by Mike Masnick

You Don't Design An iPod Killer By Committee

from the but-Microsoft-will-certainly-try dept

Earlier today, we were joking about the complexity of Microsoft's new "philosophy" when compared to Google's simple "Don't be evil." We joked about how Microsoft is well known for design-by-committee effort that result in products that have been over-thought, over-designed and over-marketed. As we noted, this made it easy for Microsoft to parody itself when thinking about how it might design the iPod. Of course, it looks like it might not be so much of a parody after all. A not very well kept secret has been that Microsoft was working on an "iPod killer" product -- which they finally admitted to today. However, in typical Microsoft fashion, the description of the offering sounds like it, too, was done by committee: "a family of hardware and software products" that will "bring together technology and community to allow consumers to explore and discover music together." No one is looking for "a family of products." They want to know what about this product will make their lives better.

Reader Comments (rss)

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  1. identicon
    Wire Cramped, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 4:05pm


    I dont give a rats ass about how it will make my life better unless I choose to buy it and then the only thing it should do to make my life better is cost less. Otherwise its a freaking MP3 player leave it at that you hopelessly lost GEN X'ERS!!!!

    Why do you have a need for everything you come in contact with or touch work to make your life better? If you like a product and think it will then buy it. If it doesnt try if you want to get a refund. If you dont think it will make your life better then pass it up and move to the next isle to evaluate you haircut some more and why you werent handed a P.H.D. for your "extreme booger eating" trick you invented when you were 8 years old.

    Leave MS alone the fucking product isnt even out yet.

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  2. identicon
    Wire Cramped, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 4:05pm


    I got first and seconds!!!!! BLEH to you stupid firsties!!!! (not you Anon)


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Wire Cramped, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 4:10pm

    oh and "NEW"

    "new" is relative in this day and age if you track the links in each of the copycat postings that this one feeds from that feeds from that feed from etc etc you will see June 4th is when it was new info.

    All this is, is an admitance cause nobody can wait for a surprise anymore they got to get the info before it is.


    f irst post i tracked back to within 10seconds of clicking the first link in each copy cats post.

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  4. identicon
    Mark Kitchen, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 4:10pm

    I welcome new products

    Why not see what they have to offer! Companies competing with Apple for Digital music devices don't market their device as the next iPod killer - the Media does!

    Agree with Wire Cramped - Let's see what they have!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Rajesh, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 4:29pm


    I think Steve Jobs has been anticipating this move by Microsoft for a long time and has been bracing for this. An excerpt from an interview given to Newsweek in January 2006: Question:At the Consumer Electronics Show last week, there didn't seem to be any iPod killers. Steve Jobs: The problem is, the PC model doesn't work in the consumer electronics industry, where you've got all these companies and some does one thing and another does another thing. It just doesn't work. What's going to happen is that Microsoft is going to have to get into the hardware business of making MP3 players. This year. X-player, or whatever. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10853916/site/newsweek/ And like Peter Oppenheimer declared in Apple analyst webcast yesterday: "We're not sitting here doing nothing"

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  6. identicon
    MSFT sympathizer, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 4:37pm

    MSFT competes

    You don't have to like their products, but MSFT competes. They take on industry leaders, make them react, and raise the level. Consumers win when MSFT enters a new space.

    Browsers, you reply? Browsers had a massive slow down in development for a few years, after MSFT pushed Netscape into an extremely accelerated arms race for a few years. Browser market seems competitive to me, on the PC (as I write from Firefox browser). Even more so on non-PC devices. But the whole environment rapidly accelerated after MSFT entered.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Minshu, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 4:46pm

    Stop it!

    Stop calling every new mp3 or audio player a potential "iPod Killer". That term has died a couple years ago and it's nothing but frustrating to see ALL OF YOU NEWS SITES digging up that corpse and throwing it at us.

