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In short: Mac OS X security, new Zune assault, Belgian iTunes probe

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
Experts have put Apple's security to the test -- just as Microsoft prepares to test the iPod's longevity, and the European Union readies an antitrust challenge to iTunes.

Report: Apple's security good, but wanting

A number of security firms have leveled criticism at Apple for some of its security practices with Mac OS X, saying that the company's hubris could invite trouble -- though adding that criticism wasn't entirely deserved.

Apple has repeatedly taunted Microsoft with the self-proclaimed superiority of its security through its advertising, said McAfee researcher Craig Schmugar. This may have helped the company's popularity but may have equally drawn more unwanted scrutiny.

"Recently, the Mac ads may be playing a role in making people go looking for flaws. They seem to be bragging a little more than they should," he said.

The claims could potentially cause trouble given Apple's bad habits, other critics added. While Apple can take comfort in a smaller marketshare, the company's responses to security holes have typically been sluggish at best, based on a Symantec security report.

Microsoft has typically taken much less time to patch issues and rolls out fixes in an average of 21 days -- far outpacing Apple's ever-slowing pace, which now averages 66 days between fixes. Just six months ago the firm patched Mac OS X at a still slower rate of 37 days. The infamous Month of Apple Bugs is said to have jolted Apple out of a much-needed complacency.

Nevertheless, Apple isn't yet in danger of a collapse. SANS Institute chief researcher Johannes Ullrich noted that Mac OS X was, overall, a better prospect for those concerned about malware attempts.

"It's still safer, but not as safe as Apple pretends it is," Ullrich commented. "Some features, like the firewall, aren't all that great. But, yes, it's still pretty safe."

Microsoft preps second-wave Zune attack

Meanwhile, Microsoft is still confident that its Zune will claw away some of the iPod's marketshare by striking at some of the player's best-known selling points.

"We have a second wave of marketing and advertising coming out next month," said Zune's marketing head Jason Reindorp, who elaborated that his company would point out the Zune's advantages over the iPod. The Microsoft-made device is recognized mainly for its selective Wi-Fi music sharing and its customized interface.

More importantly, Reindorp added, are new products. The campaign will start modestly with new colors for the present-day 30GB model but should grow as new features are added. Flash devices were a strong possibility given their popularity.

"We are indeed considering if they might complement the Zune device family," he noted.

Apple caught up in new EU probe

Apple's troubles were compounded on Monday when the European Commission officially accused Apple and the four major music labels of anti-competitive practices in the deals that form the backbone of today's iTunes Store.

At the heart of the complaint was the nationalized approach to the online music shops, which are restricted only to buyers who hold accounts in given countries. Shoppers are often forced to buy only from their home store, preventing them from earning the best rate. British shoppers are particularly hurt by this, the EC said, as the 79p song downloads were the most expensive across the whole region.

The iTunes operator hinted that it had been pressured into using only localized stores and denied that it had stepped outside legal bounds when it accepted the terms that led to today's fragmented iTunes marketplace.

"Apple has always wanted to operate a single, pan-European iTunes store, accessible by anyone from any member state," Apple's spokesman told the press. "But we were advised by the music labels and publishers that there were certain legal limits to the rights they could grant us. We do not believe the company did anything to violate EU law, and we will continue to work with the EU to resolve this matter."

The accusation landed just as Apple was poised to ease earlier European concerns by removing DRM from EMI's music library on a worldwide basis.
post #2 of 53
Quote:
" They seem to be bragging a little more than they should"

Oh, man, that is some funny stuff.

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post #3 of 53
When people criticize the security of your OS because of the STYLE of your MARKETING, on the basis that this style MIGHT one day somehow cause your total lack of effective malware to end... you KNOW you have it good And how about when people start picking one of many metrics (time to patch) and ignoring more important ones (time to detection, severity of flaw, ease of exploitation, real-world damage, complexity of fix, secondary problems caused by fix, etc. etc. etc.)?

