And Then We’ll All Be Rich Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

6 Jul ’06

I’m not sure why but I feel compelled to begin this post with the customary passing compliment to Microsoft’s history of creativity, innovation and mastery of extraordinarily complex software development processes. Now that that’s over, I can move directly to expressly complete befuddlement over its plan to compete directly with the iPod. Some particular observations:

“Microsoft has been developing its own hand-held music and video player to challenge Apple Computer’s iPod and expects to have it in stores in time for the holiday season, entertainment industry executives briefed on the company’s plans said last night.”

–>And then we’ll all be rich! rich! rich! beyond our wildest dreams …

“Microsoft’s digital device would be equipped with at least one feature the iPod lacks: wireless Internet capability that would allow users to download music without being connected to a PC.”

–>Because our market research has told us that users want to transfer 60G collections over a slow wireless connection. And that this is an important selling feature compared to, um, product design. And those little white headphone thingies.

“Until now, Microsoft has largely bet that hardware manufacturers like Samsung could come up with a device that would use Microsoft’s software and cut into Apple’s lead. But the company’s plans to develop its own device are an indication that it may no longer be satisfied with that strategy.”

–>If the hardware manufacturers can’t do it, we’re just the company to give it a try. At Microsoft, we sell lifestyle, not just software.

So perhaps this is a little unfair – Microsoft has done something interesting with the xbox, and that’s something. But the notion that Microsoft could come anywhere near success prying dollars from the pockets of young music-crazed and style-hypersensitive consumers strikes me as pure fantasy.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark Federman July 7, 2006 at 13:06

Perhaps it is appropriate to remind everyone about the marketing campaign for the Microsoft-brand iPod.

(Rumour has it that this video was actual done in-house by a ‘softie.)

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Tim Marman July 6, 2006 at 11:33

I don’t think it’s strictly about “making money” – I think there are some other elements at play here. Wall St seems to have no love for Microsoft, despite a P/E significantly better than Google and also better than Apple. This is seen as a significant (and trendy) growth market – to maybe win back favor on the street.

I’d actually love to see an “X-Boy”, a PSP-like device that brings together a portable gaming device, UMPC and portable media center.

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