“Having staked out a business that serves PC makers first, IT drones second, and consumers dead last, Microsoft is left only to advertise that its software arrives on cheap hardware that isn’t burdened with being cool or sexy like Apple’s. As a marketing strategy, that’s so blatantly moronic that it’s hard to imagine a Fortune 500 company could decide to do that.”
Why Windows 7 is Microsoft’s next Zune — RoughlyDrafted Magazine (2009/05/09)
“Starting at 8 a.m. this Sunday, Wal-Mart gets a head start on back-to-school sales, offering a full-function Compaq Presario laptop computer for $298. This Compaq has a 15.6-inch LCD screen,an AMD processor, 160-gigabyte hard drive and 3 gigabytes of RAM, a hefty parcel of memory by most measures.”
Let the Back-to-School Sales Begin – Gadgetwise Blog – NYTimes.com (2009/07/25)
I think Macworld’s Jason Snell did a great level-headed job responding to some pretty whacked-out questions in this Advertising Age interview with Simon Dumenco (who has all the misinformed media memes about Apple down pat).
I’m seeing Apple’s announcement about offering DRM-free tracks around the internets and I’m also seeing headlines and memes like “Apple is dropping DRM”. Technically, it’s the record labels who have dropped their insistence that Apple provide DRM. Apple has stated they would provide DRM-free files in a heartbeat whenever the record labels wanted to get over themselves.
Apple announced today at the Macworld keynote that 8 million tracks from the iTunes Store will be available DRM-free, with more to follow in March.
I normally don’t comment on (or care much about) Apple business news and analysis, but how can these two stories, which both appeared today, be reconciled?
- “Apple’s iPod Problem: With fewer iPod users upgrading, the days of explosive growth are over. And that leaves iPhones and Macs picking up the slack” – BusinessWeek
- “Apple iPod sales surprise analyst: Analyst reports shortages of Apple’s iPod as sales remain strong amid tough economy” – Associated Press
Chicago Trib: In what is shaping up to be a hotly contested battle for consumers’ gadget dollars this holiday season, Verizon Wireless and Microsoft Corp. will announce new products Wednesday that clearly borrow from Apple’s recent innovations. “The Zune products are strong,” said technology analyst Rob Enderle. “This will help make it an interesting quarter for Apple. They have a lot of people really mad at them. That could cost them some market share.”
LA Times: Analysts said the new Zunes, which Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates unveiled to reporters in Redmond, Wash., on Tuesday, might help the company hold on to its sliver of the market and perhaps gain some ground against fledgling entrants. But Microsoft wasn’t given much chance of taking customers from Apple Inc. “They’re not going to gain against Apple because there is nothing really innovative about what they’re doing,” said Van Baker, a vice president at Gartner Group.
According to this MacNN article, “Traffic to Apple’s website and the popularity of iTunes continues to surge at a rate greater than many of other top internet companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo!” Now, not for nothin’, but this site also has experienced a surge of usage over the past six months; I’ve recently had to purchase more bandwidth to accommodate more traffic, which I have never had to do in five years or so of web presence. So I’m wondering: does this mean there really are more Mac users? And are they hitting other Mac-centric sites in the same proportion?