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Windows v. Vista, round 187: Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster predicts that a surge in Windows PC sales as a result of "pent-up demand" for Vista could hurt Mac market share. Munster says he thinks Mac share could drop to 2.3 percent, down .2 from 2.5 percent, in March. We hope Apple does its part to fend off the dip by releasing Leopard a little early. If Munster's prediction that 40 percent of Mac users will upgrade to Leopard right away comes true, that - along with the release of Apple TV and the iPhone - could help keep Apple's coffers nice and fat. The sales forecast for Leopard is set at 2.6 million copies during the June quarter, which would result in $130 million in revenue.
Warner exec gives the iPhone a back-handed compliment: In his keynote address at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. lamented the slow uptake - a mere 8.8 percent - among cell phone users in the area of on-the-fly music purchases. He blamed it on the fact that the process is "expensive, complicated and slow." He pointed to Apple as an example of a company that gets music downloads - but apparently made no mention of the fact that you can't actually download music wirelessly from the iPhone. At least not yet.
Coming to your iPod - podcast ads? Speaking of revenue, let's turn to spending for a moment. Advertisers are set to spend more than $400 million on podcasting by 2011, up from $80 million in 2006. What's behind the push? Here's a hint: It starts with "G" and ends with "oogle." Google is said to be quietly working on ways to integrate audio into online ads. And there are other companies moving on this, too, including Podtrac, which, according to the BusinessWeek report, today "unveiled a free online service that enables advertisers to research audience information for audio and video podcasts based on demographics, size, and other characteristics." So now, in addition to random musings of people you don't know delivered to your earbuds via RSS, you'll soon be able to hear bona-fide advertisements.
Tuning in to Apple TV: In all the flap over the iPhone (also see yesterday's News Roundup), it's easy to forget that Apple TV's release is just around the corner. (We hope.) The iPod Observer's John Martellaro posted a column today examining the Apple TV's limitations - and why they're perhaps not limitations at all. For example, many people (including us) have complained that you can only load content from the iTunes Store into the Apple TV. Sure, Martellaro, acknowledges, but that's a strategic move for Apple. At the outset, he posits that "to describe (the fact that the Apple TV is fundamentally tied to iTunes) as a product flaw is akin to complaining that a DVD player cannot receive Sirius Satellite Radio." Point taken.
Now showing on smaller screens… While you're waiting for the Apple TV to make its debut, you can get your Japanese anime fix on your video iPod or your Mac by downloading newly available installments from the popular series "Desert Punk," "Speed Grapher," and "Samurai 7" from the iTunes Store. If your iPod is on the fritz due to an unfortunate accident, you might consult the self-styled iPod doctor, a New Jersey native who'd rather see your broken, cracked, and otherwise busted-up iPod restored than tossed in the trash.
In other news: Gmail is now open to everyone. New Yorkers and Los Angelenos would be smart to take extra precautions against identity theft. Learn how a heard of 1,400 goats in Charlton, Mass., are incubating drugs. And if you're sick of the whole chocolate-and-candy routine on Valentine's Day, have you considered declaring your love with helium?