Gates/Allchin Email: iTunes "Smoked" Microsoft, Caught them "Flat Footed"

Former Microsoft CEO, Bill Gates, and Windows Vista honcho, Bill Allchin, had an email exchange back in 2003 when Apple launched iTunes and were rather candid about how well Steve Jobs put it together, and how badly Microsoft was caught off guard.

Gates says Microsoft was caught "flat footed". He also praises Jobs and doubts the subscription model Microsoft now uses for the Zune HD:

Steve Jobs ability to focus in on a few things that count, get people who get user interface right and market things as revolutionary are amazing things.[...] With the subscription who can promise you that the cool new stuff you want (or old stuff) will be there?

Allchin was much briefer:

  1. How did they get the music companies to go along?
  2. We were smoked.

Gizmodo, via Groklaw have the full emails online. The question now becomes, is Apple still catching the competition flat-footed, or is Apple the one who now needs to be careful, lest they be smoked?

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.