News; Microsoft and Real reconciliation had made a deal
Through the compensation and help promote Rhapsody music service, Microsoft is and RealNetworks company for reconciliation. The settlement agreement RealNetworks is very good for the company, Microsoft is also good, but also for apple computer is especially almost no threat.
The United States on October 12, eastern time (Beijing time October 13), according to overseas the latest report, can let friends into the enemy technology industry, also can let the enemy into a friend. When happened in Microsoft body, to this truth more show real. A year and a half ago, Microsoft chief executive Steven Ballmer agree with long-term Sun Microsystems rival of the chief executive officer reconciliation, between the two companies in order to solve the long and painful legal dispute. Although Ballmer and McNealy from Michigan, you know, in high school, but long before they became the enemy.
The enemy or friend relationship changes recently happened between Microsoft and RealNetworks company. October 11, local time, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates RealNetworks to chief executive Rob Glaser put out an olive branch. In this connection, two technology industry giants over began in December 2003 lawsuit.
In December 2003, RealNetworks firm about antitrust action against Microsoft, accused by Microsoft to use its Windows operating system the dominance of forced the PC maker installation Windows Media Player and other similar software installation may set up obstacles, limit RealNetworks company in the development and expansion of the multimedia software market. At the same time, RealNetworks company announced for losses of more than 1 billion U.S. dollars, and required Microsoft to pay the same amount of economic compensation.
Microsoft will provide Real Networks company to compensate for $761 million in cash. Meanwhile, Microsoft will promote Real Networks through MSN music service company of Rhapsody, Rhapsody and Apple's iTunes music store very similar. In addition, both as part of the deal, Real Networks will not directly involved in the European Union and South Korea throughout the world against Microsoft antitrust investigation.
The new era
Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and Real Networks company chief executive Rob Glaser were present at a joint press conference. In the press conference Rob Glaser said: "we had to say goodbye to the relationship with Microsoft history into a new era." RealNetworks company and Microsoft's old history is not good.
Seven years ago, Glaser in parliament proved before Microsoft Windows system illegally suppressed the RealNetworks company's digital media technology, and accused Microsoft's use of monopoly position of other competitors in the crackdown to escape competition. In addition to the litigation besides, RealNetworks company also provide evidence for the European regulators survey Microsoft, this final with the European Union found Microsoft compensation RealNetworks company $612 million over, some of the indictment is Microsoft's use of its market dominance RealNetworks hinder the development of the company.
Gates and Glaser between opposing each other long ago, although the two have had a friendship. The friendship between both started in 22 years ago, from Microsoft hiring Glaser start, Glaser soon climb to the highest position on Microsoft. Then he very close to Bill Gates, that in 1993 he joined Bill Gates' bachelor party. Bill Gates spoke with the Glaser old days to work with in Microsoft said: "we were are good friends." Glaser in 1994 to leave Microsoft started RealNetworks company.
The most outspoken critics
RealNetworks companies once is Microsoft the most outspoken critics, accused of the world's largest software company using Windows operating system of the monopoly advantage repressive media player software of other areas such as competitors.
Microsoft will pay RealNetworks company $761 million in damages, including $460 million for between the parties over the antitrust action legal disputes, and Microsoft will also pay RealNetworks company $301 million cash, and promote and distributed Rhapsody (RealNetworks online music subscription services company journal) related services.
Microsoft agreed to let RealNetworks company visit "many Windows platform technology" to ensure the Windows platform. In addition, Microsoft will also in MSN Games and online game platform of psu on Xbox 360 Xbox Live Arcade RealNetworks rolled out the Numbers game.
Microsoft chairman Bill Gates in a joint statement said: "this agreement will let the MSN tens of millions of customers is more convenient to use their favorite music and games, digital music is the most rapidly growing online entertainment industry one of the fields in MSN, through which the Rhapsody music service members, we will provide users with better service."
New settlement series more than personal friendship category. In fact, the settlement agreement RealNetworks online music journal for the subscription service Rhapsody is very important. While facing the Napster and yahoo from the fierce competition, but after all, Rhapsody service has now become the online subscription music service the first choice. Although very popular is the market leader, but Rhapsody service subscribers but only about 1 million people. Although RealNetworks company recently reached a deal on web access will Rhapsody service giant Comcast company before consumers, but the company is still need for Rhapsody service develop a wider area to its development has become a long-term viability of the business.
The settlement agreement let RealNetworks company can get Microsoft has promised to give Rhapsody service a broad market, Microsoft has promised to early next year will start from the widely used by the key part of the MSN service provided to Rhapsody service. So when the user use MSN search and input musician name (for example, love the er), Rhapsody service will be in its search results to appear, to offer users of the service to listen to the song choice.
At the same time Microsoft chairman Bill Gates issued a statement saying: "this agreement will be easier to MSN users to use their favorite music and game service, digital music online entertainment industry is one of the fastest growing business, through MSN music service, we Rhapsody publicity for the user with a better experience."
In the MSN music page, Rhapsody service will be clearly marked out. MSN some crediable history and Microsoft instant messaging services by Rhapsody service user will be able to make their friends listen to we are listening to songs.
Raymond James and Associates company analysts Mike Latimore said, cash and Microsoft MSN service promotion support will let RealNetworks company's Rhapsody music online service benefit greatly, "the settlement agreement the popularization of the company to support RealNetworks online media service is a big push, and cash will help them further expand the target market share."
Jupiter Research company's Joe Wilcox says, reconciliation is good for both sides. He said: "RealNetworks company received a large amounts of cash and get rid of the possible spread of costly litigation and attention, Microsoft also solve many a Pope litigation, and could be the problems left over by the anti-monopoly lawsuit the biggest of the Pope. And also help to improve the Microsoft position in Europe."
To Microsoft for, and in order to get digital media than the relevant interests, the settlement agreement is to contain more long-term legal proceedings. Optimistic view, the settlement agreement let Microsoft got another and apple hostile "Allies", because apple's iPod digital walkman and its complete music download service in iTunes digital music market of the primary has made very clear leadership.
Apple computer in a year ago rejected RealNetworks company for cooperation efforts, apple chief executive Steve Jobs have been very despised subscribe to type music business, and its iTunes music store online in each song every album of the charge. And now, Microsoft for the subscription music business RealNetworks market leader of a company to offer a huge market and make means, apple computers on the subscription music business view of perhaps will have to change.
In fact, the settlement agreement look makes Microsoft paid some of the cost. The software giant Microsoft has been considered to launch its own music subscription service, but two weeks ago due to subscribe to consumers for a series of music copyright music label called for a Microsoft plan.
For apple computer almost harmless
Perhaps the industry to ask: the settlement agreement could help both the common fight against the apple computer, and apple computer with iTunes online music store has digital music and iPod music market walkman take the largest share online.
And RealNetworks company settlement agreement may have contributed to deal with apple computer's decision, but Microsoft chief lawyer Brad Smith said the company with RealNetworks reconciliation and Microsoft and apple's competitive strategy and no close relationship. Smith: "will Microsoft and apple computer competition strategy and Microsoft with RealNetworks company settlement do direct link is really ridiculous."
When Microsoft hope and RealNetworks company cooperation will help yourself better deal with apple computer, the fact is not. Jupiter Research company analysts David Card said: "the settlement agreement to RealNetworks company that is of vital importance, but it is generally to Microsoft. And this almost can't weaken the apple computer's power."
But obviously Microsoft and RealNetworks the company may have to struggle "weapon" collection up, but they will extend this agreement do more efforts to "bury" his market apple computer.