Steve Jobs must be getting a kick out of hearing that Microsoft has agreed to pay Universal a dollar for every Zune it sells in exchange for the privilege of licensing the Universal music catalog. This is a great deal for Universal and exposes Microsoft’s weak negotiation position in their attempt to slow down the iPod juggernaut.
That Microsoft has to pony up a buck per Zune sold even though the person buying the Zune may not load a single song from the Universal catalog must bring back good memories for Microsoft. Remember when Microsoft used license Windows to OEMs like Dell and Gateway for every PC they sold whether or not Windows was installed? That made it difficult for Dell or Gateway to offer alternative operating systems. That’s in the past now but it’s nice to see Microsoft getting a taste of its own medicine from Universal. You can’t escape karma.
Update: Microsoft/Universal agreement screws over artist according to Peter Kirn