Analysts believe Apple ‘s new iTunes Music Store could help shift the battle to control digital media away from Microsoft’s proprietary file formats, according to a CNET
“There’s a possibility that Apple could do an end run around Microsoft … particularly if Apple makes the service available to Windows users,” IDC analyst Roger Kay is quoted as saying.
CNET says that Apple’s entry into the digital music business comes at a “significant moment” for the proprietary formats that first pushed digital media onto the Internet. Those formats face increasing pressure from media companies eager to “guarantee interoperability and reasonable licensing terms as well as greater control over their content.” The iTunes Music Store uses AAC, which has been endorsed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
Also, analysts feel that the entertainment industry doesn’t want to be tied to proprietary formats that could eventually leave them hostage to a single technology provider, “particularly one like Microsoft.”
“It’s common sense that entertainment industries are cautious about working with Microsoft,” said Technology Business Research analyst Lindy Lesperance. “Now more than ever they look at the long-term implications of making deals with Microsoft.”
About 20 percent of people buying portable music players at retail are between the ages of 25 and 34, according to NPDTechworld. And one-third of iPod buyers are in the same age bracket.
“If anyone can do it, Apple can,” said NPDTechworld analyst Stephen Baker. “Their installed base is highly loyal and is willing to spend money.”