THE BROWSER: Truth and rumors from the tech world
Is Microsoft wasting $500 million?
Picking a fight with IBM may not pay off for Bill Gates. Plus: MySpace goes to London
By Owen Thomas, Business 2.0 magazine online editor

SAN FRANCISCO (Business 2.0) - Microsoft's $500 million marketing campaign, which targets IBM, is already drawing skeptical reviews. Tech author Nicholas Carr says that Microsoft's "people-ready" campaign reminds him of Apple's "1984" ads, when Apple launched the Macintosh as a liberating, humanistic response to IBM's overbearingly corporate PC. Carr points out that neither Apple nor IBM won that fight -- the winner, two decades ago, was Microsoft. In this new Microsoft-IBM fight might leave the field open to another surprise victor. Google, anyone?

Wozniak shuts down wireless startup

Apple sells its first movie
The first full-length film has appeared on the iTunes Music Store. Plus: An end to the DVD format wars. Read more.

Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak has been in the news recently, helping raise $150 million for a new company, Aquicor, which is looking to spend the money acquiring technology companies. In the prospectus Acquicor released to potential investors, Wozniak was described as the president and chief technology officer of Wheels of Zeus, a GPS and wireless startup. One small problem with that bio: Wheels of Zeus is shutting down, a fact that Acquicor didn't mention in its SEC filings.

MySpace to expand in the UK

The popular Internet Web site MySpace is going to run a MySun social-networkng website for readers of The Sun of London, a newspaper also owned by News Corp. According to The Guardian, News Corp. also considered a site for readers of TheTimes of London, but decided that the Sun's younger audience was more likely to use such a site. MySpace recently overtook the BBC Web site in traffic after growing sixfold in a year.

iTunes surpasses RealPlayer

The software that powers your iPod is also good for playing audio and video downloaded from the Internet, a fact that millions of iTunes users are discovering. In fact, iTunes is set to surpass RealNetworks' RealPlayer in 2007 as the second-most-popular streaming-media player, behind Microsoft's Windows Media Player. There's one thing the blogs have yet to note: iTunes is based on Apple's older QuickTime software, which also exists as a standalone media player, and if you count iTunes and QuickTime together, Apple has already overtaken Real.

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