    Sure, devices compete. Sure, the iPod holds mp3 player market share. But for the love of god, lets try to be a TAD more original and stop using this freaking term to describe something we all know wont happen. MS will not kill the iPod.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    jdragon, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 5:02pm

    YAWN, I'm as excited as getting a root canal

    All I can say is have fun fighting for that last 10% of the mp3 player market.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    stridox, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 5:10pm


    What's the name? Zune? I'm surprised about how unique the name is, I was expecting something dull like they did with the Xbox, 360

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  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 5:22pm

    Re: Personally...

    It might be an OK product, if MS really has moved away from their "world domination" Hitler headset. If they really are now a "kinder gentler" company? then they might actually produce a "kinder gentler" mass appealing product like the I-Pod.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Wire Cramped, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 5:30pm

    as in all areas

    MSFT isnt the dominator here but I will bet dollars against doughnuts that MS gets a lawsuit when their sales exceed iPod's as they will certainly end up with a better cheaper unit and market the crap out of it more then MAC but only the future knows!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. icon
    rijit (profile), Jul 21st, 2006 @ 5:55pm

    You Don't Design An iPod Killer By Committee??

    LOL! I just gotta say, I like this blog, read it all the time. But this is the stupidest most worthless post I have read here. You cover rumors and then say Microsoft can't kill something by commity. So the Ipod was not built by R&D people at Apple? The I-pod, and all that it is, was designed by one person? Of course things are done by commity, even killing the Apple I-crap. No one person can do it all, there is not enough time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    ConceptJunkie (profile), Jul 21st, 2006 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Name

    That's just a code name.

    I'm sure the real product name will be as bland and generic as everything else MS does.

    Microsoft Music Player (MMP)

    Now with Super DRM

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Will Parker, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 6:39pm

    Re: Zune

    Rajesh: I think Steve Jobs has been anticipating this move by Microsoft for a long time and has been bracing for this.

    That "Steve Jobs" you're talking about must be from some alternate universe. Here's the Steve Jobs that lives in this universe:

    SJ, Businessweek, 1998

    It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them.

    SJ, Stanford Commencement Address, 2005

    Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

    SJ, in Triumph of the Nerds, 1996

    The problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste. They have no taste and I don't mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way.

    Somehow, I don't think this particular Steve gives a boiled rat's ass salad what Microsoft is planning to do.

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  15. identicon
    Howard Greenstein, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 6:43pm

    Don't confuse press release for product

    Just because some exec "positioned" this as a 'family of products" or whatever, don't count it out.
    That is how PR trains them (and, formerly, me) to talk to the press. Many folks there can't be real and talk in clear terms, except folks like, alas, Scoble.
    But I believe they have been watching this for a while now, and would be surprised if it did not work very well. Recapturing a large percentage of the market - now, that's the hard part.

    --Howard Greenstein, former MSFTie

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  16. identicon
    Joe Smith, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 8:29pm


    The last time MSFT was innovative was before they bought DOS from someone else and then licenced it to IBM.

    Their core product - Windows - is a buggy mess. Their attempt to branch out into consumer products with the XBox has been a money losing failure.

    If they really want to innovate in the entertainment space they should try to invent a new product entirely - if they can - otherwise they are doomed to a life of sloppy seconds.

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  17. identicon
    Alpharocker, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 8:34pm

    Re: Wire Cramped

    @Wire Cramped:
    You sound like a crazy person.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    jeff, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 8:47pm


    Hahahahaha, ahhh, Microsoft, Microsoft, Microsoft...bit late, doncha think? No matter how this bullshit thing is gonna be designed and created, I already have 2 IPods, and when one of them breaks, I'll buy another IPod...not a brand-new MSPod that's still wading it's way through the mire of software/hardware problems that the IPod's already been through.

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  19. identicon
    Wakim Tobakim, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 8:50pm

    Re: Personally...

    He's right. I checked. He made a very, very valid point.

    This product is, in fact, not out yet.

    Thank you, you lunatic.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Jay, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 9:24pm


    With all of the "IPOD killers " that have been introduced in the last few years, one would think the IPOD would certainly be dead by now.

    I think that Microsoft should produce something that would really be accepted by consumers like a "Windows Killer" or maybe an "Office Killer". Much better marketing Op. me thinks.

