Linked by alcibiades on Tue 30th May 2006 20:40 UTC
In the News Dell and its business model has been the focus of a lot of comment on Apple oriented forums in recent months. The Dell model is said to be unviable, and Dell's recent news is said to prove this. A limited endorsement of sorts for the so called "end to end model" in music has been published by Walt Mossberg in the WSJ. Recently a real sky-is-falling article with this theme has appeared here. This is a subject that matters. If the advocates of the so-called "end to end model" are right, it implies that the industry structure which allows us all to source hardware from wherever we want, and run a variety of OSs on it, is in danger.
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cr8dle2grave
Member since:
2005-07-11

Where is Microsoft playing for small portions?

Every single transaction in which MS profits involves other players, each of whom profits more than MS does (harware OEMs, consultants, third party software publishers, systems integrators, etc...).

If Windows Media catches on, it'll be a disaster for consumer choice

Speaking as Linux user, I'm sympathetic to this claim. That said, an MS victory in the DRM standards war is far better for consumers in general than an Apple victory (Linux user lose either way).

MS doesn't even offer a basic player for a second platform anymore.

True, but what's important is that they will license their DRM scheme to anyone for use on any platform. In fact, MS will license their DRM scheme to someone who wants to implement a compliant player on Linux (which already exist but only for embedded Linux use).

Anyone with Windows Media is forced to use Windows, period. How is that beneficial to consumers?

They can use Windows or the thousands of media devices which already support MS's DRM. The door is also open to third parties to make compliant players for use on either Macs or Linux boxes.

Reply Parent Score: 1

atsureki Member since:
2006-03-12

Every single transaction in which MS profits involves other players, each of whom profits more than MS does (harware OEMs, consultants, third party software publishers, systems integrators, etc...).

I understand what you meant now about only controlling part of the process, but I don't agree with this at all. If those services made more money, Microsoft would be doing those services. Pressing a copy of the bits they've written costs virtually nothing. Licensing it costs even less. With WMDRM, they've created a product that they can distribute on an infinite scale, making money whether the devices that use it turn a profit or go bankrupt. That would make for a lot more control over the customer and the industry than Apple has if it ever caught on.

Speaking as Linux user, I'm sympathetic to this claim. That said, an MS victory in the DRM standards war is far better for consumers in general than an Apple victory (Linux user lose either way).

Linux users will choose whatever device supports mp3 or vorbis. I admit Apple doesn't make it easy for people without iTunes, but now that we have GTKPod, the device is just as usable with unprotected music for Linux users as it is for everyone else. There's no reason to think the iPod will ever lock out unprotected files (and if it did, people would switch to RockBox), but with the quagmire of WMDRM devices out there, you can bet some others will. Remember when Sony tried this with ATRAC3? They're still licking their wounds, and Apple is gaining at their loss. Less protection = more sales. Apple has been fighting the industry about the strength of their DRM for some time now, and the consumer is still winning.

They can use Windows or the thousands of media devices which already support MS's DRM.

You mean Windows and one of however many devices. You can't load DRMed files onto a DRMed device without a DRMed operating system, of which Apple supports twice as many as Microsoft. But Apple makes it easier to avoid DRM anyway. You can download and reassemble a CD or buy a real CD and rip it to an unprotected format. WiMP rips to MP3, but not by default. One reformat or migration where unsuspecting users find out their backed up music doesn't work anymore, and it's straight to iTunes. I'm sure quite a few happy iPod owners have WMDRM horror stories.

Reply Parent Score: 1