Microsoft, RIM plan services to compete with Apple's iTunes

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Two of Apple's chief rivals are working on their own separate services to compete with iTunes, as Research in Motion has partnered with 7digital for its PlayBook tablet, and Microsoft is cooking up a secret project dubbed "Ventura."



RIM's PlayBook to have 7digital store



When RIM's PlayBook touchscreen tablet ships this year, it will come preloaded with the 7digital store and offer access to about 13 million songs, the company announced Wednesday. The inclusion of the 7digital store is a change for RIM, which has not preloaded such services on its BlackBerry smartphones.



The British music service offers pay-per-track songs at a quality of 320kbps. A preview of the PlayBook with 7digital is said to be planned for this week's South by Southwest conference in Austin, Tex.



"The 7digital Music Store is a perfect complement to the high-performance BlackBerry PlayBook, providing users with fast searches and downloads, and a slick interface that makes it very easy to discover, purchase and enjoy music," said Alistair Mitchell, Vice President, BBM Platform & Integrated Services. "We are thrilled to be working with 7digital to provide BlackBerry PlayBook users with access to an amazing catalog of 13 million tracks."



RIM's alignment with 7digital is clearly an effort to counter Apple's iTunes Store, which comes installed on every iPad and iPhone. iTunes is by far the largest seller of digital music, with one recent study estimating that Apple controls 66 percent of online music sales.



RIM's 7-inch PlayBook is scheduled to launch in the coming months as RIM plans to enter the tablet market and take on Apple's iPad. The Canadian device maker has not yet announced a price for the multi-touch device.



Microsoft's "Ventura" product



Microsoft may replace its Zune brand with a new music and video discovery and consumption service codenamed "Ventura," according to Mary-Jo Foley of ZDNet. The new project is said to be in development in the Redmond, Wash., software giant's Entertainment and Devices division.



Microsoft reportedly said it is "committed to providing a great music and video experience," but would not comment on the project. Rumors have persisted that the company plans to abandon the Zune line of devices and rebrand its music and video services entirely.



The Zune started as a portable media player intended to compete with Apple's iPod, but failed to gain traction. Microsoft's last update to the hardware line, the Zune HD, was released in September 2009.



In addition to hardware, Zune also became a brand for Microsoft's digital content sales and streaming music subscriptions. The Zune storefront was expanded to other Microsoft products like Windows and the Xbox 360 in an effort to compete with Apple's iTunes.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    paul94544paul94544 Posts: 1,027member
    Imagine:

    Caught with trousers down with a product that is too late to market, too expensive and without much content. This is the sign of desparation I would say..







    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Two of Apple's chief rivals are working on their own separate services to compete with iTunes, as Research in Motion has partnered with 7digital for its PlayBook tablet, and Microsoft is cooking up a secret project dubbed "Ventura."



    RIM's PlayBook to have 7digital store



    When RIM's PlayBook touchscreen tablet ships this year, it will come preloaded with the 7digital store and offer access to about 13 million songs, the company announced Wednesday. The inclusion of the 7digital store is a change for RIM, which has not preloaded such services on its BlackBerry smartphones.



    The British music service offers pay-per-track songs at a quality of 320kbps. A preview of the PlayBook with 7digital is said to be planned for this week's South by Southwest conference in Austin, Tex.



    "The 7digital Music Store is a perfect complement to the high-performance BlackBerry PlayBook, providing users with fast searches and downloads, and a slick interface that makes it very easy to discover, purchase and enjoy music," said Alistair Mitchell, Vice President, BBM Platform & Integrated Services. "We are thrilled to be working with 7digital to provide BlackBerry PlayBook users with access to an amazing catalog of 13 million tracks."



    RIM's alignment with 7digital is clearly an effort to counter Apple's iTunes Store, which comes installed on every iPad and iPhone. iTunes is by far the largest seller of digital music, with one recent study estimating that Apple controls 66 percent of online music sales.



    RIM's 7-inch PlayBook is scheduled to launch in the coming months as RIM plans to enter the tablet market and take on Apple's iPad. The Canadian device maker has not yet announced a price for the multi-touch device.