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  21. identicon
    Jason, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 9:36pm

    General Responses


    If I've said this once, I've already said this a thousand times.

    The "Zune" is not in competition with the iPod. It is a multimedia player with capabilities reaching far beyond that which the iPod could currently fathom. (Not apple-bashing here, I own 2 iPods, on my third as we speak)

    Mark above hit the nail on the head, media will lead you astray with its whatever-will-sell nomenclature. Allow me to straighten things out a bit here.

    Zune = Gaming/Mulitimedia (think INTEGRATION: Live.com, xbox marketplace, and their iTunes music store, the soon to be disclosed "Alexandria")

    iPod = MEDIAplayer, with strong emphasis on both words there, you can store media, and you can..play it!

    The Zune, based upon what very little information and speculation is available, is an entirely different product category, even though it takes on the functional attributes of a DAP. For more information on the terminology and information here see the engadget articles (a plain search for Zune will bring up a whole slew of them).

    To put this in perspective it would be the eqivelant of comparing a bicycle (iPod) to an automobile (Zune). The only fair comparisson would be to compare the iTunes store to microsofts up and coming Alexandria (project name) music service, as the two at this moment in time, aim to DIRECTlY compete.

    I hope this unclouds some of the thoughts surrounding this issue as forums like these can be pools of misinformation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    Ron Evry, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 9:43pm

    iPod Killer Again? No way, and here's why...

    Right now, I can walk into an Apple Store, or go online, and get for my iPod, an assortment of add-on goodies, especially made for that device:
    • dozens of cases and protectors to choose from in assorted styles and colors
    • at least a half-dozen different devices for playing my iPod on my car stereo, either via fm, cassette interface, or even some hard-wired options, including built-in chargers
    • devices for interfacing with tvs and projectors, turning my iPod into a much cooler slide show presentation device than lugging a computer with a klunky power-point presentation with the same old bullet points and blue backgrounds
    • assorted loudspeaker combinations
    • photo input devices
    • microphones (the TuneTalk Stereo, now available, records at full 44 khz)
    Nike shoe interface device
    • probably a dozen more devices

    Microsoft's player, at best, will have a few generic add-on devices available for it. It would take them a long time, and a proven sales record of these players of theirs before businesses making add-ons will want to drink their kool-aid.

    Speaking of kool-aid, Microsoft will never get "cool." It's not ingrained in their system.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 9:56pm

    Re: Innovation

    "Their attempt to branch out into consumer products with the xbox has been a money losing failure."

    Sorry but, this is just blatenly wrong.

    This should quickly dispell that notion. If you don't have the time to look at this information then observe.

    Profits in game sales to date: 13.78 Billion (That's with a B)

    As for the notion that microsoft should try to "innovate" the entertainmen space with a new product, well the perhaps you too should peruse engadget or any other media you perfer, as the Zune seeks to do just that, innovate.

    For all those out there that wish to make grandiose claims without any substancial evidence, please, for the love of god, you live in an era with the largest appendix of information at your very fingertips....


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  24. identicon
    putty, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 11:30pm


    The most successful music players have good battery life, and are light enough to be taken running or biking.

    The companies that sell these players also find that they are best when they are sold for a profit.

    What was the last Microsoft designed hardware that was lightweight, low power, cool running, and profitable? I have one of their mice, that probably fiuts the bill. I'm having trouble thinking of any other hardware products they have shipped or influenced that fit into this envelope. XBox, XBox 360 and Origami are the big negative examples of The Microsoft Way IMHO..

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  25. identicon
    jbelkin, Jul 21st, 2006 @ 11:59pm

    Re: MSFT competes

    What was true about MS 10 years ago is not very relevant today.

    MS & the remaining employees were hired to surround a market from all angles.

    That worked fine 7+ years ago when you could control manuafcturers, suppliers and retailers (eventually illegally).

    In the internet era, NO ONE can do that.

    Ms took out Netscape by not allowing anyone to place Netscape on the machine at an OEM level. In the pre-internet & dialup days, that was death.

