Sunday, November 14, 2004

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Gates vs. Jobs: The Rematch

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Gates vs. Jobs: The Rematch: "The iPod, Mr. Jobs boasted at the event, has become the 'Walkman of the 21st century.' It dominates its market in a way that no Apple product has done in a generation, raising the possibility that the company is becoming more than just a purveyor of computers with high design and low market share. If Apple continues to ride the wave of digital consumer electronics products, it may become the Sony of the 21st century.
For that to happen, however, Mr. Jobs must do what he failed to do last time: prevail over his old nemesis, Bill Gates, who sees entertainment as Microsoft's next great frontier. Microsoft is working hard to make sure that the iPod is less like the Walkman and more like the Betamax, Sony's videocassette format that was defeated in the marketplace by VHS.
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So it is easy to imagine, a few years from now, that an elegant, hip Apple digital television product will be battling for the home entertainment market against a much larger army of rivals using various forms of Microsoft software. "It's a classic one," Mr. Gates said. "Apple has always been a hardware company. I think Apple will do things the Apple way, and Microsoft will do things the Microsoft way. I'd say the long-term factors all favor our approach."
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