The Sound Of Music

Microsoft continues to want to have its cake and eat it as rumours appear that it is about to challenge Spotify (and Pandora and with its own music streaming service.

This week's move to support MPG4 on Silverlight3a shows a willingness in Redmond to become more mainstream and conformist and to move away from the 'we will own it all' Apple model that only Steve Jobs seems to be able to get away with.

But it does remind me of a time during the dot com boom where I turned up at the offices of a well funded online company only to find that I was pitching directly against Microsoft's consulting arm (yes, they do have one, or at least did..) - the irony is that my company was a Microsoft Gold Developer at the time.

Now they're burning the candle from both ends again as they try to launch more content based businesses.

It's quite ironic that the business model they seem to be following is very close to that of Real Networks, a company that split away from Microsoft well over a decade ago and established online video and audio as we know it today.