October 12, 2005

Hurl City! [12:46 pm]

I’m on vacation this week, but this article made my gorge rise: Antitrust Suit Turns Into a Partnership for Microsoft

Their common ground, the two companies say, is a strategy of digital media in which Microsoft wants its software used on all kinds of devices, and RealNetworks wants its subscription services distributed widely. “To have a digitally interconnected world, you need to collaborate with a lot of other companies, and this is a step toward that world,” Mr. Glaser said in an interview.

Over the years, Microsoft has often been portrayed by its rivals and critics as a greedy giant, trying to bundle all kinds of products into Windows and stifling consumer choice. Yesterday, Mr. Gates and Mr. Glaser cast themselves as champions of choice in contrast with Apple, whose iPod players, iTunes software and iStore music store are tightly integrated.

“We’re not one closed monolithic system, where you have to use their device, their software and their service,” Mr. Glaser said.

The Microsoft-RealNetworks collaboration, Mr. Gates said, was the “open alternative” in the digital media market.

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