Apple, Microsoft poised for streaming media battle

There have been the desktop wars, browser wars, and now the streaming media war. Right now Apple and Microsoft are as one analysis described "equally posed". As both companies start bring out their latest software for streaming media this year.

With news on Thursday that Apple Computer Inc.'s QuickTime player surpassed 250 million downloads, industry analysts say Microsoft and Apple are both poised to take the lead in the streaming media battle. What may make the difference is the level to which each company supports industry standards, an area where Apple has taken the lead so far.

Poised for the coming battle

Apple, Microsoft and Real Networks account for 99 percent of the streaming media market, according to market research firm Frost & Sullivan. While Frost & Sullivan declined to comment directly on specific numbers, a recent report from the researcher shows Microsoft Windows Media at 38.2 percent; QuickTime with 36.8; and Real with 24.9 percent.

"The way I see it, Apple and Microsoft are equally poised -- it can go either way," Mukul Krishna, Frost & Sullivan Digital Media analyst, told MacCentral. "It's not like before when you could say that Microsoft was going to win because Apple doesn't have the penetration -- Apple does have the penetration, it just depends on their strategy."

News source: MacCentral

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