    MS tried to do that with the ipod by helping launch a couple dozen online stores and working with a myriad manufacturers to create plays4sure. That works when you are talking about CPU manufacturers - bundle IE or you can't sell Windows.

    But unlike before, consumers are free to ignore MS. Consumers could downloaded itunes in 20 seconds off the internet to try it out. Apple could choose from hundreds of OEM manufacturers to product ipods - no one fearing MS very much because MS cannot leverage their OS anymore.

    They spent $400 per unit to make the XBox a sucess and how much of a straetch is it? It's essentially a flat PC without the hassles of PC ownership for playing games (no viruses, no drivers and no patches ... well, not that many ...)

    They have failed in EVERY consumer endeavor since 1995 from talking barneys to watch OS to MSN ... this will be exactly the same - it will be like their Q phone - after all this - really? That's it?

    It will be expensive and it will have a battery of 2 hours and if the pohotos released so far are true, it looks like a thing designed by bureacrats ... and they want to brand it Xbox something but with no game capability so the gamers will sneer at it and for non-gamers, they'll dismiss anything XBox as some game machine ... so who's left?

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  26. icon
    Jeroen (profile), Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 12:02am

    who cares who designs it?

    I don't give a **** who designs an mp3 player. As long as it:
    - stores at least 2 gigs
    - has a good sound quality
    - comes with an actual ac charger
    - is seen by my computer as an usb storage device
    - is sold for less than a 100 euros.
    it could be designed by George Bush for all I care!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. icon
    rijit (profile), Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 1:27am

    Xbox 360 a failure?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. icon
    rijit (profile), Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 1:34am

    Xbox 360 a failure?

    Someone has been reading to many M$ hate blogs. The 360 is in no way a failure, neither was the Xbox 1. Microsoft cleaned up in the gaming devision, billions of dollars in pure profit. Billions. Not hundreds of millions like Apple.... So once again, you M$ h8ers out there can go back into your holes, this is just another M$ failure on it's way to the top. After all, they plan to allow you to get anything you have paid for on Itunes for free on the Zune, proving they understand what I want, easier access to share and use my music, not Apple's non transfer proprietary format I can't use on anything except and I-pod or I-tunes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. icon
    rijit (profile), Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 1:37am

    And I will definately go back to my hole, the M$ fanboy's lounge, with little umbrella drinks...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. identicon
    Delta OP, Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 1:38am

    Re: Re: Innovation

    Try to know what you are talking about before you post you stupid twit. That "profit" you are referring to is the profit made by the ENTIRE Microsoft Corporation - which includes the operating system division (Windows) and application division (Office). They did not make $13.8 BILLION on game profits. I can't believe you are so dumb that you actually thought that but that is what happens when you post before really reading the information - and not knowing anything about the subject to begin with...

    The Entertainment Division (Xbox) has lost nearly $5 billion since the Xbox came to market. You can't sell enough games to counter that dismal performance. I can hardly believe we have not seen a shareholder revolt at Microsoft. Their willingness to flush money down the toilet time and time again astonishes me. Billions have been lost at MSN and Xbox but the losses are covered up by the monumental profits racked up by Windows and Office. And now they will drop another few billion on Zune with almost no chance to make any money. Let's face it: without their two main franchises, Microsoft is an empty vessel - a complete lack of original ideas and execution. And I won't even go into how poorly the Vista project has been managed because that has been absolutely pathetic. That is why their stock has laid their like a dead dog for the last five years.

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  31. identicon
    PopeRatzo, Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 5:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Innovation

    First of all, don't be talking bad about Microsoft stock. It paid for the house I'm living in and my daughter's education, the car in my driveway and the bicycle in my garage and there's still a hunk of cash left over. I'll leave it at that. I don't own any now, but then again, I'm not invested in the market much any more either.

