United Against a Common Enemy

Mac users are singing a happy tune today, following news that HP would redistribute iTunes and the iPod music player. Or are they?

The deal makes plenty of sense for Apple. As one of the top two PC manufacturers, HP would help proliferate Apple’s Fairplay digital rights management (DRM)-wrapped Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) music files, further adoption of the iTunes music player and presumably lead to more sales of iPod. 

But, I wonder how many Mac users can stomach reliance on, gasp, a Windows PC manufacturer to peddle Apple’s wares. Windows, or Windose in many Mac circles, is a dirty word. So is Microsoft, or Micro$oft in many of those same circles, even though Bill Gates’ company has been one of the most loyal Mac developers.

What’s the saying about keeping your enemies closer than your friends? Or maybe, in this case two parties uniting against a common enemy. Dell is a four-letter word over at Apple. Just ask the folks in Cupertino how much they distain Dell as a non-innovator. Likewise, Dell is HP’s major competitor, one that recently released a music player to rival iPod and music store provided by MusicMatch. Looked at this way, an Apple-HP union around music stores and music players makes a helluva lot of sense.