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Summary:

Napster, Real and other music pretenders you have been warned – Microsoft will own you! If you were looking for proof that you will become one of the minions in Microsoft’s grand music strategy, all you needed to do was tune in to the webcast of […]

Napster, Real and other music pretenders you have been warned – Microsoft will own you! If you were looking for proof that you will become one of the minions in Microsoft’s grand music strategy, all you needed to do was tune in to the webcast of Bill G’s keynote at CES. Partnering with MTV for URGE, Gates’ has gone back to familiar time tested strategy: get in bed with the most powerful company in the business you eventually want to own.

Not like the company has any option, but to try and extend its game to newer playing fields, like Music, Video, IPTV or whatever! Their core markets are not growing as fast as they did, and that’s acting like a speed bump for the stock! For Microsoft, its about staying relevant. Here is my op-ed from The Wall Street Journal, from back in January 2003.

The MTV’s Microsoft-powered Urge online music service will be selling to the ultimate demographic: the teen set. MTV’s unlimited airtime resources will be hard to match for the likes of Napsters, Yahoos and Reals of the world. Because in order to match MTV’s sales channel, they will have to spend spend spend. (Just like in the PC domain, Microsoft wants to be the “engine”, get a piece of the action, while others simply butt heads. )

So in the end it will boil down to what is by now a familiar story: Bill versus Steve, Microsoft (add partner name here) versus Apple, windows media versus iTunes, some device (add brand name here) versus iPod. Justin Timberlake versus the Gorillaz! Dominatrix in pin stripes versus Diva in a black turtleneck.

Who will win? Not sure, but here is one thing which works against Bill G: coolness is not part of his company’s DNA, I mean Justin Timberlake for god sake! Even old farts like me know, he is sooooo over! What works against Apple? Steve being Steve; keeping the ecosystem closed. Come on, even the toughest bouncer outside the hottest club, once in a while lets the plebs in. How about some love for Sony and Sonos? Nothing for nothing, 2006 is shaping up to be a great year: there are skirmishes everywhere and since this is a sequel, well, let the popcorn pop, and enjoy the show!

  1. [...] game demoed by Gates and Ballmer. My head is spinning. The screen is going blurry. I need sleep. It’s CES week, more later. Filed under: Blog Stuff @ 2:16 am# [...]

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  2. Sony and Sonos, my thoughts exactly!

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  3. Musica digital: Gates vs. Jobs

    Después de la presentación de Bill Gates en CES esta madrugada (hora española), parece que el anuncio más importante (aparte del HD-DVD externo para la Xbox 360) es el anuncio del acuerdo con MTV para crear Urge, un servicio de descarga de música …

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  4. It will happen when the time comes. I’m expecting some sort of partnership with Sony and allowing the walkman to access iTunes just may be it. The Windows Media vs. iTunes format wars are kind of a joke. It’s either you go the windows meda route and get to play those files on 10 different branded players that are hyopthetically the same damn thing, or you go the Apple route and all the content you buy off iTunes iis stuck on your iPod. The iTunes AAC codec however is a universal format…Apple doesn’t own it, Dolby does. I’d rather have that then Windows doing the whole smoke and mirrors like they did with the PC. And now look at the sad sad state of Windows and the current lust going after OS X.

    Timing is everything and iTunes will be opened up to several different players, it’s just a matter of when. Jobs did say publicly he would like to partner with Sony especially in music. Both companies seem to be on the same page with retail and audio/video software, plus the whole style appeal.

    Anyways, Billy G dreams up the utopia while Jobs is the realist right now. And Microsoft really needs to start their own consumer brand. Microsoft won’t fly on the schoolyard

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  5. Teens are not the ultimate music store demographic. Teens don’t have as much disposible income and are far more likely to steal music off the internet. URGE for all the glam looks will have a difficult time gaining any headway against iTunes.

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  6. It seems mostly that the links on this page, as I haven’t looked at the rest of your blog, are sponsored drops from other sites–like the Microsoft references being constant shots to Yahoo! stock pages. The exceptions are the link to your own op-ed page, the link to URGE, and the link to the CES keynote podcast by Bill Gates. There isn’t a single link to any of the other music sources you mention, which might be due to their oblique reference to the actual subject of the article. Of course, as your article supposes a new dichotomy between Apple and Microsoft, a link of any kind to any Apple material at all would also be welcome. As it stands now, it’s something of a puff piece, wouldn’t you say? After all one of the major benefits of blogging (as I understand it) is the use of the hyperlink to immediately cross-reference. If it really is Gates vs. Jobs, why not give us the ability to see what Jobs is up to?

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  7. is it just me or is the “G” in urge taken from the macintosh power on button?

    seeing as how microsoft kinda failed in TV with MSNBC i dont see this going all to well either.

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  8. [...] In Bill Gates’ keynote at CES last night, he announced a partnership with MTV Networks to create a music and media download service called “Urge.” I think this is supposed to be Microsoft’s iTunes Music Store Killer. As Om Malik put in his blog, this is “…Bill versus Steve, Microsoft (add partner name here) versus Apple, windows media versus iTunes…” [...]

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  9. Jesse Kopelman Thursday, January 5, 2006

    I’ve said it before and all say it again — Sony has been very stupid on the issue of digital media! They own there own content library. Through the joint venture with BMG they own Napster too. Why are they not the dominant force?

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  10. Puff piece? A puff piece is something that’s all sizzle and no steak, or something created to make one party look fantastic. This piece above does neither, and the amount of linkage has jack to do with it. There’s meat to this article, but you missed it because you were looking for links.

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