Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Quick hits

Two interesting stories from The Register. Firstly, Apple is planning to offer $1 downloads for songs integrated with iTunes. The usual Apple integration means its easy to buy, and easy to play on the iPod -- two critical components to high quality online music experiences. The article mentions that other online music services were not available on Macs and worried about competitive pricing. If the copyright holder and Apple exercise their monopoly pricing power, the result will be an inefficiently high price (the "double marginalization" problem). But the quality end user experience may make up for this. Anyway, more on slashdot.

Secondly, Microsoft is offering a $399 web server. Clearly, this is designed to compete against Linux, which has been gaining marketshare recently. GNU/Linux advocates complain that most GNU/Linux migrations come from Unix, not NT, but remember -- NT was supposed to be the Unix killer and GNU/Linux has kept it out at the low end. While GNU/Linux may not replace Windows in the near term, it has limited Microsoft's ability to price, which is serious too.

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