you think you get so many BSOD's on XP? Do you use bleeding edge hardware? Or incredibly cheap hardware?

Ross

Re:I know... (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696946)

So, why do you think you get so many BSOD's on XP? Do you use bleeding edge hardware? Or incredibly cheap hardware?
Actually, I read somewhere that most problems were caused by the HW drivers - mostly video card drivers. This is why drivers have been moved out a ring in the kernel of Vista (as I recall).

And yet, five years on... (4, Insightful)

Bertie (87778) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696160)

...Here we are, with Microsoft having rejected other manufacturers' hardware as deficient, going it alone, and still coming out with a laughably bad product, even after having all that time to learn from both the successes and failures of others.

Admittedly, most of Apple's competition seem to have great difficulty getting their head round what seems to me a very simple proposition (make it nice to use and nice to hold, like an iPod, but make it do stuff an iPod can't), so it's not just Microsoft at fault here, but yet again I find myself wondering what the hell their problem is. Sometimes it seems like they just don't want to get it right.

Although it's probably a good thing that this partnership came about. Because if you think the iPod has a monopoly now, imagine what it would have been like with Microsoft shoving it down everybody's throats. And imagine how little the product wuold have improved over time - I mean, Apple spent the last couple of years sitting on their hands and not implementing relatively trivial features like gapless playback, because they could get away with not bothering. Recently the competition's started to get their act together and they're making noticeable improvements to the iPod line. But we all know what happens when MS is the only show in town, don't we? Not a whole lot, that's what.

Re:And yet, five years on... (1)

Bertie (87778) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696170)

Er, I meant that it's a good thing that this partnership didn't come about.

I'm now going to write out "I must preview before posting" 100 times...

Re:And yet, five years on... (1)

ShaneThePain (929627) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696190)

gapless playback... trivial?
Man, it totally sucks to have this funny 2 second gap right in the middle of Tool's "Parabola"
Gapless playback is what makes my ipod worth it.
Maybe Im exaggerating but... whatever.

Re:And yet, five years on... (1)

Bertie (87778) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696214)

No, I mean trivial to implement, especially in relation to the benefit gained from having it work properly. A small thing that makes a big difference to the perceived niceness of the product. Personally, I would never have considered buying an iPod until they implemented this (and I'm still not, because I have the altogether superior Samsung YP-Z5, but anyway). To my mind, if your music doesn't have gaps in it, and the player puts gaps in, then that's a bug, and should be fixed like a bug.

Re:And yet, five years on... (5, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696250)

It's quite simple. hardware manufactures have been creating products like MSFT creates a product. stuff it full of features work out most of the bugs, ignore the the bulk of the user Interface until the last minute and shove the whole pile of crap out the door.(Office 2007 is an exception, at least it's different)

There is one good thing about the iPhone. Maybe, just maybe someone will realize it's not what features you have and don't have, it's how you use it. cell phones, radios, dvd players, all put features in random locations. How long has voice mail been around? At least Cisco has a visual voice mail option that predates apples but only for landlines. So why haven't any of the other guys thought about it yet? It should be friggin standard, all phones with color screens should be able to do that. yet Every phone available to do requires you to listen to each message separately, wait to it's finished and then delete it. Why can't they list them by phone number called. so you can ignore the call from work while leaving you able to hear the message from your wife telling you to pick something up on the way home. It's not like it takes a genuis to figure this out. yet EVERY electronics company does it.

The real evolution of computers , hardware, and software, will be to make it actually easy to use. It's Apple call to fame. Whether you like the ipod or not, it's not hard to figure out how to use every feature present.

Re:And yet, five years on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17697184)

yet Every phone available to do requires you to listen to each message separately, wait to it's finished and then delete it.

You know, every voice mail system I've used lets me skip messages I don't want to listen to right now. Maybe you should read the manual?

Re:And yet, five years on... (4, Insightful)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696304)

"(make it nice to use and nice to hold, like an iPod, but make it do stuff an iPod can't)" What does the majority of the market want? Observing my fellow college students, they want a shiny, nice to hold DAP that does just one thing: play music (well, now video too, but that's beside the point). A DAP that does stuff that an iPod can't is not what the majority wants, unless you're talking about maybe better battery life or a lower price. That's it. That's everything. Anything else is just extra stuff that not everybody wants. Why do you think the iPod accessory market is so huge?

