You knew it was coming sooner or later. Microsoft's Laptop Hunters commercials have hit a sore spot with Apple after attempting to expose the MacBook as an overpriced, underpowered (but pretty) platform, so it was only a matter of time before Apple fired back.
Starring Justin Long and John Hodgman (who else?), the latter stands in front of a long line of suited PCs. Two by two, a handful of of PCs are disqualified as an actress lists what's she's looking for (big screen, fast processor), until she lobs and oft-used Apple bomb.
"I just need something that works without crashing or viruses or a ton of headaches," the actress demands.
Disgusted, Hodgman and the remaining PCs march off-screen, leaving Justin Long (Mac) as the remaining option. You can check it out here, then hit the jump and post tell us what you think.
Sure, Apple’s app store has been known to make its fair share of senseless moves, but this one just about nears the top of the list. Recently they rejected Maza Digital’s Drivetrain, an app that would allow users to control the Transmission Bittorrent client from anywhere. Why? Because those that use it are infringing upon rights, of course!
Apple’s reason for denying the app was because “this category of applications is often used for the purpose of infringing third party rights.” So, while there are millions of legal torrents available and it’s quickly become one of the most popular ways to download files, those that use it are (and I’m paraphrasing here) criminal.
Well, at least you can still get Ze Frank’s free iPhone app. I wonder if they’ll try to deny it too?
Sony CEO Howard Stringer has hit a point in his life where he’s decided to change some things – or at least, talk about it. In a recent interview with Nikkei Electronics Asia, Stringer made some pretty bold statements about Sony’s future and their past.
He claims that going forward, Sony will use more open standards. “If we had gone with open technology from the start, I think we probably would have beaten Apple” in music. A pretty lofty statement considering how insanely popular the iTunes music store is today. But, in its fledgling days, who knows? Anything is possible.
“We can no longer say that we’re right and our customers are wrong. We can’t build only what we want to build,” he continued. If you want to read the full interview, give it a look here.
So, what do you think? Will Sony continue their present ways, or are they going to change for the better (or worse)? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Oh snap, it's on like Donkey Kong, or at least like an intense level of Galaga. More specifically, Microsoft continues its advertising offensive against Apple with yet another commercial pointing out the cost of being hip, only this one targets iTunes and not MacBooks.
In the latest ad, financial planner (certified, of course) Wes Moss points out it would take $30,000 to fill the latest iPod using iTunes at a buck a pop.
"I don't know about you, but I don't have thirty grand laying around for music," Moss says.
His solution? A subscription service like Zune Pass, of course! "One costs a lot, and one costs a little," Moss adds, referring to the iPod with $30,000 worth of music and Zune Pass's unlimited subscription plan for $14.99/month. For those of you doing the math at home, $30,000 buys almost 167 years of Zune Pass.
There are obvious flaws in Microsoft's latest pitch, but the goal here isn't necessarily to discredit Apple's iPod/iTunes combination as a viable music platform (too late for that) as much as it is to promote Zune Pass. The question is, will it work?
According to the website for the Missouri University School of Journalism, “Effective Fall 2009, students majoring in Journalism at Missouri are required to have either an iPod Touch (the minimum requirement) or iPhone to allow for the delivery of freshman-orientation information as well as course material. Students will electronically download such material to either of those devices from iTunes University, a no-cost component of the iTunes Store.”
On top of this, undergraduate students will be required to have wireless laptops, with Microsoft Office installed. “Students are encouraged to acquire wireless laptop technology from Apple, which the School has designated as its preferred provider,” continues the website.
And, for those that prefer a Windows machine, “That's an option, but it's one we do not recommend unless you plan to make a career of computer-assisted reporting. By the time you purchase photo, audio and video software for a PC, you probably will have spent more than you would if buying a comparable Apple Computer. Buy a PC if you prefer to do so, but make sure it is wireless and has Microsoft Office. Almost 100 percent of last year's freshmen chose Apple computers.”
As if going to school wasn’t expensive enough, now it would seem that the Apple tax is a requirement. Oh well, what’s another few grand on top of the 40 or so that you’re spending on a year’s tuition?
And for good reason, too! Mr. Reznor has admittedly done a lot for the digital music landscape, and while he does support Apple, he’s got a rather large bone to pick with their app approval process (the very same process that approved the baby shaking game).
