This post discusses how the mobile market is influencing music sales and productivity applications. As of this writing Microsoft offers their Office software suite for Android, and iOS devices, Google and Microsoft also both offer their respective music players on a variety of platforms; iTunes has also been cross platform for some time now. With the zipping about of cross-platform media and office suites come some drawbacks.
Let’s discuss this: Apple or Microsoft users both probably listen to music or podcasts, and the same can be said about Google Chrome OS users. Digital rights management makes users authenticate via a platform like iTunes or Spotify, or Google Music. For instance, you can’t take your Spotify playlists and play them in Windows Media Player or iTunes. You need to have the platform that you used to buy the music to play the music. You need Google Chrome to play your Google Music purchases.
With the myriad of devices available to purchase on the market today, many platforms lure you by trying to give you free content from their respective platforms. For instance, as of this writing you can get $10 back in Google Play store credit upon purchase of a Chromecast device. Wow, so that sounds clever and helpful, but perhaps more clever than helpful. You see in order to use that $10 credit you have to have a Google Play Store account. When you spend your credit, you’re only going to be able to redeem it for apps and services on the Google platform. Google needs to rope you in to its delivery platform by giving you free stuff.
The same goes with Apple and Microsoft. Both companies offer premiere services that go with their platforms. Apple has its Notes, iCloud Drive, and Apple Music, which are all super proprietary, and many have perks for sticking with them. In other words, they want to keep your business. For instance, Google purchased Picasa, and now offers users of its Photos service free backup of all their photos.
The proprietary nature of these companies are usually what keep users using their products, in addition to the perks. Either that or individual preference. In the past, if you were a fan of using Apple’s Keynote you would have to remain in the Apple world, and have a Mac for the rest of your employed life. These days, with a simple download of the iCloud Drive application for Windows, people can access a web version of Keynote on the web. Even a step further, users can access a fuller Apple office suite via an iPad or iPhone, thus relinquishing the need for the user’s main computer to be Mac OSX.
Google and Microsoft has been taking the charge in the cross-platform initiative. Starting with Microsoft’s Office for Mac, and now Google’s Drive offers a productivity suite that is completely compatible with Office and Apple’s suite. So all three major players are now offering cross-compatibility. More importantly, Microsoft and Apple both offer their respective media players on the Android platform. Apple Music is a subscription service that offers users the ability to stream their own music, and other albums available on the platform. This product can take your music that is stored in your iCloud, and play it on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. Something similar can be said about Microsoft’s Groove Music Player, which is available on Android. The idyllic world where an end user can take their purchased media, have it stored in the “Cloud” and play it across any platform isn’t far away.