Emily Maitlis has never struggled to demonstrate that she possesses brains as well as beauty. The 34-year-old Cambridge graduate was handling world news for Sky long before she moved to the BBC. Her blonde locks and lip gloss were deployed to attract attention to US politics and conflict in the Balkans Nobody doubted that she was capable of gravitas. That, he adds, is in contrast to Apple's strategy."The Apple-Motorola phone could be a train wreck Apple's deal with HP [to sell iPods] was a train wreck. That end-to-end approach to designing the customer experience can be effective early on, but over time it will lose out because of the share of market forces against them."And it could be that thinking which prompted Real to strike a deal with its old enemy now, rather than later.. That compares with less than 100 million PCs." Music, video and TV services, and easy-to-download games, will all, he predicts, transfer well to the phone.He believes handset firms and operators will pick Real as its software is open and plays a range of file formats - something the Microsoft agreement only strengthens.
Visitors to Real's websites download one and a half million pieces of software a day, but that is dwarfed by the potential market in mobile phones."We can gain share there. There are already 40 million handsets with our player, and there will be 760 million handsets sold this year. It is vexing that Apple has taken a closed approach."Glaser believes that being open - and not tying his company's software to one camp, be it Apple or Microsoft - will help it gain ground in new markets. "Microsoft takes a very wide approach to licensing its digital rights management software. It cements the working relationship and puts the Rhapsody service in front of millions of MSN users, giving it a leg-up in the fight with Apple's iTunes.Glaser's battle with Microsoft would have made him a natural ally of Apple's chief, Steve Jobs.
But he criticises Apple for adopting closed technologies instead of open standards. Putting MSN Search into RealPlayer will get the Microsoft portal on a lot more PC desktops.Real will also back Microsoft's software for portable media players.And Glaser's decision to opt for access to Microsoft services, and not just cash, might also prove astute. "But we will be collaborating in around 60 per cent of our business, primarily in music and games, and competing in 40 per cent, which is around system software and media players."For Glaser, settling with Micro- soft allows the two to rebuild trust and work together again. He is an admirer of Gates but concedes that attempts at technical collaboration, in areas like digital rights management, foundered due to the legal dispute.Those discussions have now resumed, and will include areas such as joint efforts on search technologies - a business where Gates is determined to take on Google. It is also gearing up for the launch of the Xbox 360 games console in December.