It’s unfortunate to see Microsoft so clearly working backwards in a progressive music market. In a world run by DRM-free services like Amazon, Lala and Apple, its confusing to see a giant like Microsoft moving towards DRM when it comes to loading music on mobile phones.
According to Hugh Griffiths, Microsoft’s Head of Mobile at Microsoft UK, “It's a first step. We're doing this in conjunction with a third-party provider. We'll be looking to enhance the service if we get some interest from consumers. They certainly tell us that they like listening to music while they are out and about, on their mobile phones.”
On top of that, there’s currently no announced way for customers to move music between their mobile phone and their computer. And, to further dig the grave of the service, the tracks will be selling for nearly $2 (American) per song, compared to Apple and Amazon’s 79 – 99 cents.
Lets just hope that either Microsoft takes their stake out of the DRM-fueled music game before some unsuspecting people get swindled into buying crippled music, or they drastically change their tactics.
Thanks to the rumor mill’s constant churning, there’s some new talk of Dell’s Adamo laptop not being released until the second half of this year, as opposed to the originally planned first half.
Reportedly, Dell’s ultra thin offering is only in sample production by Foxconn, and won’t be in volume production until the second half of this year. By that time, they should have already made about 400,000 systems.
Foxconn spokesperson Edmund Ding hasn’t denied the claims, but states that the company has “no knowledge” of the orders. There doesn’t appear to be any statement by Dell either.
It looks like the MacBook Air has the floor for just a bit longer than most had expected.
Apple had a good year in notebook sales in 2008, but according to Forbes, Steve Jobs' health is just one of the troubles Apple will face in 2009. Like everyone else, the economy has taken its toll, sending Apple's share price down by more than 50 percent in the past six months from $171.81 to $82.33. But it's the emerging netbook market that could ultimately bite into Apple's revenue.
Despite Apple's success in the mobile PC market, average notebook prices are far below what you can expect to pay for a MacBook, and prices will only go lower as the economy continues to struggle. Acer's Aspire one, which sells for around $320, became the best selling netbook in 2008 putting Acer in fourth place in the PC market and ahead of Apple. And with Intel's next-gen Atom processor promising lower cost netbooks, Apple may find itself struggling to compete, whose lowest price notebook sells for $1,000.
Catch Forbes' full analysis here, then tell us what you think below.
Wired’s Brian Chen was smacked with a cease-and-desist not long ago for his video depicting how to turn your netbook into a hackintosh.
The video, which gave an exact step-by-step tutorial about how to put OS X onto a netbook, (with trips to The Pirate Bay included) has since been taken down off of Wired’s Tech Lab. However, you can still check it out over at Gizmodo, who’s sticking it to the man hasn’t run them into any evident danger as of yet.
Apple’s exact complaint about the video hasn’t been printed anywhere, so that is something that we might not ever get to find out, but what we do know is that the video is mighty thorough! And it only clocks in at about four minutes, so why not watch it?
Ever since Amazon launched its music store back in September 2007, everyone assumed its discounted prices and DRM free catalog was a result of the music industries dissatisfaction with Apples dominance. With iTunes being the primary management software for the most popular MP3 player on the planet, Amazon knew it would need an edge to stay competitive. The 10 cent per track discount was a nice touch, but techies and audio enthusiasts alike were eager to switch if it meant we could free our music. Most of us assumed the DRM restrictions on iTunes would remain for the forcible future, but now that this has turned out not to be the case what else wasn’t true?
Well, according to unnamed sources cited by CNET, everybody selling downloadable music is also paying the same wholesale price. Though it has never been confirmed, many believe Apple makes but a few pennies per .99 cent download. If this is indeed true, anything else sold below this price might actually be a loss leader. Now with iTunes discounting its back catalog of tracks to a mere .69 cents, and at comparable bit rates, it’s well positioned to steal back business from Amazon. NPD senior industry analyst Russ Crupnick claims the two services don’t impact each other as much as we might think, but at the very least it certainly makes switching from iTunes to a separate web store much less desirable then it used to be.
