Déjà Vu, All Over Again

Apple has done pretty well (well, at least for paying customers) with its iTunes music service and its iPod players.

The iTunes music service uses a proprietary format called AAC. Only iPods can play AAC files; Apple will not license the format to other companies. For anything else, you have to convert the AAC files to something else.

Here comes Microsoft with its music service. It uses its own format, too, WMA. However, it doesn’t even make a music player, and will let anybody making players make their hardware compatible with WMA.

It even asked Apple if they wanted to make their iPods compatible with WMA, and Apple has said no.

Uhh, haven’t we been through this before?

Like in the PC industry?

Didn’t Apple keep all its proprietary technology to itself in the eighties, while Microsoft made theirs available to anybody willing to buy it?

Didn’t Apple like, lose, last time, lost one of the world’s biggest industries in good part because of that?

So why are they doing the same thing again?


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