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Ex-Apple exec sides with Dell to hit iTunes

updated 11:00 pm EDT, Mon August 18, 2008

Tim Bucher sides with Dell

Three years after settling a wrongful termination suit against his former employer, Tim Bucher has decided to help Dell take on the iTunes empire. The former Apple Exec tells BusinessWeek that one day in 2004, Steve Jobs came to him saying "people think you are sometimes manic-depressive," and proceeded to fire him. Bucher says the charges of mental illness are "completely false," and he went on to sue Apple. Today, Bucher has moved on -- he heads a 120-member team to put Dell back in the music business.

BusinessWeek says Dell's effort will not be another head-on attack with a competing branded audio player and music store. Instead, Dell is working to create partnerships among Apple's long list of rivals including record labels and cell-phone companies. Bucher is working on a standard to compete with Apple's FairPlay DRM that will give users more choices in how they buy and use content. The alliance is also likely to give record companies and other content owners the pricing flexibility they have been demanding from Steve Jobs. The Dell project -- expected to be unveiled next month -- would involve supplying the software for free with Dell hoping to make money from increased hardware sales.

Bucher came to Dell about a year ago when it purchased the company he founded and its most valuable asset -- "Zing." The application provides the underpinnings so content can easily be shared or "zinged" between computers, music players and other devices. The software is the centerpiece of Dell's renewed emphasis on music and other content, BusinessWeek reported.

As for his motivation, Butcher says it's strictly business. He says he holds no grudge against Steve Jobs. "I guarantee its not about Revenge," he told the magazine.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. FireWire

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    ...

    Judas!

  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -8

    Karma

    This is what you get for believing in Eastern Religions Steve.

  1. chadpengar

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -3

    another DRM?

    "Bucher is working on a standard to compete with Apple's FairPlay DRM that will give users more choices in how they buy and use content. "

    Like the world wants another DRM system. Also, love the hype "more choices"! "Plays for sure" worked really well. That sentence sounds like something Obama would say.

  1. ViktorCode

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Hardware?

    "The Dell project -- expected to be unveiled next month -- would involve supplying the software for free with Dell hoping to make money from increased hardware sales."

    Does it mean Dell is going to unveil a mp3 player? Or does it mean Dell is going to lock software / service to its own PCs? Both options won't undermine Apple supremacy in any way.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -14

    Re: another DRM

    Like the world wants another DRM system.

    Yeah, because Fairplay is enough for everybody! Oh, wait, no one else can use it but Apple. Then what are they supposed to do?

    Also, love the hype "more choices"! "Plays for sure" worked really well.

    And what didn't work well with Plays for Sure? Or are you just spouting the "Well, it must not work, it's from MS!" line?

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -14

    On DRM

    Oh, to everyone who keeps proclaiming how Apple is so anti-DRM: Have you noticed Steve's stance has ONLY been made on music. He never has said "We need to get rid of DRM for video!", and, in fact, the video DRM is worse than the audio (no ability to make DVDs, for example).

    And now it has moved into the world of the AppStore. No one apparently seems to mind DRM on their applications. Well, I guess unless it comes from Adobe or MS, then it is onerous. But from Apple? Oh, that's great!

  1. tortenteufel

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +7

    manic-depressive

    Don't know about manic, but I'm sure you will be depressed working for Dell....

  1. jvputten

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    iPod killer

    Bucher is FINALLY going to be the one to create the 'iPod killer' device.

    Yeah, right...

  1. ebeyer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Pots and kettles

    Oh, the irony of being told by Steve Jobs that you're manic depressive!

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    Right Place, Right TIme

    Bucher was lucky to be at Apple when he was. Does he believe that Dell, with all their design and programming panache, are going to field a serious competitor to the iPod/iTunes machine? Does he think that lightning will strike him a second time?

    testudo... Opposition to Plays for Sure is a much about about MS backstabbing their "partners" and customers by canceling the service when they released the Zune scam... scheme as the fact it didn't really work as promised.

    As for movie/video DRM, the studios forced everyone else to accept DRM.

    No DRM, No Movies.

    h***, it's designed into the hardware. The movie industry felt as though they missed out on the VCR thing. They would've put meters on the things. Why do you think DAT was killed?

    Do you seriously think that Apple or anyone in the digital video business actually WANT video DRM. Nobody but the studios do.

    Apple doesn't want to use FairPlay, either. But in order to have the vast music catalogue they have available, the record companies demand it. Amazon and others having non-DRM version s of the same music is clearlt designed to try and crack Apple's music selling dominance.

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