Now that iTunes has gone DRM free, and has begun to discount its back catalog of tracks, can Amazon still compete?
iTunes has expanded its library of DRM-free music with the addition of 8 million songs devoid of any copyright protection. The move that was announced today at Macworld comes after Apple reached an understanding with the three largest music labels, Sony BMG, Warner Music, and Universal. It already has a similar agreement with EMI and has been providing music belonging to that label sans any DRM for around a year.
Apple is also going to allow people the luxury of ridding their iTunes music library of its copyright protection. But for that users will have to shelve out an extra 30 cents for every song they want to convert. Another 2 million DRM-free tracks are going to become available on iTunes in April.
Steve Jobs' health has been a cause of great speculation all around the internet in recent days. Most conjectures pointed at sickness of some sort or the other, though the gravity of the purported illness swayed wildly in each theory. Perhaps fearing that the rumors would eventually dent the spirits of investors, Steve Jobs broke his silence by issuing a statement detailing the current state of his health.
Jobs acknowledged that he is suffering from a hormone imbalance that sends the protein level in a patient's body plummeting. His doctors believe that it will take him until spring to recover fully. His unnamed ailment closely resembles Crohn’s Disease, which impacts the upper intestine, according to a report. One thing is for certain that Apple aficionados must be amassing more information on the Crohn’s disease - few might even be working on a more effective cure.
Apple investors and fans must be feeling a lot better after receiving official word on Jobs’ health. Perhaps Jobs felt that had he delayed an official statement any further it could have opened the door wide open for wilder speculation. After all, it was only a few months ago that his obituary was published. We wish him a speedy recovery.
As digital music stores become more common and convenient, the age of the compact disc as the preferred medium is coming to a close. In fact, according to year-end sales figures released by The Nielsen Co., sales of CDs are down a whopping 20 percent.
The sales of physical discs have dropped from 450.5 million in 2007 to only 362.6 million in 2008. And during this time, digital album sales made a gigantic jump of 32 percent over their previous year’s sales.
Apple’s iTunes music store has been particularly successful, having broken the 1 billion song mark with 1.07 billion sold. Along with this, their sales went up 27 percent over the previous year.
We checked our Maximum PC zodiac chart, and realized that 2008 was the Year of the Rant. Gordon's capacity for rage never ceases to amaze, so this week, we present to you 2 hours and 40 minutes of non-stop ranting. Culled from this past year's podcasts, this all-rant episode includes anger toward interoffice spam emails, indignant hippies shopping for organic food, and shirts sticking out of sweaters. A certain Cuppertino-based tech company doesn't get off easy, either.
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at email@example.com or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are standing by.
One of the weaknessess with HP's MediaSmart servers running MIcrosoft's Windows Home Server software was that it was of no use as backup platforms for Macs running the Time Machine backup software. That shortcoming is no longer the case, as HP announced plans to upgrade its MediaSmart server lineup with a pair of Mac-compatible models - HP MediaSmart Server ex485 (750GB of hard disk storage) and ex487 (1.5TB).
"A growing number of digital-savvy households have both Windows and Mac computers, with hundreds and sometimes thousands of media files and documents scattered across these devices,” said Jason Zajac, vice president of strategy, Worldwide Attach Group, HP. “The HP MediaSmart Server protects, stores and organizes this content from anywhere on a network so consumers can access and share it any place they are connected."
Both models come with a 64-bit Intel Celeron processor clocked at 2.0Ghz, 2GB of DDR2-800 RAM (previous models only came with 512MB of RAM), and expandability with up to 9TB of storage. The ex485 and ex487 are expected to be available in February 2009 for $600 and $750 respectively.
Competition for the upcoming refreshed MediaSmart line may come from Apple, 9to5Mac.com speculates. According to the Mac site, Apple has plans to expand the Time Capsule paltform to include much of the same functionality, with the real question being whether or not Apple will decide to put most of its services in the Cloud. If such an update is in the cards for Apple, an announcement would likely be forthcoming at Macworld, which runs from January 5-9, 2009.