Microsoft Is Becoming Increasingly Desperate For Apple To Make iTunes For Windows 8

windows8itunes

There’s no denying that iTunes for Windows is one of the most important projects Apple has ever done. It allowed Apple to sell iPods, then iPhones, and then iPads (as well as billions of dollars worth of movies, books and music) to owners of Windows PCs at a time when the iOS ecosystem was much more tethered to the desktop than it is today.

But iTunes on Windows isn’t quite as important as it used to be, especially now that the iPad is king and Windows 8 is here, which has cratered PC sales thanks to the general confusion around its new “Metro” UI.

Any surprise, then, that Microsoft’s having a hard time convincing Apple to update iTunes for Windows 8?

iTunes, of course, already technically works on Windows 8, but not in Windows RT, the ARM flavor of Microsoft’s latest operating system that runs on tablets like the Microsoft Surface. If you have Windows 8 on a regular machine, iTunes will work in Windows 8 desktop mode… but it’s a sub-optimal experience, and brings you screeching-and-crashing out of Windows 8’s much-ballyhooed modern Metro UI.

Yet Apple is seemingly making no steps to sizably update Windows 8, prompting Microsoft CFO Tami Reller to openly complain:

You shouldn’t expect an iTunes app on Windows 8 any time soon. iTunes is in high demand. The welcome mat has been laid out. It’s not for lack of trying.

“Not for lack of trying.” I’m sure: iTunes is apparently one of the most searched for apps in the Windows 8 store… where it can’t be found.

It’s not surprising. Mac sales are about the only PC sales these days that aren’t completely declining. Why waste time on the massive undertaking of creating a Metro iTunes app, or an ARM-based iTunes, when Apple can just ignore Windows 8 entirely in favor of the Mac? God knows that’s what PC users as a whole are doing these days.

  • Derek Schlicker

    I think of it more as a tit for tat game between MS and Apple.

    Have we seen Office on iOS lately? Have we seen an update to Office on OSX? I don’t Apple will move until they get some love from MS.

  • daov2a

    People still use iTunes? Why? It sucks.

  • CharilaosMulder

    This is not a great move of Apple, especially since iTunes will be one of the most popular searches in the Windows Store. And since most windows users that are progressive enough to make the switch to Metro apps (as far as their ecosystem of apps has been ported to it), they probably won’t love switching back to the desktop all the time. Apple’s done the necessary work to integrate iTunes in the Windows desktop, they should do the same with the new UI conventions of Windows 8. Windows RT users won’t be able to reach iTunes at all. And the market share of WinRT will certainly rise from 0% to somewhere >0%.

  • Boo Radley

    What if Apple gives them iTunes and they give us Office for iOS? Win/win.

  • iSteve

    Why do we need office? We already have iLife and there is also openOffice.

  • RobGcf

    Screw Office. Apple’s own Pages, Numbers and so on are just as good if not better. OpenOffice is, unfortunately, a joke. It needs a LOT of work before it can hope to compete with Office… but for a lightweight user, it’s fine. As for iTunes, leave it alone. The PC is dying. People are getting smart and moving to a better platform. Let the PC die.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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