Biran Cooley over at ZDNet believes that simply based on scale and relative goodness that the the MSN music service will knock iTunes down. I am not so sure… I’d bet that enough people have been exposed to the simple elegance of iTunes and iPod that they get how it should work. Microsoft has a high bar to match even if they can outspend Apple… they probably won’t out-cool them.
There’s also the missing piece of the player itself. They just have a store, and many others will probably roll out very similar stores based on their platform — and let’s not forget confusing DRM.
It’s all part of the objectivity and professional skepticism that goes with the job, but come on. In the end, Microsoft’s strategy for the music wars should simply read like Reagan’s plan for the Cold War: they lose, we win. Then, you just spend your competitors into a hole.
Apple’s iTunes store and iPod players have been earning a 4.0 grade point average. But Microsoft merely has to get a 3.0, multiplied by the Windows user base, and it wins. All of the online music stores sell the same music from five major labels (and a handful of indies who don’t make or break anyone’s business). And even if Apple does have leverage with the labels now, I can assure you that all five of them will throw Steve Jobs under the bus when the Windows music store starts heating up. [ZDNet AnchorDesk]