In a nutshell, Apple rejected an update to the official Nine Inch Nails iPhone app due to “objectionable content.” Oddly, said content isn’t actually a part of the app, instead it’s a song that the application can stream called “The Downward Spiral.” And, while the hypocrisy of this situation runs wild in my mind, it’s best described by Trent… after the break (there might be little eyes watching, so be warned of language).
Even if they won't say it publicly (and they aren't), Apple appears pretty juiced at the prospect of developing its own chips. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal Online, Apple has been hand-picking people from all over the semiconductor industry, which also includes engineers for creating multifunction chips for use in cellphones.
One such hire includes Raja Koduri, the former chief technology officer of the graphics group at AMD. Koduri started his new position this week, while other online job postings include a call for several chip-related positions, some of which are described as "verifying functionality correctness of a high performance chip design."
While Apple is keeping silent on the subject, the company's tight-lipped approach might be one of the reasons they're looking to develop their own chips. Citing people familiar with the situation, WSJO says Apple not only wants to beat its rivals to market with new features, but also wants to keep a lid on its technology plans with external chip suppliers.
Citing people familiar with the situation, USA Today claims Verizon and Apple are at least talking about developing an iPhone for Verizon. If that were to happen, it would be the first time Apple has produced an iPhone for a CDMA wireless network, and come as a blow to AT&T, who has exclusive U.S. distribution rights until sometime in 2010.
"Breaking the iPhone exclusivity with AT*T is a huge thing," says Roger Entner, head of telecom research for Nielsen. "That would send shivers into AT&T's stock and senior leadership."
AT&T's iPhone deal has proved to be a lucrative one, as evidenced last week when the telco posted impressive wireless numbers. According to AT&T, it has signed up 1.6 million iPhone customers during the quarter, with 40 percent of them beng new to AT&T. It's mobile revenue was also up 40 percent.
AT&T would still boast the faster network if Verizon started selling iPhones, but Verizon's aggressive ad campaign, combined with the iPhone's immense popularity, would likely be a recipe for success, even if a bitter one for AT&T.
We’ve all seen the laptop hunters in action over the past several weeks and though you may not have noticed it at first, these ads represent a significant shift in tactics. The new marketing campaign by Microsoft takes a much less passive aggressive stance than in the past, and for the first time, charges head on into their primary competitor. In the previous campaign which featured a diverse group of actors claiming to be PC’s, Apple is never specifically mentioned, but clearly if you’re not a Mac you’re a PC right?
Microsoft’s strategy up to this point has been to ignore Apple completely, and to never give them the satisfaction of being acknowledged publically as a valid alternative to Windows. This new campaign is much less subtle about the value of a PC when compared to a Mac, and it is not surprising that they have invoked a response from Apple as a result.
According to an Apple spokesman “The one thing that both Apple and Microsoft can agree on is that everyone thinks the Mac is cool. With its great designs and advanced software, nothing matches it at any price." So close, yet so far”. Certain publications such as BusinessWeek would also have us believe that Anti Virus software and Geek Squad visits will make up the price difference between a $699 HP & a $2,800 Mac, but we don’t buy that argument either. One thing is certain however; we can likely expect Apple’s next ad campaign to respond in kind, making this the start of a very interesting and public war between the two rivals.
If you've been eyeing the iPhone ever since it came out but have been reluctant to switch from your cellular service provider to AT&T, then you may want to rethink that approach. That's because AT&T, who struck gold when it inked a deal with Apple to be the exclusive iPhone carrier, is in discussions to extend its contract until 2011, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
When asked to comment on the talks, an Apple spokeswoman offered little other information, saying only "We have a great relationship with AT&T."
And vice versa. According to AT&T, it has added 4.3 million iPhone subscribers in the second half of 2008, many of which -- about 40 percent -- were new to AT&T. But if AT&T is going to secure exclusivity rights to the iPhone for at least a year after its initial deal comes to an end, it's going to have to make sense for Apple as well, who will face increased pressure from Google's Android platform as the open-source OS starts to spread beyond T-Mobile's G1. And with Android 1.5 adding a bevy of new features, things could get awfully interesting in round 2.