As for Zune, the big "assault" seems to be 3-prong:

1. New ads. (You mean there were old ads?)

2. New colors for the same old product. (I will guess: Taupe, Camel, Ecru, Sandstone and Hazel.)

3. New products... but no specific plans. Maybe a flash player... at least they're thinking about that someday. Might design a flash player, might not. (They should: it might not be so bulky.)

And the EU probe? Seems pretty hard to pin the plethora of different stores on Apple. Apple's on the same side as the EU this time--they don't want multiple stores, the record labels' lawyers do.
post #4 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft preps second-wave Zune attack

Meanwhile, Microsoft is still confident that its Zune will claw away some of the iPod's marketshare by striking at some of the player's best-known selling points.

"We have a second wave of marketing and advertising coming out next month," said Zune's marketing head Jason Reindorp, who elaborated that his company would point out the Zune's advantages over the iPod. The Microsoft-made device is recognized mainly for its selective Wi-Fi music sharing and its customized interface.

More importantly, Reindorp added, are new products. The campaign will start modestly with new colors for the present-day 30GB model but should grow as new features are added. Flash devices were a strong possibility given their popularity.

"We are indeed considering if they might complement the Zune device family," he noted.

YAWNNNNN. Want a good translation?:

1) Microsoft preps 'second wave Zune attack' because the first wave failed so miserably. We expect a 'tenth wave Zune attack' in 2015 as well, with MS's marketshare holding steady at halfway between 'sad' and 'lonely'.

2) They're going to make Flash Zunes just like anyone off the street knew they would months ago. These too will get their heads handed to them in the market, thus expanding MS's humiliation to a brand new market segment.

3) New colors are being considered because fecal-brown shockingly did not become 'the new black', terrible sales instead branded it 'the new suck'.

More crushingly obvious details as they become available. Back to you, Ted.

.

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post #5 of 53
I am fairly excited that the Zune is preparing this second wave of attack. Maybe, just maybe, it'll open up some competition for the ipod, and with that, we'll actually get updates more frequently and better features. The ipod is getting stale, and a harddrive upgrade won't make it more exciting.
post #6 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

YAWNNNNN. Want a good translation?:

1) Microsoft preps 'second wave Zune attack' because the first wave failed so miserably. We expect a 'tenth wave Zune attack' in 2015 as well, with MS's marketshare holding steady at halfway between 'sad' and 'lonely'.

2) They're going to make Flash Zunes just like anyone off the street knew they would months ago. These too will get their heads handed to them in the market, thus expanding MS's humiliation to a brand new market segment.

3) New colors are being considered because fecal-brown shockingly did not become 'the new black', terrible sales instead branded it 'the new suck'.

More crushingly obvious details as they become available. Back to you, Ted.

.


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post #7 of 53
PS- One other thing: Microsoft is about to be CRUSHED in the hard drive player market by the 6G touchscreen video iPod due out later this year (though I suppose their marketshare dropping from little to 'near nothing' isn't that noticeably different).

Since MS *knows* this, they're going to run to the Flash player market as fast as their chubby lil' feet can carry them, and then will trumpet to high heaven whatever tiny marketshare they get there, while assiduously remaining mum on anything else as what little prescence they have in the hard drive player market gets obliterated by Apple's next wave of HD players.

Oh well, there's one good thing about Microsoft- they're predictable. \

.
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post #8 of 53
Quote:
The infamous Month of Apple Bugs is said to have jolted Apple out of a much-needed complacency.




I think this would be better worded:

Quote:
The infamous Month of Apple Bugs is said to have provided a much-needed jolt to Apple's complacency.

Unless of course, the author of the post is implying that Apple's complacency was much-needed?

Hate to be pedantic, but I have a hard time ignoring these things.
post #9 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianAI View Post

Hate to be pedantic, but I have a hard time ignoring these things.

I totally agree...this jumped out at me too. So maybe we both need help.
post #10 of 53
Today's announcement re higher bit rate, DRM free AAC tracks at the iTMS makes Zune even more irrelevant.

While MS was pandering to the labels with their DRM crippled "squirt" nonsense, Apple was working to change the game, again.

