News alert: Bill Gates predicts end of iPod craze

So Bill Gates spent part of his week dissing the iPod in a German newspaper, according to this story on the CNN site. (Suggested headline: Auf wiedersehen Apple.) His theory—or was this just an exercise in sour grapes?—was that people would start to migrate their audio onto their MP3-playing cell phones. At first, I thought the whole line of thinking a bunch of malarkey. I mean, I could play MP3s on my cell phone, but it’s my cell phone, you know? But then I started to think more—about how I was vaguely annoyed that even though I had recently managed to cut down on the devices I lug around by merging my PDA with my phone, I had found a new device I can’t go anywhere without: my iPod. And then I started to think about the defeat of the Mac OS, and about when Netscape used to be the premiere Web browser in the universe (sob!), and any number of other times Microsoft managed to overtake behemoth products because it is Microsoft. Crap! What if he’s right!? And then, there’s this factoid: Gates, the richest man on the planet, doesn’t even own an iPod, not even to experiment with or have crushed under a bulldozer just for fun. (Kidding!) No. He has a Creative Zen. And not even the fact that Bono recently crashed at the Gates pad while in Seattle for the U2 tour (which we discovered in Googling to get links for this post), has convinced him that maybe he should buy a special edition U2 iPod just to be a good friend. Am I seeing the first signs of the iPod apocalypse? Or is this simply a sign that I have spent most of this week intensely sleep-deprived?

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor