reported today that Apple will announce its iTunes software and music store for Windows on Thursday, October 16, ahead of schedule. It’s been possible to make an iPod work with Windows for a while, but this will boost iPod visibility and sales, in addition to the revenue generated by the music downloads.

Scroll down to September 30 and you’ll see why I believe Apple’s announcement comes way too late. The press will report lovingly on the new service and Apple will make some money – but it blew an opportunity to rule a new market.

When you get your newspaper on October 16, turn to the business section and see if Apple’s announcement has been scheduled as a distraction from the fourth quarter fiscal results to be announced on October 15 – the rumors are that Apple will be reporting disastrous earnings. [OCTOBER 16 FOLLOWUP: The rumors were wrong. Apple reported earnings above expectations.]

Just out of curiosity – does anybody else find the iPods to be bizarrely expensive? Four to five hundred dollars for an mp3 player. I don’t get it. Who’s buying these things?

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