I think the difference is, Steve actually likes music, and has an idea about how digital tech can make music a part of your life in new ways. He wants it to be a cool experience because he wants to use it. He gets excited about using it.

MS has a marketing plan, demographic data, etc.

The iPod was designed from the inside out, the inside being "buying and listening to music".

The Zune was designed from the outside in, the outside being "how can we get us some of this action".
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post #11 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


2. New colors for the same old product. (I will guess: Taupe, Camel, Ecru, Sandstone and Hazel.)

post #12 of 53
"Microsoft has typically taken much less time to patch issues and rolls out fixes..."

What a ridiculous report on Apple security! Microsoft works under extreme pressure to fix a never-ending procession of crucial flaws that are actively exploited without exception, while Apple's security team works a little slower to fix mostly minor flaws that have so far resulted in no verifiable exploits whatsoever... and all you can say is Microsoft works faster??? You must be kidding!!!
post #13 of 53
"We are indeed considering if they might complement the Zune device family,"

Translation:

"So, we're just gonna slap some more lipstick on this pig and see if she flies. OOOOO, my god, that's it! Wings! We'll give it wings! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!"
post #14 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft has typically taken much less time to patch issues and rolls out fixes in an average of 21 days -- far outpacing Apple's ever-slowing pace, which now averages 66 days between fixes.

Why do these "experts" always get it backwards, MS gains more points here because it has more shit to fix? And how exactly do these security flaws compare with each other in the first place? We have proof of concept on the Mac side with no actual real exploits, on the other side we have actual damage taking place daily. Er...
post #15 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by timewarp424 View Post

I am fairly excited that the Zune is preparing this second wave of attack. Maybe, just maybe, it'll open up some competition for the ipod, and with that, we'll actually get updates more frequently and better features. The ipod is getting stale, and a harddrive upgrade won't make it more exciting.

No, but multitouch will. The iPhone may be the next new iPod--but be assured it will not be the last.

As for frequent iPod updates being desirable--I'm not so sure. I wouldn't frequently BUY a new iPod anyway
post #16 of 53
McAffee: " We are thinking about reentering the Mac anti-virus software market and would now like to test our ability to cause panic among the masses as a means of promoting sales."
post #17 of 53
What ever you believe about Microsoft and the Zune, it would not be wise to ignore the presence. Most people laughed when Microsoft entered the game console market and now they are provding very serious competition, and are currently top in the next generation consoles. It should also be noted people laughed when Apple first introduced the iPod, and they are currently at the head of the pack. For reasons such as this Microsoft should be taken seriously, since there is a chance that they may be able to pull it off.

Remember those cars mirrors with the text: "objects appear closer that then they are"; well in business the equivalent mirrors should be labelled: "object may appear further than they are".

As for antivirus solutions, there may not be much of a need today, since most viruses target Windows, but I am not sure that this will always be the case.
post #18 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmas View Post

What ever you believe about Microsoft and the Zune, it would not be wise to ignore the presence. Most people laughed when Microsoft entered the game console market and now they are provding very serious competition, and are currently top in the next generation consoles. It should also be noted people laughed when Apple first introduced the iPod, and they are currently at the head of the pack. For reasons such as this Microsoft should be taken seriously, since there is a chance that they may be able to pull it off.

Remember those cars mirrors with the text: "objects appear closer that then they are"; well in business the equivalent mirrors should be labelled: "object may appear further than they are".

As for antivirus solutions, there may not be much of a need today, since most viruses target Windows, but I am not sure that this will always be the case.


Dude you are so right
Apple has to keep an eye always on M$ but with steve at the helm hes always cautious of ms moves and one other thing if steve was in the gaming industry like sony and nintendo he would have made things more exciting look how long it took Sony to realise a new console
post #19 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmas View Post

What ever you believe about Microsoft and the Zune, it would not be wise to ignore the presence. Most people laughed when Microsoft entered the game console market and now they are provding very serious competition, and are currently top in the next generation consoles. It should also be noted people laughed when Apple first introduced the iPod, and they are currently at the head of the pack. For reasons such as this Microsoft should be taken seriously, since there is a chance that they may be able to pull it off.

