Merrill Lynch analyst Steven Milunovich believes the recently announced alliance between Apple and Motorola is a “net positive for the iPod” and that Apple is beginning to establish itself as the “defacto standard in digital music.” He says in a research note to clients that Apple could become the “Microsoft of music” thanks to iPod and iTunes–and the company’s ability to work with others. (Apple has also struck major deals with HP, BMW and AOL.) “Although we expect Motorola music phones to have 0.5GB of memory for songs by the end of the year, this is a different market from the 4GB iPod mini or 20 and 40GB fourth-generation iPods,” he says. “Getting users to try iTunes on their cell phone introduces them to portable music the Apple way.”