Re:And yet, five years on... (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696694)

Why do you think the iPod accessory market is so huge?
Because the iPod is severely limited in features outside the core ones? You just said that said features were all that matter, and if that were the case, the iPod accessory market wouldn't exist.

Re:And yet, five years on... (1)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696968)

Correction: the core feature (in this case, playing music) is all that matters. People buy into the iPod for that. The fact that they might realize later on that having an FM transmitter would be nice and fork over the extra cash (not realizing it's more expensive that way, rather than buying something with one built-in) isn't as big a deal. They think, "Well, if I do need it, I can always buy it later." It's like an a la carte dinner versus a prie fixe one.

Re:And yet, five years on... (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17697916)

So, you think everybody should pay extra for features that only a small minority actually uses? Everybody should but up with a bulkier iPod because it has to be made bigger for some useless feature? Why do you think people buy computer towers with separate external monitors, rather than having every computer with the monitor built-in?

It's not the hardware. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#17697028)

What does the majority of the market want? Observing my fellow college students, they want a shiny, nice to hold DAP that does just one thing: play music.

That and they want it to be easy. They want it to plug into their computer, get exactly what the user wants from the user's well organized collection and then play it randomly, all without fuss. M$, because it's more concerned with DRM and marketshare, does not get it right either. The things they do to thwart free software and lockdown content make life hard. That and crappy software to start.

M$'s real problem with iPod is how to unseat them with a cheap competitor without encouraging free software use. That's why cheap players don't do ogg [theregister.co.uk] and they promote the inferior MTP over UMS. Between that and DRM demands, they can't win. What they have ended up with is Zune, with it's distinguishing characteristic being crippled wireless.

The hardware to make things easy exists and is cheap. They work just fine under Amarok and would be cheaper and eaiser still if it were not from all the anti-competitive activity of a few nasty companies.

Re:It's not the hardware. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17697116)

twitter [slashdot.org] , please read this carefully. Following this advice will make Slashdot a better place for everyone, including yourself.

  • As a representative of the Linux community, participate in mailing list and newsgroup discussions in a professional manner. Refrain from name-calling and use of vulgar language. Consider yourself a member of a virtual corporation with Mr. Torvalds as your Chief Executive Officer. Your words will either enhance or degrade the image the reader has of the Linux community.
  • Avoid hyperbole and unsubstantiated claims at all costs. It's unprofessional and will result in unproductive discussions.
  • A thoughtful, well-reasoned response to a posting will not only provide insight for your readers, but will also increase their respect for your knowledge and abilities.
  • Always remember that if you insult or are disrespectful to someone, their negative experience may be shared with many others. If you do offend someone, please try to make amends.
  • Focus on what Linux has to offer. There is no need to bash the competition. Linux is a good, solid product that stands on its own.
  • Respect the use of other operating systems. While Linux is a wonderful platform, it does not meet everyone's needs.
  • Refer to another product by its proper name. There's nothing to be gained by attempting to ridicule a company or its products by using "creative spelling". If we expect respect for Linux, we must respect other products.
  • Give credit where credit is due. Linux is just the kernel. Without the efforts of people involved with the GNU project , MIT, Berkeley and others too numerous to mention, the Linux kernel would not be very useful to most people.
  • Don't insist that Linux is the only answer for a particular application. Just as the Linux community cherishes the freedom that Linux provides them, Linux only solutions would deprive others of their freedom.
  • There will be cases where Linux is not the answer. Be the first to recognize this and offer another solution.

From http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/docs/HOWTO/Advoca cy [ibiblio.org]

Re:And yet, five years on... (2, Insightful)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696806)

"...Here we are, with Microsoft having rejected other manufacturers' hardware as deficient,"

Why are you assuming the reason was hardware deficiency? Partnerships are more than just about meeting technical requirements. Partnerships are also about cost sharing, risk sharing, and revenue sharing agreements (among many other things). And if two prospective partners can not agree on any of those points, then it won't really matter what the specs are going to be -- such a partnership is just not going to happen.

Re:And yet, five years on... (1)

badriram (699489) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696924)

Actually there are very few reviews putting down the zune hardware. In fact most of them are positive, and most like the interface. Personally i think it has a better interface than the ipod. The problems with the zune is mostly due to people not liking 3x3 limit to sharing, and zune software lack of features and installation problems.