Remember those cars mirrors with the text: "objects appear closer that then they are"; well in business the equivalent mirrors should be labelled: "object may appear further than they are".

As for antivirus solutions, there may not be much of a need today, since most viruses target Windows, but I am not sure that this will always be the case.

dude you are so WRONG (might as well type what im thinking!)

i have a "fool proof" way of getting into space, does that mean im going? does it mean i will ever get there? ....probably not... but there is a chance, yes, there IS a chance.
post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Today's announcement re higher bit rate, DRM free AAC tracks at the iTMS makes Zune even more irrelevant.

While MS was pandering to the labels with their DRM crippled "squirt" nonsense, Apple was working to change the game, again.

I think the difference is, Steve actually likes music, and has an idea about how digital tech can make music a part of your life in new ways. He wants it to be a cool experience because he wants to use it. He gets excited about using it.

MS has a marketing plan, demographic data, etc.

The iPod was designed from the inside out, the inside being "buying and listening to music".

The Zune was designed from the outside in, the outside being "how can we get us some of this action".

Hmmmm well..... I disagree. Apple has a marketing plan as well. It's a commercial company who wants to make money just like Microsoft. Steve Jobs may love music, but the succes lies in the product designers who clearly are more creative and work with a vision. Steve's just the CEO. Ofcourse he outlines his strategy and vision, but Apple is not Steve Jobs.
I agree totally on the "designed from inside out" part though
post #21 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Report: Apple's security good, but wanting

Court rooms use the saying "The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" for a reason. While this report is technically correct in stating the average length of time between security fixes it fails to state the whole truth.

Microsoft has nearly constant security holes of a critical nature. Because of this, they need to plugged at a much faster rate. Apple's bugs are of much less importance. Even many of the Month Of Apple Bugs were nothing more than a remote possibility of making an app crash under certain conditions. On top of that, many were 3rd-party programs that had nothing to do with Mac OS X. Big F@#king deal!


Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft preps second-wave Zune attack

Sure, it's obvious Microsoft is prepping a 2nd attack and it's obvious it's going to be a flash based device. The problem is that Cupertino doesn't have its sights on Apple's iPod, they are going after the smaller fish. The former Play4sure partners. Zune will need to get a relatively large chunk of the non-iPod marketshare--which it won't-- before it can even begin to think about taking a share of the iPod.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple caught up in new EU

Please! It's obviously cheaper and easier for Apple to maintain one centralized store intead one for every country. The EU apparently has too much time on their hands, yet nt enough to think things through. From this point forward I'm boycotting Europe!
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post #22 of 53
I don't care how much money MS puts into ZUne, I'll never buy one because I don't trust MS at all! Apple is way ahead of the game in the trust that their customers have in them.
post #23 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Court rooms use the syaing "The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" for a reason. While this report is technically stating the truth about the average length of time between security fixes it fails to state the whole truth. Microsoft has nearly constant holes of a critical nature to plug up so it needs to fixes these at a much faster rate. Apple's bugs are of much less importance. Even many of the Month of Apple Bugs were nothing more than the possibility of making an app crash. With many being 3rd-party programs. Big F-ing deal.


Tell me about it, my company had the external internet completely blocked off yesterday because they found a flaw in windows that they wanted to protect against. They were working with MS to develop a patch and we have it back today, but from what I hear, some sites are *still* blocked. At least they let me back to AI =)
post #24 of 53
first of all, the business model of companies like norton antivirus etc. depend on malware. no malware meas they are out of business. now, while they seem do be doing an acceptable job at intercepting destructive viruses, they seem to have totally failed with trojans and the like used to create and control the millions of compromised machines out there. most experts think that at least 25% of all machines running windows are zombies. this is actually of national security concern, and i am suprised that the government does not step in to root this problem out before the russian or chinese mafia (and/or the respective governments) can extort us when push comes to shove. our country is probably the most vulnerable to any serious disruption of the net. maybe congress is just plain stupid when i comes to these matters. remember how a couple years ago they came up with 'legislation' to control spam? thats when spam was maybe 30 to 40 percent of all email. well now we are closer to 80%. well done, boneheads.
post #25 of 53
Seriously, these two guys did little more than bait Mac users and dig up some obscure nonsense that was largely crashes and wildly speculative as far as pwnage goes. And then berate those who provide the fixes and falsify their attempts to test their exploits in the wild Read KF's posts from last summer, where he praises and thanks Apple for their prompt and efffective bug squashing. Something happened, and it wasn't just a statistic. Too bad we'll likely never get the truth.

