Internal Microsoft e-mail, subpoenaed for an antitrust case, from after the iTunes Store launch in 2003:
Steve Jobs ability to focus in on a few things that count, get people who get user interface right and market things as revolutionary are amazing things.
This time somehow he has applied his talents in getting a better Licensing deal than anyone else has gotten for music.
This is very strange to me. The music companies own operations offer a service that is truly unfriendly to the user and has been reviewed that way consistently.
Somehow they decide to give Apple the ability to do something pretty good. ...
I am not saying this strangeness means we messed up - at least if we did so did Real and Pressplay and Musicnet and basically everyone else.
Now that Jobs has done it we need to move fast to get something where the UI and Rights are as good.
I am not sure whether we should do this through one of these JVs [joint ventures] or not. I am not sure what the problems are.
However I think we need some plan to prove that even though Jobs has us a bit flat footed again we move quick and both match and do stuff better.
--Bill Gates on the blindside hit of iTunes
1. How did they get the music companies to go along?
2. We were smoked.
--Microsoft vice president Jim Allchin's e-mail
I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft.
--Jim Allchin's e-mail to Bill Gates in 2004