Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates this week took a swipe at Apple Computer's iPod in an interview in the German magazine Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The interview was part of Microsoft's publicity blitz for the newest version of its mobile OS, Windows Mobile 5.0. Gates predicted that mobile devices using Windows Mobile will eventually replace the iPod as the dominant platform for accessing mobile media, including music and video.
Gates' predictions are interesting, but they don't square with the current reality of the market. Apple's iPod is a runaway smash. The company owns two-thirds of the digital music player market, and its iTunes Music Store has sold hundreds of millions of legal song downloads and is to date the only major success of the online music market. Apple sold 5 million iPods last quarter alone. While the company may have faced some setbacks trying to get the first iTunes phone off the ground, the mobile music market is still Apple's game to lose.
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