Using "average" - if they used a simple mean - to compare things like this is statistical nonsense. You can have ten 37 day lags and your mean is 37. Switch two of those to 180 days, and you're at 66 days.

Windows, it turns out has a security flaw in the implementation of animated cursors. Yikes.
post #26 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by palex9 View Post

first of all, the business model of companies like norton antivirus etc. depend on malware. no malware meas they are out of business. now, while they seem do be doing an acceptable job at intercepting destructive viruses, they seem to have totally failed with trojans and the like used to create and control the millions of compromised machines out there. most experts think that at least 25% of all machines running windows are zombies. this is actually of national security concern, and i am suprised that the government does not step in to root this problem out before the russian or chinese mafia (and/or the respective governments) can extort us when push comes to shove. our country is probably the most vulnerable to any serious disruption of the net. maybe congress is just plain stupid when i comes to these matters. remember how a couple years ago they came up with 'legislation' to control spam? thats when spam was maybe 30 to 40 percent of all email. well now we are closer to 80%. well done, boneheads.


If they failed so miserably at spam, what makes you think they'll be able to do anything about MS security problems? The only effective thing they could do would be to buy macs for everybody
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


New colors for the same old product. (I will guess: Taupe, Camel, Ecru, Sandstone and Hazel.)

Great suggestions, but those color names are far too complex for MS.

How about ... Home Brown, Office Brown, Professional Brown and Sever Brown? Home Brown can be upgraded (as can all Browns) for a fee, paid online. Once paid you get a license to call it Office Brown or whatever you upgraded to. You will have to go online every few hours to link to MS Music Store so they can check you paid the fee or it will stop working.
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post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPeon View Post

Why do these "experts" always get it backwards, MS gains more points here because it has more shit to fix? And how exactly do these security flaws compare with each other in the first place? We have proof of concept on the Mac side with no actual real exploits, on the other side we have actual damage taking place daily. Er...

Too right!

Maybe Steve should take a page out of his iTunes strategy, i.e. offering 'with and without' copy protection, only this time OS with and without major flaws. OS X 10 and OS X 13!

Drum Roll: Now available for switchers who want regular bug fixes; a new special version of the Mac OS that needs them! Introducing 'Mac OS X 13.0'. Comes with enough bugs to eat your hard drive, corrupt your data and freeze every few hours. It has to be updated ten times a day to get the latest patches. No need to miss the excitement of living on the edge.
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post #29 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaPeaJay View Post

If they failed so miserably at spam, what makes you think they'll be able to do anything about MS security problems? The only effective thing they could do would be to buy macs for everybody

i would assume that if the government was serious about the zombie army threat they could come up with some kind of anti-bot to kill off the zombies..... in the end MS should have to pay in one form or the other for enabling this kind of nonsense through their crappy software.
post #30 of 53
The two sources in the security article are employed by McAfree and Symantic. They are paid to create demand for their products and everything they say with regards to the matter is 100% irrelavent. They are paid to sell their products. This posting is equvilant to an advertisement, not a news article.
post #31 of 53
Quote:
Apple's troubles were compounded on Monday when the European Commission officially accused Apple and the four major music labels of anti-competitive practices in the deals that form the backbone of today's iTunes Store.

Apple's "troubles were compounded?" What nonsense! What's next, beleagured?