Lessons learned (3, Insightful)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696166)

I would hope Apple has learned to be wary of any 'partnerships' that Microsoft may offer them. And given how they left all their partners in PlayforSure holding the bag, it looks like nothings really changed.

Apple apparently didn't consider it (2, Insightful)

kherr (602366) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696212)

Reading the article, it seems this wasn't a partnership deal being considered so much as Microsoft wishfully thinking they could convince Apple to interoperate with Microsoft. I can sit in my office and dream of "what if..." scenarios where I partner with Apple or Cisco or IBM, but if I were to approach any of them I can't expect more than being laughed at.

This Bloomberg article says more about Microsoft's sense of desperation than anything.

Re:Lessons learned (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696724)

Too true. Partnering up with Microsoft means that, almost without fail, you WILL get screwed by them. That's just how Microsoft does business.

Musings... (4, Interesting)

Nitroadict (1005509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696168)

I doubt it would've changed much as whatever they would've come up with, most likley being different than the I-pod is today, wouldn't have been as popular. I'd imagine lawyers woulda have the ultimate field day with connecting the dots for anti-trust violations and M$ and/or Apple would've backed away saying "Just joshin, we'll make humourous commercials instead."

Although the whole "what-if" scenario will still get to those who bother. If anything derived from such a past-possible parternship was indeed sucessful, any more collaboration probably would develop over a much longer-term period of time.

Unless of course, it were to just own everything on the planet, which in the literal sense of the word, M$ aspires to and Apple likes to own hardware and sell it at fairly expensive prices while both buy/own into the flawed concept of DRM.

The thought of a Win-Pod, or I-win (perhaps Irwin?) is funny though.

Needless to say, I'm bored right now ... XD *continues the 9 to 5*

Re:Musings... (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696264)

Are you kidding? The biggest reason the iPod is popular is because it's flashy, and Steve Jobs can market.

During the tech boom, Apple and Jobs developed a knack for making products that looked so great, consumers thought they need them. Remember the original reviews? Nobody took the iPod seriously, despite (or perhaps because of) how flashy they looked. Oddly enough, the fact that iPods were flashy was enough for consumers to go out and buy them, regardless of the technical reviews.

If Microsoft had latched on to Apple's product finesse back then, well, they'd be making a little more cash than they do now. Which isn't really that significant, if you think about it.

Re:Musings... (3, Informative)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17698024)

Are you kidding? The biggest reason the iPod is popular is because it's flashy, and Steve Jobs can market.

Uh, no. The biggest reason is iTunes, and that the iPod/iTunes combo was very easy to use. Look at the other solutions that were around at the time - the software/syncing procedures absolutely sucked. The software was total crapware - and it was often difficult to navigate a large collection of music on the devices.

Marketing? The original Mac-only generation of the iPod was barely marketed at all. Yet it was still successful - mainly because of iTunes, which was already widely used by Mac users. Remember "Rip, Mix, Burn"? iTunes came first, as part of the "digital hub" - while with other companies, the software was simply an afterthought.

Remember the original reviews? Nobody took the iPod seriously, despite (or perhaps because of) how flashy they looked.

You have a faulty memory. The only people who didn't take it seriously were Apple bashers and slashdot types. Real reviews gave the iPod high marks - with a complaint or two about the price. Aside from the price, serious reviews gave it high marks. Remember that the iPod was the first to offer Firewire syncing. This changed the whole game. Other players used USB 1.1 syncing - which was incredibly sloooow.

The iPod was also the first with the micro-sized HD - other players were either flash-based with pitiful storage capacity, or used larger HDs, which made the units incredibly bulky. So, if you had bought another HD-based player back then, not only did you get a huge unit - but it would take all day to fill with songs over USB 1.1. This made them pretty pointless, as you couldn't easily change the songs stored on the device without significant syncing time.

Oddly enough, the fact that iPods were flashy was enough for consumers to go out and buy them, regardless of the technical reviews.

What do you mean, "regardless of the technical reviews"? the iPod got very good technical reviews, and was in fact far more technically advanced than every other player at the time. Your comments amount to nothing more than revisionist history. Just because CmdrTaco called the iPod "lame" does not mean it was poorly reviewed or received by the market.

If Microsoft had latched on to Apple's product finesse back then, well, they'd be making a little more cash than they do now.