    I hate Microsoft's products as much as the rest of you, and I get pissed at their business practices, but please, "I-Pod killer" and "Make your Life Better" are just marketing hyperbole. That's nothing new. It doesn't mean that a site like Slashdot, oh wait, I'm at Techdirt, needs to pay attention and spread the virus.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. identicon
    MusicMan, Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 5:38am

    What Apple has one Guy working on Music?

    This is just so much Anti-Microsoft drivel..

    Any company over 5 employess has committees, often called teams. That work on designing products.

    The iPod is clearly a successful comittee design bridging three major products, teh iPod, iTunes player, and iTunes Music Store.

    So.. stop posting this "Microsoft Designs by Committee" drivel and wait to see if they get it right or wrong. The creative Zen Vision:M is darn close to being an iPod match in design and function...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33. identicon
    Blaise, Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 6:32am

    Re: What Apple has one Guy working on Music?

    I think the point though, is that the microsoft product FEELS like a committee of people are marketing it to you, while something like the iPod doesn't. I mean, http://comingzune.com "We're all friends here" - WTF is that?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34. identicon
    Moogle, Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 8:28am

    Some seem confused about terminology

    "Design by committee" is a term/phrase/meme with certain connotations. It does NOT mean that a group of people were involved. Of course almost any product has a group of people that work on it.

    In this case, it sounds like some manager said "Apple's making a killing, so we should be in this market, I'll organize a meeting!" So a bunch of managers throw ideas about every available mobile technology on the table. Wifi's big now, let's make it have Wifi! Web 2.0 is all about communities, let's do that (vauge handwaving)! Media, games (I think they might actually be skipping that one, thank god), Live anywhere... So they write up a spec, and hand it to an engineer with a huge grin on their faces, knowing that they contributed and looked good to their boss in the meeting. Then the engineers follow the spec exactly in an uninspired fashion. You end up with a product that meets a sheet of bullet points but no one wants.

    Now, back in reality, MS has actually learned a few lessons on this. Rumor has it the Zune was designed by the xbox team, who actually have some design experience. I still don't have much hope for it, but until it comes out and people use it, we won't know if they fucked it up or not.

    I just think this community crap is worthless. It's unusable unless you live in a very high population density area, or you're just sharing with your existing online friends. I suppose its a way of getting communities to talk about the music they like, and thus every group memeber has to get the Zune to be able to participate. I'm sure they hope this will make it spread virally, but I'm guessing a few people will buy it and use it for music, and pester their iPod owning friends to switch, unsuccessfully.

    The sad thing is that MS is capable of selling it fairly well no matter how crappy it is.

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  35. identicon
    Jason, Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 8:55am

    Response to Delta OP

    Delta OP, once again this is an example of someone who simply would like to arbitrarily make claims without any substancial evidence. I will spell it out for you Delta OP, since you are having a hard time following me on this.

    Bottom Line: the Xbox IS EXTREMELY profitable

    Now look:

    If you go to microsoft's website and you look at the annual reports starting in 4th quarter of 2001 (since that's when the xbox was released) and we look at the subsection of Home and Entertainment, which as it explains is essentially a dressed up name for its Xbox division, and we take the revenue - operational loss to get profit!

    Now we add up the quarters to make up the TO DATE profit, and what do we have? 13.78 Billion from November 11, 2001, when the Xbox came to market.

    The "Loss" you are quoting is the accumulated operation loss, which is to be expected as being so high, but when contrasted with revenue...

    If you don't believe me, do the math yourself.

    On a completely unrelated note, Moogle has the only post that is relevant to this thread, so hats off to him for that. Someone has to keep their eye on the prize.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36. identicon
    Kamisamanou Burgess, Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 9:25am

    Re: iPod Killer Again? No way, and here's why...

    I agree. Unfortunately, after a revolutionary device is released and 3rd parties begin to take hold it's near impossible for anybody, no matter how much better there product is, to out do the original.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37. identicon
    Scott, Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 9:43am


    I think any mp3 player is just dandy, wtf is so damn great about an iPod? All you fucking tree hugging hippies need to get over yourself, Apple has you where they want you, you think they are so wonderful, fuck Apple, fuck Microsoft and fuck being a hipster, if you liike MP3's, buy a fucking MP3 player, don't buy it because everyone else is, that is just goddamn stupid! Apple has everyone buying into their freaking hype, "Ohhh...You will be soooo cool if you have a iDouchBag...fucking shithole treny fuckstains!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38. identicon
    mike, Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 10:14am

    Re: Pfffft!!!