    Microsoft's "Ventura" product



    Microsoft may replace its Zune brand with a new music and video discovery and consumption service codenamed "Ventura," according to Mary-Jo Foley of ZDNet. The new project is said to be in development in the Redmond, Wash., software giant's Entertainment and Devices division.



    Microsoft reportedly said it is "committed to providing a great music and video experience," but would not comment on the project. Rumors have persisted that the company plans to abandon the Zune line of devices and rebrand its music and video services entirely.



    The Zune started as a portable media player intended to compete with Apple's iPod, but failed to gain traction. Microsoft's last update to the hardware line, the Zune HD, was released in September 2009.



    In addition to hardware, Zune also became a brand for Microsoft's digital content sales and streaming music subscriptions. The Zune storefront was expanded to other Microsoft products like Windows and the Xbox 360 in an effort to compete with Apple's iTunes.



  • Reply 2 of 46
    stevetimstevetim Posts: 482member
    Competition is good ... and i hope both companies release something much better than Apple. But the track record of both companies does not bode well for them ... Alas. iTunes is not a great app by any means, yet apple has had virtually no pressure to make it better because frankly they have no competition.
  • Reply 3 of 46
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    Good 'ol Microsoft. 7 years late but still trying.
  • Reply 4 of 46
    aeolianaeolian Posts: 189member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevetim View Post


    Competition is good ... and i hope both companies release something much better than Apple. But the track record of both companies does not bode well for them ... Alas. iTunes is not a great app by any means, yet apple has had virtually no pressure to make it better because frankly they have no competition.



    I can not even try to tell you how right you are...



    I agree, we need some competition here.
  • Reply 5 of 46
    jpellinojpellino Posts: 599member
    We just call this effort "BrownBerry HD 5.0" and be done with it.
  • Reply 6 of 46
    triggstriggs Posts: 28member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post


    I can not even try to tell you how right you are...



    I agree, we need some competition here.



    For a variety of reasons, I went with an Android phone last year and, after trying several of the music players settled on Doubletwist. It could use a prettier interface, but I love the wireless syncing and ability to stream audio/video from my phone to any Upnp client. All I really miss is the genius playlist, but I can get over that.



    On a related note, if/when I get an iPad I'm really going to miss Swype. That's probably the most innovative thing I've seen on a non-iDevice that isn't a clear knockoff of some Apple innovation.
  • Reply 7 of 46
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,477member
    ITunes has been out for a decade. Why is MS just waking up now? I hope they don't call it Ventura because I own Ventura.com and don't need their traffic eating up my bandwidth.
  • Reply 8 of 46
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,101member
    Explain to me why people would once again buy digital content they already own or bought many times over in various formats.



    Having this store for people who are new and do not already own content make be attractive proposition, however, why would people want to re-invest in this stuff. The same hold true to apps, if you own the app on you IOS product why would someone buy yet again on another OS device.



    This was the biggest reason most people did not migrate from windows to Mac for many years they did not want to buy all their stuff again. It was not until software company made the upgrades almost as expensive as new people say why not move to the Mac.
  • Reply 9 of 46
    chabigchabig Posts: 618member
    But RIM keeps telling everyone the Playbook is for business.
  • Reply 10 of 46
    mugzymugzy Posts: 38member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chabig View Post


    But RIM keeps telling everyone the Playbook is for business.



    and the NFL is planning to use iPads for their new PLAYBOOKS.



    how confusing is that?
  • Reply 11 of 46
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevetim View Post


    ... Alas. iTunes is not a great app by any means, yet apple has had virtually no pressure to make it better because frankly they have no competition.



    Actually, I'm pretty sure that the "compete with Apple's iTunes" line refers to the iTunes Music store, not the iTunes application.
  • Reply 12 of 46
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,477member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mugzy View Post


    and the NFL is planning to use iPads for their new PLAYBOOKS.



    how confusing is that?



    That's funny!
  • Reply 13 of 46
    go4d1go4d1 Posts: 34member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post


    ITunes has been out for a decade. Why is MS just waking up now? I hope they don't call it Ventura because I own Ventura.com and don't need their traffic eating up my bandwidth.



    I have a client who may be interested in acquiring Ventura.com.
  • Reply 14 of 46
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,477member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by go4d1 View Post


    I have a client who may be interested in acquiring Ventura.com.