If Microsoft had been involved, they would have insisted on Windows Media Player or some "PlaysForSure" crap and totally screwed up the iPod. Why else would Microsoft partner with Apple, if not to try and dominate the market with their software?

Thank God it didn't happen (5, Interesting)

ISurfTooMuch (1010305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696182)

We'd probably have gotten a situation where Apple developed a version of the iPod for the Mac, and MS developed one for Windows. My guess is that the Windows version would have been tied into WMP, while Apple would have gone with iTunes. It would have been a mess. I seriously doubt MS would have allowed support for AAC+ on their version, while Apple would have shunned WMA. The market would have been split between the two companies, and the iPod would have likely been a failure. One of the reasons the iPod took off (other than its UI) was the fact that it works across both Macs and PCs. Another reason is the simple design of iTMS. It just works. I seriously doubt that MS could have developed something similar, and they would have stuck their fingers into iTMS just enough to ruin it. Look at the Zune. MS has had years to pick the iPod and iTMS apart, and this is the best they can do? Pathetic.

Re:Thank God it didn't happen (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696478)

And of course, you base all of this on absolutely nothing. How ... interesting.

Re:Thank God it didn't happen (1)

ISurfTooMuch (1010305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696604)

Yes, I do. First, the original post that started this topic is speculative. Second, unless you have someone from MS come in here and explain things, it's all speculative. And even if this hypothetical MS person did appear, whatever he or she says would still be speculative, since there was never a cooperative agreement between Apple and MS in the first place.

Re:Thank God it didn't happen (1)

INeededALogin (771371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696898)

Most intelligent poster on Slashdot ever. This topic is nothing but a what if scenario.

Re:Thank God it didn't happen (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696868)

And of course, you base all of this on absolutely nothing. How ... interesting.

I'd say his conclusion at the end, where he doubts that MS could have developed something similar, seems well grounded.

Re:Thank God it didn't happen (2, Informative)

Mark Maughan (763986) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696766)

If it would have put Microsoft developers on iTunes for Windows, then I would have been very thankful. iTunes 7 is sluggish as hell. It noticeably drags down the framerate of video games and stutters while doing it. And it's nonstandard interface doesn't play nicely with my dual-headed setup.

iTMS just works? (1)

D3m0n0fTh3Fall (1022795) | more than 7 years ago | (#17697004)

Don't make me laugh. I dont know anyone who doesnt have a few complaints about that steaming pile. Including my younger sisters and any non-techies I know. They all have frustrations with it.

Re:Thank God it didn't happen (1)

SeanAhern (25764) | more than 7 years ago | (#17698022)

Um...that's not a partnership. That's two companies making different, unrelated products. Which is the situation we're in right now.

In your version, what exactly would the partnership be?

Wonder what happens when the worst monopolist.... (-1, Troll)

MerlynEmrys67 (583469) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696224)

teams up with Microsoft

Yeah - show me a company that really REALY pushes the bounds of monopolistic behavior worse than apple. Just a matter of Steve Jobs couldn't beat little BillyG at the software game and insisted on selling hardware.

Re:Wonder what happens when the worst monopolist.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17696396)

Apple, not being a monopoly, let alone an illegal monopoly is unable to push the bounds of monopolistic behavior.

Please remember that the only reason Microsoft is limited in the way it is is because it is a large organisation which has indulged in illegal behavior. If we weren't using strict legal terminology, we might call it organized crime.

Re:Wonder what happens when the worst monopolist.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17696538)

How different is Apple products from any other "embedded" enclosed system that is sold to and running in a manufacturing and production environment? Sampling, analysis "products" etc, these do NOT provide SDK's and API's for "customising" wheras Apple DOES for OS X.

I see no difference at all, except that Apple is MORE open than these (process control | sampling | analysis | automation) "system"s that are available.

Who Cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17696234)

Really, what does it matter?

microsoft may have considered apple... (2, Insightful)

echeola (1053894) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696246)

but I don't think apple would have considered microsoft.

Re:microsoft may have considered apple... (1)

NosTROLLdamus (979044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696550)

If we want Microsoft Office on the Mac, we should treat the company that puts it out with a little bit of gratitude; we like their software.

stupidest news article (4, Insightful)

pyrois (856739) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696278)

So... essentially all this news article is saying, or rather... proposing, is "what if Microsoft and Apple teamed up for the iPod."