    @ Scott, man you just need to calm down a bit... maybe drink some green tea or something? I dont see any reason for all you people to be getting in arguments about a product that doesnt even exist yet. bottom line is microsoft and apple are the same thing... Companies selling products to consumers! Big surprise! What it all really boils down to is the fact that these two different companies have different business models. Microsoft sells software and makes a killing. Apple sells hardware and makes a killing. Really at this point in time I personally think that any slander from either MS or Apple fanboys is just like competing in the special olymipics. Even if you win the "argument" you're still retarded.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39. identicon
    Xcetron, Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 10:51am

    Well we all know whats going to happen, Microsoft will try and outdo the iPod and then either of these things will happen:

    -MS gets a lawsuit for doing something stupid.
    -MS gets a lawsuit for copyright infringement from some random group.
    -MS outdo Apple and gains a foothold in the MP3 player industry.
    -MS creates an OK MP3 player and continue to make profits off of it without surpassing Apple and its iPod.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40. identicon
    Delta OP, Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 11:02am

    Re: Response to Delta OP

    Again, no proof has been provided as to the profits Xbox has allegedly been created for Microsoft. The profit numbers cited by the original poster were the profits made by the entire company and not profits made on the sales of game software for the Xbox. The Forbes Global 2000 does not break down this information in the way he claims and that is why I have done the math and you have not. I am sure you are aware that Microsoft is not only a game company - if they were they would be out of business by now. Their Entertainment Division is merely being propped up by the massive profits generated by Windows and Office. How difficult is this concept for some of you to understand? Provide me REAL evidence of these alleged profits and I will listen. Revenue is not profit - it is the sum total of all money taken in on the sales of Xbox hardware and I would assume software licensing fees. Revenue means nothing unless some profit is actually generated and I have seen NOTHING to indicate that is the case. They may be gaining market share relative to Sony - at least for now - but that share is being paid for at a very high cost in my opinion.

    As for the Zune, I don't see how it will compete well with the iPod. First of all, I suspect Apple is not standing still - they will be coming out with a revised iPod lineup to be sure so they will continue to be a moving target for anybody who hopes to compete with them. Plus, the iPod is a lineup of players which include the iPod Nano which probably sells the best among all the iPods and appparently Microsoft at least initially is not going to have anything to compete in the flash player market which is a big hole that won't be filled by the Zune.

    The lack of thought that goes into some of these posts leaves me with one burning question:

    Does your Mommy know you are on the internet?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41. identicon
    Tom, Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 11:07am

    Re: Innovation

    Criticize Microsoft if you will for not being much of an innovator. The sad fact is that none of the real innovators knew much if anything about marketing their innovations. Xerox and Apple are two most obvios names that come to mind.

    Good marketing trumps innovation every time. While MS may have been only good (or mediocre) at innovation, they were tops at marketing. MS even out-marketed IBM to become the dominant player that they are.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 11:26am



    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43. identicon
    jmap7, Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 11:28am

    I-Pod Killer Mentality

    The moment you start thinking on an "I-Pod Killer" you are not thinking on innovative Ideas and original designs. You are just copying something and doing some modifications on such copy in order to get a cut of such product's profits. Tha is what microsoft has been doing for the last 5 years. Buying and copying other companies innovation. That is thinking reactive. That is why MS is second on everything (XBox Included). When they shift their mind to proactive thought in order to generete original and innovative ideas by themselves they will -once again- become #1 on a given field.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44. identicon
    kjpweb, Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 3:57pm

    I'd like to have your problems...

    Are you getting paid by Apple or MS?

    I for my part give a rat's ass who builds a device - as long it's good. That's the first thing I look for. Then comes the price.

