Steve Ballmer Channels The RIAA

from the how-nice dept

Looks like Steve Ballmer also wasn’t present for Cory Doctorow’s speech to Microsoft about what’s wrong with copy protection. Microsoft, of course, is now working with the recording industry to come up with yet another attempt at copy protection, and Ballmer decided to trash Apple’s DRM technology, saying that: “The most common format of music on an iPod is ‘stolen’.” This is only going to get more amusing as it goes on. It’s really more of a dig at Apple than music downloaders, and it shows that Microsoft views Apple as the competition — and not all the file sharing apps out there. Once again, they’re missing what’s really going on. Basically, Microsoft is now admitting that they don’t care what the consumer wants, and are spending a lot of money to make a product with fewer features that does less than what current products already do. It’s not hard to see why that seems like a backwards strategy, but if they want to go down that path, they’re welcome to it. They just shouldn’t expect everyone to follow. Update: Meanwhile, in another article, Ballmer claims the company is finally listening to its customers. It certainly doesn’t sound like it concerning their stance on copy protection. Update 2:: A reporter who was there gives a little more perspective on what Ballmer actually said, suggesting it wasn’t as bad as it originally sounded.

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Comments on “Steve Ballmer Channels The RIAA”

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RJD says:

No Subject Given

Microsoft has the luxury of dealing from the seat of power. They own 95% of the desktops out there. Should they decide to, they could probably exclude others from playing in the media market thus making what ever they decide, the defacto standard. The joy of owning the Operating system that the world has come to live on is you get to make up the rules as you go along. And then try to keep a straight face when you say that you are not a monopoly and that you need this freedom to ‘innovate.’

Don’t think Mr. Softie can make the rules ? Watch the operating system upgrades closely as they come out and don’t be surprised if some of the ‘enhancements’ include locking you into the Microsoft Way.

And sad thing is, they’ll get away with it. Most users really don’t know enough to care. As long as they push the button and get what they think they want, life is good.

MH says:

Re: No Subject Given

It is Microsoft’s attitude that they ‘own’ 95 % of the world’s desktops. It is seriously, ethically wrong, and a horrible misrepresentation, for anyone else to suggest this, even in hyperbole.
Microsoft SELLS TO those customers. They do NOT own them. They do NOT control them, except that they may be trying. They SERVE those customers.
And until people actually start talking about it this way, all those customers are unlikely to ever realize the simple fact.
Microsoft serves YOU, not the other way around! Demand it!

Thomas Hawk (profile) says:


Isn’t it a tad bit hypocritical for Balmer to call iPod users theives just because they listen to illegal mp3s?

Wouldn’t the same percentage of people be listening to mp3s on their copies of Windows Media Player on their home PC? And wasn’t it most likely a Microsoft operating system that helped them download the illegal file in the first place?

It is nice to know that Microsoft has seen the power of insulting your users though. Seems to be working for the RIAA.

TJ says:

Listening how

Microsoft is focusing on listening to customers lately? Bull! Microsoft does everything possible not to have to listen to customers, limiting retail support to 90 days and farming that out to third-parties. As for large companies, Microsoft phased out many customer reps a few years ago. Those reps used to provide a lot of value, and they listened to the customer and shared what they learned within Microsoft. But it wasn’t worth keeping them for that pesky “customers” thing. These days Microsoft’s listening seems to consist of reading bad press and then reacting when necessary.

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