Microsoft targets Macworld with digital hub announcements

Apple’s digital hub strategy is centered on their iApps: iChat, iMovie, iPhoto, iTunes and iSync. iSync is in beta, and will presumably be released (along with the usual product refreshes and hopefully an “oh, and one more thing” goody) on the first day of Macworld — January 7.

Today, Microsoft is announcing Microsoft Plus! Digital Media Edition. It will include consumer-friendly software for playing and editing movies, photos and music. In other words, Microsoft is now officially elbowing in on Apple’s PC-as-digital-hub strategy.

Plus! DME is XP-only, will cost $20, and includes the final release of Windows Movie Maker 2, a photo slide show maker called Photo Story, and 50 other features (some interesting, some odd). Plus! DME and Windows Media 9 will both be released on the same day — January 7.

Coincidence? Nope. Amazingly, Apple has backed Microsoft into full-reactive mode, inciting them to put all of their digital media ammo against the first day of Macworld and Steve Jobs’ keynote. This is fascinating, and the mainstream press completely missed the Macworld connection. | InfoWorld story | story | Microsoft Plus! Digital Media Edition tour