    It is unlikely they will call it Ventura because MS has never contacted me. I doubt they would launch a new brand without first acquiring the domain.
  • Reply 15 of 46
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Paul94544 View Post


    Imagine:

    Caught with trousers down with a product that is too late to market, too expensive and without much content. This is the sign of desparation I would say..





    It's like that every time a company tries to take down the iTunes/IPod/iPhone/iPad ecosystem. It's also like that with every iPad and iPod "killer" released. It's actually quite pathetic. Apple releases something, and everyone from Sony to RIM to M$ spends two years trying to catch up and release a "really great product that is in some ways better than the _____"



    In each instance, they fail to realize that Apple's device is more than the sum of its parts. Everything works together seamlessly, even if there are some spec and feature flaws. Take that seamless, sleekly designed device, then add Apple's undeniable brand and "cool" factors, then combine it with a rabid fan/customer base and great marketing. Bingo, the Apple i____"



    It's funny to watch company after company fail to "get it." They release products that are often technically better than Apple's (and sometimes not). But their phones are not iPhones. Their tablets are not iPads. Their stores are not Apple Stores. Their products quietly slip into obscurity...and not the "cult classic" kind of obscurity...just regular obscurity. They fail to realize that as much R&D as Apple does, as much innovation as they do...they have done just as much or more building of their gobal brand...eh... ICON. That is the icing on the cake. Apple is seen as cool, sexy, smart, modern, hip. Does anyone thing RIM or Microshaft are sexy? Cool? Smart? Hip? Of course not. These companies just don't realize that people aren't just buying products. They're buying the brand itself. They aren't just buying an awesome phone, or tablet, or computer that does really cool things. They're buying Apple.



    I'm starting to wonder when some of these companies will just go their own way. Motorola has done that somewhat with its marketing towards men with the Droid. Some should just do what they do. Often, what they "do" is not where Apple lives. Does Sony really need a music store? Why does Micro$oft need to be in the phone OS business? Focus on what what got you there...Office and Windows...maybe XBox more recently. Samsung makes great displays/TVs. Stick to it. Sony makes audio/video equipment, PCs and video game systems. Stick to it. Apple doesn't care about TVs and video game consoles and AVRs.



    Seems to me we have a whole bunch of huge companies consistently trying to out-Apple each other. FAIL.
  • Reply 16 of 46
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,000member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevetim View Post


    Competition is good ... and i hope both companies release something much better than Apple. But the track record of both companies does not bode well for them ... Alas. iTunes is not a great app by any means, yet apple has had virtually no pressure to make it better because frankly they have no competition.



    If by competition you mean Microsoft making its music store the default option for Windows users and overriding iTunes unless the user modifies the registry then you need to think again, think IE. Then there's the throny issue of allowing iPods, iPads, and iPhones, and all the Android crap to sync to this default music store. It won't succeed on just Zune and WM7 traffic I would assume.
  • Reply 17 of 46
    stevetimstevetim Posts: 482member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by johndesmarais View Post


    Actually, I'm pretty sure that the "compete with Apple's iTunes" line refers to the iTunes Music store, not the iTunes application.



    They are really going to compete against the "whole package" ... that means content and user experience. Content is the easy part ... if they figure out a way to sync and organize better than iTunes, that would be a good thing for everyone.
  • Reply 18 of 46
    stevetimstevetim Posts: 482member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    If by competition you mean Microsoft making its music store the default option for Windows users and overriding iTunes unless the user modifies the registry then you need to think again, think IE. Then there's the throny issue of allowing iPods, iPads, and iPhones, and all the Android crap to sync to this default music store. It won't succeed on just Zune and WM7 traffic I would assume.



    No i just mean better user experience. Microsoft can't get by with that especially in europe.
  • Reply 19 of 46
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jpellino View Post


    We just call this effort "BrownBerry HD 5.0" and be done with it.



    I think it's more of a "DingleBerry 1.0".
  • Reply 20 of 46
    rabbit_coachrabbit_coach Posts: 1,114member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mugzy View Post


    and the NFL is planning to use iPads for their new PLAYBOOKS.



    how confusing is that?



    Hmm, I think I am confused too. Can you explain?? Sounds funny anyway!
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