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Did Apple actually say they are going to make a windows version of itunes or just something to access the music store? iTunes is my favourite Mac app.. i'd feel cheated if they started to develop it for Windows.

I can see Apple just making a simple program that accesses the music store since many of my windows buddies are using Winamp or MS Media Player
 

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Apple has promised a Windows version of the iTunes Music Store (iTMS), not necessarily iTunes software for Windows. What options does Apple have?

OPTION 1 - iTMS via browser
Apple could use Internet Explorer or other browser(s) to access the iTunes Music Store, a la BuyMusic.com.
ADVANTAGES: This is probably the easiest and cheapest approach -- no new software is required; Windows users wouldn't have to download or install anything to use the iTunes Music Store.
DISADVANTAGES: Many, including inconsistency between Mac users' experience and Windows users' experience with iTMS. This option would require Apple to encourage use of Internet Explorer OR provide support for multiple browsers. Apple gives up control of interface. (Any changes made to browser(s) could affect iTMS.) Security flaws in browsers make iTMS insecure by association. Also, specific future direction/development of other companies' browsers is unknown to Apple, which limits their ability to plan changes to iTMS.

OPTION 2 - iTMS via MusicMatch
Apple helped develop a custom version of MusicMatch to bundle with the iPod for Windows. MusicMatch software could be expanded to make it the default Windows interface for the iTunes Music Store.
ADVANTAGES: Apple has already invested in MusicMatch development. MusicMatch software is already installed on many Windows machines, and is a known 'brand' for many Windows users. iTunes Music Store could be rolled out to Windows users via an update/patch to MusicMatch software.
DISADVANTAGES: Apple must control MusicMatch or risk losing control of iTMS interface. This option requires (at least) a contract requiring no sale of MusicMatch company for a period of time, and no partnerships with Apple competitors (e.g. Microsoft, Real, BuyMusic, etc.).
OPPORTUNITY: Buy MusicMatch and rebrand the software "iTunes for Windows."

OPTION 3 - new iTunes for Windows software
Apple develops its own software to access the iTunes Music Store -- a 'best of breed' competitor for all other music management software for Windows.
ADVANTAGES: Apple maintains complete control of the iTMS interface and gains a 'Trojan Horse' to introduce Mac ease-of-use to Windows users.
DISADVANTAGES: Higher development costs than Option 1 or Option 2. iTunes for Windows must be the best music player/organizer available or Windows users will still use competing products. iTunes for Windows would also have to support multiple digital music players. Quite a few headaches here, actually. This option would also burn the bridge with MusicMatch, who becomes not only a former partner but also a competitor.
OPPORTUNITY: iTunes for Windows could 'lock out' competitors by supporting only "standard" audio formats (i.e. MP3 and AAC only, no Windows Media, no Real Audio). I don't know if Apple would actually do this, but I'm sure the idea has been considered.

OPTION 4 - Safari for Windows
Long shot variation on Option 1 -- Apple could create a new Web browser for Windows, and require users to access the iTunes Music Store through that browser.
ADVANTAGES: More strategic uses than just iTunes Music Store. Safari for Windows would be a great 'Trojan Horse' introduction to Apple ease of use via best browser experience on Windows.
DISADVANTAGES: Many, including direct competition with Microsoft and all other browser developers.
OPPORTUNITY: Seize control of Windows user interface with 'Net; provide better user experience. Safari for Windows could 'pretend' to be IE6, import user bookmarks, etc.

Given these choices, I would bet on iTunes for Windows (either via Option 2 or Option 3). What do you think?

SMc

[ July 28, 2003, 12:56 PM: Message edited by: Sandy McMurray ]
 

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Options 2 and 3 seem the most likely to me.

Option 2 gains the most logical approach. Least development time vs. highest gains.

:cool:
 

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Well based on this quote from a CNet article...

Musicmatch said Monday that it will soon sell songs through its jukebox application.
It would seem Option 2 is the one that will happen.
 
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