    Apple isn't really a guarantee for success either - a whopping less than 4% marketshare for their computers isn't very impressive - as are some of MS's products.

    I guess people vote with their purse - and in that spirit - let's wait until the player is out, before you all get excited - or the opposite (for the MS-Haters).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45. identicon
    Tyshaun, Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 4:01pm

    Re: Re: Innovation

    Criticize Microsoft if you will for not being much of an innovator. The sad fact is that none of the real innovators knew much if anything about marketing their innovations. Xerox and Apple are two most obvios names that come to mind.

    Good marketing trumps innovation every time. While MS may have been only good (or mediocre) at innovation, they were tops at marketing. MS even out-marketed IBM to become the dominant player that they are.

    Thanks for saying that. Innovation is nothing without the business savvy/marketing to bring the product to market. A good case in point is the Mac. I have always been impressed at how well thought out the Mac is a computer, but I've always purchased PCs because they are ubiquitous. When I was in college, no problem finding a PC to work on and accept the floppy with my papers on it, while at work, surrounded by PCs. This is anecdotal but I woul dare say good business practice/marketing beats innovation anyday.

    As per the IPod, I own an MP3 made by Iomega. It does exactly what I thought it would do, store and playback music with a reasonable interface to deal with large amounts of songs. One day I was playing with my friends IPod nano and I just didn't get it. I was expecting to see some wiz bang thing that made it superior to my gneric MP3 player, but nothing. I asked my friend why the big fanatic love of the product and all he could muster was a "cause it's cool". OK, so I guess perhaps Apple is learning the lessons from the Mac and spending more money and time in the marketing department. Good for them.

    As per MSFT Zune (or whatever the name). I think it's going to synch or swim based off of functions for the price. If MSFT can figure out a way to pack equal or more functionality than an equivalent IPod, into a cheaper unit, I think they have a good chance of penetrating and maybe dominating the market. That assumes that MSFT does its usual job of throwing monsterous amounts of ad dollars at the product and bundles so much support into the OS as to make it a natual extension of your PC. I wonder if they could figure a way of leveraging Zune for use somehow in the Xbox. The more cross-fnctionality the more potential converts from IPods.

    Either way, I'm sticking to my gneric MP3 player for now until someone comes out with something amazing (at an amazing price).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46. identicon
    tims stevens, Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 4:10pm

    more socialist gobblygook

    i have no interest in discovering music with the rest of the community any more than I was seeking some heavenly experience when searchin the net. I didn't need XP and I sure don't need another lame attempt to experience anything especially music. I just want to hear it not live it.

    on another note, microsoft is notorious for bloatware. i wonder if i will have to reboot my microsoft XPod a few times per day and I also wonder if it will hve some windows-derivative running under the hood.

    count me out. I have no interest in buying a copy of something which already works great.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47. identicon
    smartperson, Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 5:46pm

    uhm... deosent everyone know this?

    if it is a good product, then people will by it.
    if it is not a good product, then people will not by it.
    end of story.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48. identicon
    deadlizard, Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 5:53pm

    Re: uhm... deosent everyone know this?

    wow. that's a great comment, smartperson.

    here's mine:

    this coming from MS, i'll be surprised if it isn't something they purchased from another company and rebranded. THAT'S the MS way. has been for a long time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 7:25pm

    Re: Re: Innovation

    From the URL:
    "MS Home and Entertainment (Year Ended June 30, 2006)
    Sales: $4,256
    Operating Loss: $1,262"

    So, *per YOUR source URL*, M$ *LOST* 1.2B USD on sales of 4.2B USD in FY '06. It appears the 13B USD number you quoted was for M$ AS A WHOLE, not for N$ profits on video games.

