Macworld UK has a pair of articles that shed light on controversies surrounding last week’s news that HP and Apple had reached a manufacturing deal that will put HP-branded iPods in the hands of its customers, along with HP desktop and laptop computers equipped with iTunes.
Microsoft Windows Digital Media division general manager David Fester slammed HP’s decision to ally itself with Apple in talks with journalists at CES last week. He said that “Windows is about choice,” and that HP will confuse customers by offering the iPod alongside Microsoft media products that aren’t iPod-compatible, like Windows Media Center software.
To no one’s surprise, surely, PC maker Dell — already out with its own music service and large-capacity MP3 player — was likewise critical of Apple and HP’s announcement, suggesting that “… customers will want industry standard choices.”
At least one report has suggested that the iPod will support Windows Media Audio, or WMA, an audio format promoted by Microsoft. Apple’s iTunes software, by comparison, supports the more broadly supported MP3 format, and music sold through the iTunes Music Store is encoded using Dolby Advanced Audio Codec (AAC).
In a followup article, an HP product marketing manager said that HP will not support WMA for now.