Emily Parkhurst:

So, what should Microsoft buy to help it along? Spotify? Pandora? I suspect RealNetworks could be acquired on the cheap.

Uhhh, I, umm, hmmm…

I know RealNetworks is still around, you see their logo in Seattle on their headquarters, but I actually don’t know what they do anymore.

(Looks it up.)

Ok, I’m back, it looks like they have four main products:

  1. GameHouse.com, which by all accounts looks like a service offering shitty games for PCs, Macs, and ‘mobile’. And I mean shitty games. They are promoting free versions of Sudoku and Mahjong…
  2. Helix, which is simply a device for encoding media for streaming. Getting closer to Beats — what with it being a physical good and one that touches ‘streaming’.
  3. RealPlayer Cloud. Now we are talking, they bill this as “like Dropbox for your videos” — not even a “but better” in there. Which then leads me to wondering what is wrong with using Dropbox for your videos… A ‘review’ on the iOS App Store from ‘Maka Bee’ rates the app at 5 stars, saying: “Regular app!” So, yeah… you can’t make that shit up.
  4. Lastly they list “Mobile Entertainment”, which lists Mobile Music as a service! Now we are talking: “Some of the world’s largest mobile operators work with us to deliver music to their subscribers.” Oh, so just a backbone then?

Buying Spotify, Pandora, or RDIO, I guess would make sense as a competitive move, but RealNetworks? That’s just silly talk.

No matter what, Microsoft would be idiotic to buy any company to ‘compete’, instead they should focus on trying to compete with the crap they already are trying to ‘compete’ with: Surface, Skype, Windows, Office, or anything else…

Posted by Ben Brooks