Really just one thing.

1. There wouldn't be a Zune.

Considering the way the Zune has been selling, that point doesn't even count.

It would have been GO Corp all over again. (3, Insightful)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696298)

FTFA:
Allchin, ... also suggested he talk to Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs to get the iPod to work with Microsoft's media software for fear the iPod would "drive people away from Windows Media Player.''

Why would Apple have agreed to that? What would have been in it for them? In 2003 (when the article seems to indicate the above took place) the iPod was taking off without any help from Microsoft and had been available for Windows since August of 2002. There is no advantage to having the iPod use WMP on Windows machines instead of iTunes. It would have meant that a team of Microsofties would have had to work closely with Apple and likely have had access to privileged information about the iPod to get it to work with WMP.

That sounds an awful lot like many partnerships Microsoft did in the past: They work with a company, get a good look at the company's closely-guarded crown jewels, and then 'change their mind' about doing what the partnership set out to accomplish. And then a little while later they use the information gleaned during the partnership to come up with a competing product and sink the other company, using high-priced lawyers and weasel clauses buried in contracts to avoid any penalty.

They already pulled that bit on Apple once when they developed Windows by copying the Mac while they had access to a few prototypes to develop Mac apps, and then hid behind a terribly vague licensing agreement. I don't think Jobs would have fallen for it again.

~Philly

Correction (3, Insightful)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696414)

I don't think Jobs would have fallen for it again.

Change that to "I don't think Jobs would fall for it," as it was not him who fell for it the first time-- Jobs was gone from Apple in November of 1985 when Sculley signed the agreement with Microsoft.

~Philly

Musicmatch era? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696470)

Wasn't the iPod still shipped with Musicmatch for WIndows use instead of iTunes in part of 2003? I know the transition to Windows iTunes was pretty quick, but it seems like it might have been around then.

Even so I agree that Apple had little to gain from an arrangement like that!

Re:Musicmatch era? (1)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696512)

I stand corrected, forgot all about MusicMatch.

~Philly

uh? (1)

ElephanTS (624421) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696306)

Microsoft and its partners failed to come up with compelling hardware and had difficulty getting software to properly connect music collections on computers with their devices.'

I'm just wondering why did they have problems connecting to computers? What the voodoo techniques didn't work? They needed more chicken's feet? Surely you connect via USB2 (or other fast connection protocol) and hook into a piece of software that's already cataloged the drive for music files. How is that so hard for a company with so many crack programmers and engineers? I don't understand but then again I didn't RTFA.

They had difficulty...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17696428)

connecting a computer to a mobile device, and transferring the music?

How ridiculous is this for a multi-billion dollar company like MS?

Honestly, I can't just believe this claim. If anything, they disabled everything about the connection protocol they used until it couldn't transfer music anymore (hey, the Zune is almost there, and can't even use its own WLAN for data transfer!).

Obvious (1)

daves (23318) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696434)

It would-ve been lame [slashdot.org] .

Grammar (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17696452)

What's with the sudden amount of misuses of the word "its"? Seriously, is it SO HARD to write [what is here most likely] your own native language properly?

Check through this list [wikipedia.org] before submitting an article, O.K., thank you, bye.

Partnership? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696454)

Why is it necessary to 'partner' with Microsoft to run an app on Windows? The last I heard, iTunes runs just fine on Windows. There appears to have been nothing in it for Apple to enter into such an agreement.


Microsoft needs to figure out a few things to do well, leave others to do what they are best at without interference and be happy that those apps will be ported to the Windows platform. The whole idea that a developer has to cut Microsoft in on a piece of the action sounds a bit like the way the mob works and it scares the hell out of everyone.

Re:Partnership? (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696584)

Why is it necessary to 'partner' with Microsoft to run an app on Windows?
No, it's not. But why is it necessary to partner with Apple to run an app on the iPod/iPhone?
Or with MS, on the Zune, for that mattter?
Why aren't they open to begin with? My guess is, because the OS isn't up to the task.

Well of course it would have... (1)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696492)

"If this Apple/Microsoft partnership was formed how would this have changed the Microsoft and Apple dynamics?

Yes, Microsoft would have found a way to screw Apple over like it has with just about every "partner" they have ever had and the two would be locked in a legal battle over it.

