I can't believe that company! They are a practical monopoly. They leverage their monopoly in one market to dominate another and crush competition. They use proprietary standards. They actively resist competitors from integrating with their solutions. Of course, I'm talking about
Apple. I'm often amazed, as a Microsoft fan, that so little is said about the way Apple uses the iPod/iTunes system to lock everyone else out. Of course, I also own and use an iPod heavily and I really like iTunes (I don't like the iPod actually, but I'm in a minority here). And, of course, Apple is the spunky little guy, so we all cut them slack...but if Microsoft created iTunes, you know that every competitor (and the EU...how can we forget them) would be screaming about anti-competitive practices and conspiracy theories...ah well.
However, Microsoft has finally announced pricing and availability for the Zune. Is this going to be better than the iPod? I have no idea. I'm not even certain whether I'd want to sign up for yet another monthly fee, but get all the music in the library, or stick with my 99 cent for each song I want. Honestly, I do more audio books than anything else, so I guess I need to see what Audible does. I do like the FM tuner, and the wireless features, but it's a hard call.
However, the important point here is that this might finally be the break in the monopoly. Microsoft might not be the one to actually take the market away from Apple, but this amount of churn can only help the market as a whole.