No trouble to speak of with security and the EU gnawing at iTunes is a minor annoyance. As with DRM, the fragmentation of the iTunes stores was dictated by the labels. Go after them, not Apple.
post #32 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

2. New colors for the same old product. (I will guess: Taupe, Camel, Ecru, Sandstone and Hazel.)

You forgot Avocado and Harvest Gold.

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post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple has repeatedly taunted Microsoft with the self-proclaimed superiority of its security through its advertising, said McAfee researcher Craig Schmugar. (SNIP)

"Recently, the Mac ads may be playing a role in making people go looking for flaws. They seem to be bragging a little more than they should," he said.

Apple has never said that their security is perfect. They've only said that their security is better than Microsoft's, which is true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft has typically taken much less time to patch issues and rolls out fixes in an average of 21 days -- far outpacing Apple's ever-slowing pace, which now averages 66 days between fixes.

Maybe for "regular" fixes, but Apple seems to beat Microsoft handily at releasing emergency fixes. Apple will release a fix seemingly seconds after a bug's been found while Microsoft tends to simply wait until their next scheduled update.
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post #34 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmas View Post

Remember those cars mirrors with the text: "objects appear closer that then they are"; well in business the equivalent mirrors should be labelled: "object may appear further than they are".

Actually the mirrors already say that, or close to that. It's "Objects in mirror are closer than they appear" in my experience. In cars (at least here in the U.S.) sideview mirrors make objects appear further away than they actually are.
post #35 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Please! It's obviously cheaper and easier for Apple to maintain one centralized store intead one for every country. The EU apparently has too much time on their hands, yet nt enough to think things through. From this point forward I'm boycotting Europe!

The EU has laws on competition and the single market. They think the differential in pricing breaches those laws - whats your problem?

I am not defending them, mind you, just pointing out that upholding the law is their duty.

You are going to boycott us? On behalf of all Europeans I would just like to say we are all absolutely terrified and are all going to start running around in circles in abject terror and panic.
post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris v View Post

You forgot Avocado and Harvest Gold.

mauvish puce, baby vomit green
post #37 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris v View Post

You forgot Avocado and Harvest Gold.

Oh, yes... Avocado Brown, Harvest Brown...

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post #38 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmas View Post

What ever you believe about Microsoft and the Zune, it would not be wise to ignore the presence. Most people laughed when Microsoft entered the game console market and now they are provding very serious competition, and are currently top in the next generation consoles.

Yes, but Microsoft has also failed in a LOT of markets it has tried to enter. And they stupidly didn't leverage the XBox brand name for their music player

In any case, Apple's competing in the BEST way--not trying to dodge competitors' moves, but simply innovating in user experience and features. Witness: the iPhone (a hint of future iPods I'm sure).
post #39 of 53
The security article is a joke as everybody here realises.

The Zune will dominate the non-iPod market by simple weight of MS $Marketing but the thing is so eye-wateringly uncool in design and execution that it doesn't pose any kind of threat at the moment. The thing about the XBox was the games. Zune can hold no similar 'killer-app' advantage and the EMI deal has just thrown MS's music business model down the crapper.

Don't worry about the EU investigation. Apple are on the charge sheet because of a technicality. The EU are going after the regional restrictions of the music companies in a wider context and quite rightly so. As to having too much time on their hands? Its their job you nutter.
post #40 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Yes, but Microsoft has also failed in a LOT of markets it has tried to enter. And they stupidly didn't leverage the XBox brand name for their music player

In any case, Apple's competing in the BEST way--not trying to dodge competitors' moves, but simply innovating in user experience and features. Witness: the iPhone (a hint of future iPods I'm sure).

Also I wouldn't call Xbox 360 a success just yet. PS3 has only been on the market a few months but it has totally negated an technical advantages of Xbox. Not to mention as PS3's price falls it will just become more appealing, especially to those in the growing HD TV market because of the Blu Ray player. I own both and the difference between Xbox and PS3 is very apparent on an HD TV. Give it a year or two and Xbox will look positively obsolete as the devs start getting better with the PS3 dev kits.
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