Obligatory Grammar Post (1, Offtopic)

smcdow (114828) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696514)

... before it released it's own MP3 player.

it's == "it is" (always)
its == belonging to

Re:Obligatory Grammar Post (1)

XnavxeMiyyep (782119) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696782)

it's == "it is" (always)

It's been known for quite some time that "it's" sometimes means "it has".

Well, how fast could they have forced DRM out (2, Interesting)

captslacker (1011163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696546)

I guess my thought would be related to MS' ability to push out DRM, license content, and other stuff. I guess in 2001, I saw no ability on their part to push out ground breaking stuff at any clip. At the time I think it would have been difficult for even MW to come up with a credible DRM platform on the desktop. Further I'm not sure they can execute on a strategy of low end consumer devices where the profit is made in content which they can somehow get in position to license. Yeah, I suppose one might observe that they did this with O/S sw, but I don't think it is the same thing for content. Think about it, although I know given the same innvovative nature as Apple they could have easily convinced BMG, Columbia, etc into licensing, and they would have been great at pressuring the labels, but they would have failed totally on the platform side. Finally based on observation they would have been impatient with the consumer device profit margins. Nah, unless the tiger could have changed it's stripes, they could not have changed the outcome.

What could have changed? (2, Funny)

Efg (22790) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696726)

Hm, brown iPods anyone?

Re:What could have changed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17697268)

Hm, brown iPods anyone?

There's already a way to do that. It involves forcibly inserting it somewhere. You can figure out the details.

Re:What could have changed? (1)

Jerry Rivers (881171) | more than 7 years ago | (#17697562)

It could ship with a free pair of rubber gloves!

Working standards (2, Insightful)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696738)

Microsoft and its partners failed to come up with compelling hardware and had difficulty getting software to properly connect music collections on computers with their devices.

Before USB, I had a handheld computer. It required MS Active Sync. That by itself was not a problem. The problem was the software remained active looking for the device to connect. This was a major problem for everything else I have that uses a RS-232 port. The solution was to abandon Active Sync and let the handheld be it's own island so I could have my serial ports back.

After USB, Flash drives worked quite well and would work on Mac, PC, and Linux. MS desicded to play a do it our way game which crippled some flash players. Some manufactures kept the devices open so they would attach and transfer as a flash drive. Some went so far as to play music transfered in this way and allowed copying to and from the device. This was not in Microsoft's best interest as they wanted full DRM handshake and a one way transfer. You can delete songs off the device, but copying from it is prohibited. This needing someting other than drag and drop, means a special application which may mean Windows only which is a problem in addition to any other USB port driver issues and corrupt handshakes and keys.

Drag and drop worked. Flash player manufactures know that. Making a player that has to change mode to handle connections for Plays for Sure simply added a level of complexity to the device. MS tried arm twisting to drop the complexity of 2 modes of operation. In doing so, it broke compatiblility with everything else. For an example of broken drag and drop, try a Creative Zen. You can set aside space for drag and drop, but it won't play any files there, including non-DRM MP3's.

I bought a Coby flash player. They work fine in drag and drop mode. It will record off the mic or radio and save it as MP3's. I can drag the MP3's off the player. For Coby to have these fine features, they simply dropped support for DRM WMA Plays for Sure content. The player will play MP3's and non-DRM WMA files. The best part is I can save files to it from home on Windows PC's, Linux PC's and at work. It doesn't delete everyting to sync to a new PC unlike Plays for Sure, Zune, or FairPlay crippled things.

Re:Working standards (1)

legallyillegal (889865) | more than 7 years ago | (#17697874)

the players themselves are nice devices; the problem lies within microsoft trying to force its MTP crap (that was specifically designed for DRM) on everyone. (not to mention a certain DSP maker that doesn't want to publish any information on anything)

The Article That Jumped to Wild Conclusions (1)

maxmo55 (633342) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696798)

I'm sorry, but this is going a little far. All this article says is that MS was trying to develop an mp3 player and that at one point they considered Apple as a partner. Apple would never have signed on for this. In case you haven't noticed, Steve Jobs is just a little bit interested in making the iTunes delivery chain the method for obtaining media content. Do you think that Apple couldn't put out a slick media center wrapped around the Mac Mini or something if they thought it was in their best interest (I mean a real media center with time-shifting TV content, etc., not just streaming a la iTV)? Or that the iPod couldn't support WMA/WMV?

