Just talked to Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates in advance of tomorrow’s Very Big Deal launch of the new Vista Windows operating system and new generation of Microsoft Office. (Funny — I saw Sun Chairman Scott McNealy last night, and he joked that Windows and Office make up “120% of Microsoft’s profits.”)
Though we didn’t really intend to talk about the Zune music player, it did come up — and, you’re hearing it here first, Gates says that if Apple will make iTunes music playable on Zune, he’ll make Zune music playable on iPods. Though, of course, Gates knows what it’s like to hold all the cards, and right now Jobs holds all the cards in digital music.
Said Gates: “If Apple said any song on the iPod could be played on Zune, we’d say the same thing. Because they have such a high market share, they’re not interested in interoperability, but that’s too bad.”