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Retailers: Apple iPod demand iffy -- "The fact that it only works with the Mac OS could also limit its potential, analysts said. Jobs said that Apple will look into making the iPod compatible with Windows, but for now is focusing on the Mac OS."

Sometimes I think Steve Jobs is unable to learn from the past. While he's brilliant within the Mac market, he seems myopic with respect to the rest of the world. The iPod is a great idea and likely to be a great Mac product. However, Mac-only accessories like iPod tend to quickly produce "copy-cat" products for the rest of the marketplace (Windows PCs) that quickly dilute the importance (and marketshare) of the original. Apple had an opportunity here to deliver something as powerful in the marketplace as QuickTime (a cross-platform technology) and instead chose to create a (mostly artificial) barrier between its product and the mass market.

Of course, Jobs' ability to turn lemons into lemonade may trump what I believe are fundamental market dynamics; and, hey, he's got more information and better connections than I do, so maybe he knows something I don't and iPod will result in mass defections to the Mac (except for all those pesky SME (small-medium-enterprise) business users).

I hope Apple brings out Windows support for iPod sooner rather than later. I only hope the "copy-cats" take long enough to get their Windows versions out so iPod can make the transition into a broader market base, so it can avoid an early demise.

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