And what would Microsoft have brought to the table anyways? I think it's pretty obvious from the Zune (and most of the other products that MS puts out) that they just don't have the creativity to come up with something as simple and elegant as the iPod, nor do they have the other skills necessary to pull it off. While MS is much, much, much larger (and could have poured tons of cash into it), it's not like Apple was so strapped for funds that they couldn't fund the development.

Now I'm not saying the iPod is perfect or anything, but considering the competition 5 years after launch (and the money that MS has poured into alternatives), it's hard to make a case that Apple could have done much better for themselves (although obviously there are features some of us consumers would like to see added).

Destroying civilization with misplaced apostrophes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17696870)

IT'S means IT IS.
Use ITS if you mean to be possessive. (His Hers Its)

I admit it, I've got 'read rage'...

Oldnews (1)

pikap (1053916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696886)

M$-iPod prototype [google.com] before releasing the Zune.

It's already been documented what would happen (1)

jerkychew (80913) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696894)

Just ask YouTube [youtube.com] .

Bill Gates owns a lot of Apple (-1, Troll)

WiseMuse (1039922) | more than 7 years ago | (#17696908)

Bill Gates owns a majority stake of Apple shares. If that's not a partnership, I don't know what is!

Re:Bill Gates owns a lot of Apple (1)

mrfett (610302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17697018)

??? source? surely you're not referring to the small settlement made a little less than 10 years ago...

Re:Bill Gates owns a lot of Apple (1, Troll)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17697132)

Bill Gates owns a majority stake of Apple shares. If that's not a partnership, I don't know what is!
Do you have a source for that? If you are talking about the shares of Apple MSFT bought as part of the GUI patent settlement, they sold those shares long before the split.

Re:Bill Gates owns a lot of Apple (1)

Jerry Rivers (881171) | more than 7 years ago | (#17697532)

Interesting assertion considering your website is full of fables.

Oil and water (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17696998)

No WAY would such a partnership work! One of the companies is creative and well run. The other isn't.
Besides, I can't see S.J. signing up to that one.

This is just sick (1)

psema4 (966801) | more than 7 years ago | (#17697096)

Microsoft had the chance to chash in. So why didn't they? Because - did they really think they could do better; in this age where industry-by-industry, segment-by-segment, product-by-product... they're being out-manoeuvred? Come on. It's about FREAKING TIME! (And who said politically-correct was wrong?!?) :P

We wouldn't have to worry about global warming... (1)

mtec (572168) | more than 7 years ago | (#17697464)

'cause Hell would've frozen over and counteracted it.

I think everything is going as planned. (1)

insomniac8400 (590226) | more than 7 years ago | (#17697676)

In order for microsoft to help keep the courts away from breaking them up they need competition. Apple provides that competition. Unfortunately, their computer sales can't keep them afloat forever, so they have the ipod. But the ipod with itunes is a monopoly and if that hits the courts, apple will probably die as a company. So microsoft released competition to the ipod/itunes monopoly. This will help protect Apple in the music business which keeps Apple alive and microsoft's computer competition going.

Don't you wish you worked at MSFT? (2, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17697738)

It's revealed that the manager of Vista calls it a pig, and would buy a Mac if he had a choice.

It's also revealed that the company has been violating the terms of the court order stemming from their conviction for breaking federal law.

The result (according to TFA):"Shares of Microsoft rose 11 cents to $31.11 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. They have risen 4.2 percent this month."

This must be what is known as "being able to do no wrong".

Good for them (apples) (1)

kosmosik (654958) | more than 7 years ago | (#17697914)

Just probably anybody that goes into any cooperation with Microsoft gets kicked in the ass by MS later.

Speaking of multimedia/DRM systems MS once had a program called "PlaysForSure". It was targeted towards hardware manufacturers which produce media players and ones that sell media via Internet. It offered these parties an option to cooperate under MS PlaysForSure umbrella - so hardware manufacturers that produce media players would design their hardware to these "specs", media selling companies would design their services to operate with the devices - all of course using and licensing MS technology called Windows Media. Well looks good - no.

After MS released their Zune it happened that their device does not "PlaysForSure" and cannot connect to other services.

How MSish.

I cannot think of a company that ever succeded in partnering MS. Well maybe exept Intel and Citrix.
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