Imagine for a moment that the record labels restricted or entirely removed Apple’s access to their catalog of content. What would Apple do? I’m not suggesting the record labels are going to do this anytime soon, but it seems Microsoft has gotten smart and come up with a way to attack iTunes, and it’s not related to the hardware:
Nobody partners like Microsoft. The company is one of the shrewdest deal makers on the planet, when it isn’t competing with partners…There has been buzz for sometime that labels were unhappy with Apple’s single pricing and were looking for a cut of iPod sales…Seems to me: Microsoft is looking to suave labels’ hurts as it seeks to get the deals that could make table stakes for taking on Apple. After all, Apple doesn’t control the content.
When you consider Microsoft’s deal with Universal Music, the possibility of similar deals with the other record labels, and it’s recent Xbox Live Video moves, it becomes clear that access to content is at the heart of Microsoft’s new strategy.
Apple’s strength is hardware, it’s what they do best. Without any content for that hardware however, it becomes a much tougher sell.
Read: Microsoft Monitor