The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
Microsoft's Ballmer Blasts Apple; Most iPod-Saved Music "Stolen"

Microsoft's Ballmer Blasts Apple; Most iPod-Saved Music "Stolen"

by , 7:30 AM EDT, October 4th, 2004

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said at a press briefing in London on Sunday that the future of digital technology in the home rests with Microsoft and not Apple Computer. He also categorized the majority of music stored on Apple's portable music players as "stolen".

Mr. Ballmer described the growing home market for technology at a crucial "tipping point", which could lead to a dramatic increase in sales for converged devices that integrate video, audio and computer technology.

"There will be an explosion in demand," he is quoted as saying by reporter Michael Parsons. "People weren't really sure where these new devices fitted in. At two hundred bucks, maybe, but at three hundred or four hundred bucks, it was too hard to bootstrap the device type."

Mr. Ballmer said Apple's home technology solutions do not have a chance at grabbing the lions share of the merging home technology market.

"There is no way that you can get there with Apple," he commented. "The critical mass has to come from the PC, or a next-generation video device."

Mr. Ballmer also said he believed the majority of music stored by consumers on popular Apple iPod and iPod mini devices is illegally copied.

"The most common format of music on an iPod is 'stolen'," he said. "Most people still steal music. "We can build the technology but there are still ways for people to steal music."

Contrary to other published reports, Mr. Ballmer was not quoted as saying iPod users are music thieves. A headline by journalist Andy McCue of gave the impression Mr. Ballmer made such a comment, but The Mac Observer has confirmed through other reporters who attended the event that he never made such a comment. Mr. McCue's headline appeared to be a 'tabloid-like' bannerline paraphrasing the comments of Mr. Ballmer.

Mr. Ballmer also said Microsoft is working to improve its digital rights management (DRM) technology to making music copying harder to do, but still make using a portable music device easier.

Recent TMO Headlines - Updated February 17th

Tue, 4:34 PM
North Dakota Votes No on Third Party App Store Bill Backed by Epic Games
Tue, 3:10 PM
Apple wins a Patent for Displays with Multiple Refresh Rates
Tue, 2:55 PM
New Clips From 'Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry' Out Now
Tue, 2:40 PM
LastPass to Restrict Free Users to One Device Type on March 16
Tue, 2:35 PM
How to Check and Change Your Privacy And Security Settings on Your Mac
Tue, 2:31 PM
Apple Creates First Entrepreneur Camp for Black Founders, Developers
Tue, 1:51 PM
Feature Tour of iOS 14.5 – TMO Daily Observations 2021-02-16
Tue, 1:40 PM
Our Favorite Features Coming to iOS 14.5
Tue, 1:31 PM
Is Apple Podcasts+ Finally on The Way? — Media+
Tue, 1:12 PM
4-in-1 Charging Pad with Apple Watch Charger and Lightning Connector: $185.99
Tue, 1:04 PM
‘Toolbox Pro’ for Shortcuts Adds New Actions and Improves Background Processing
Tue, 11:44 AM
HyperJuice is a New Magnetic Wireless Charging Stand for iPhone 12, AirPods
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Daily Observations
  • TMO on Twitter!