Friday, January 27, 2006

Microsoft Wants a Bite of the Apple

Business Week reports that Microsoft is sick of getting its X-ass kicked by Apple, particularly in the white earbud department. To that end, they are (unconfirmedly) mulling over their own portable Xbox-iPod hybrid.

According to Xbox boss Peter Moore "It can't just be our version of the iPod." Moore says a Microsoft device would have to include games, since that's Microsoft's strong suit.

My advice (which is worth exactly what Microsoft is paying for it) would be for them to do what Sony did with the PSP: make it a versatile device that plays games, music, movies, media, browses the web, RSS feeds -- if Microsoft ever learns what RSS is -- and even does remote TV viewing.

And then do Sony one better and do what Apple does so well: make the DRM transparent.

I know, I know, there's a lot of bitching and moaning about the restrictive DRM in the iTunes store. And the latest update apparently broke the software tools people have been using to convert their purchased music to MP3's.

But I've been converting my music to other formats for years. Legally. I burn my music to a CD, and then I rip it back. And iTunes lets me do it. Because it's legal. Because it's mine.

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