    Now, you arrogant fuck who apearently can't be bothered to review your own fucking source, would you like to apologize to the OP get down off that high horse?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50. identicon
    Bob Onit, Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 11:49pm

    No Fret

    Why even be bothered with this bullshit.... MS is matrixed literally!!!! Apple has Bootcamp.... Parallel Workstation... and soon Codeweavers will make it even easier to avoid this all togehter.... Soon I will be able to do what ever, whenever... and with the satisfaction of knowing it works....
    The same will be true of their ill fated dogshit they have on the drawing board..... I'll just be blowin' you off

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51. identicon
    Jason, Jul 22nd, 2006 @ 11:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Innovation

    I will quote directly from the bit you gave me. "MS Home and Entertainment (Year Ended June 30 2006)

    The financial world has a really funky system for years, but for simplicity lets just call it a "fiscal year." What you showed me was the fiscal year of 2006. So we see microsoft raked in slightly less then 3 Billion in that year. My friend, the Xbox was realeased in 2001, that means that we must count from when it was released! Oh my! This means some searching and adding, but rest assured, the numbers will again amount to close to 13 Billion in profit.

    Delta OP: I take the revenue and I subtract the operational cost, this is how I am getting profit. If you know of a different way, microsoft and I would be more then happy to hear it. Please don't tell the people of this forum otherwise; unless I am wrong, in which case be my guest.

    There is too much of this today, trigger happy youth that would like nothing better then to rock the boat. Not to mention that in the dissection of the above arguement, you will find the end riddled with ad hominem attacks, which are inappropriate and lose sight of the point of the claim.

    I understand your position, you hate microsoft, and you see this guy trying to defend that which is incontrovertible, so you want to deface the name of the defense.

    Don't abuse the lack of moderation on these forums by transforming it into an insult board.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52. identicon
    Joe Blow, Jul 23rd, 2006 @ 7:41am

    Re: Innovation

    The last time MSFT was innovative was before they bought DOS from someone else and then licenced it to IBM.

    Actually they didn't buy it--they reversed engineered [aka: pirated] it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53. identicon
    fadibou, Jul 23rd, 2006 @ 7:52am

    Zune Zune Zune
    It will rock.
    ipod is so simple and boring just like PS2 was. Crticize and laught, 2 years from now you will be zuning.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54. identicon
    EOnTheCompy, Jul 23rd, 2006 @ 8:01am

    Competition is what makes this country go round

    Competition can only make things better for us as the consumers. Without it, we get screwed, because there is no incentive for the company to improve. Sure, they have us by the palm of their hands, but all they have to do to keep up happy is maintain the product. While I'm usually for competition against Microsoft, (i.e. google :)) in this case Apple is the one with the monopoly.
    Truthfully they need to change their marketing strategy. My guess is that they will try to market to the older more conservative audience that doesn't understand technology all that well, when they should be marketing to the trendsetters. That whole family of software nonsense? My parents do not and will never own an MP3 player.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55. identicon
    Wire Cramped, Jul 23rd, 2006 @ 8:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Innovation

    By law each company must post this here is theirs (no its not false in anyway so shaddup)


    13b is home entertainment total profit since 2001

    13b is ALSO last years entire MS profit the 2 numbers are conincidental

    Jason is right Xbox (division) is profitable 2.8b last year alone

    Yes 13b is the profit for MS as a whole

    But by no way has this proven that MS is going to loose the battle nor win. I agree its all in the marketing and MS has always won here as they can afford to loose more in marketing then MAC earns yearly.

    AGAIN the product is not out and you all need to wait for it my original post was stop expecting MAMA MSFT to be everything you think it should and leave it alone if enough people leave it alone it will die and wither. MSFT is not in you brain telling you that you must consume its products, yet the world does right? RIGHT!? Ok then an MP3 player is only that if we consume it then it wins if we dont it wont. BUT IT WILL NOT MAKE YOUR LIFE BETTER OR WORSE F N A people.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56. identicon
    Motive8, Jul 23rd, 2006 @ 11:45am

    inTell inside

    I helped MS market x-box for their ad agency and worked on gaming units for them and marketed MSN Search and MSN/Hotmail, so listen up while i clear up some facts that seem skewed here.
    1. Microsoft lost about $50US on every x-box it sold prior to 360 and hoped to make up for it with gaming profits from their gaming division and market share when they owned the market. I imagine they will do the same with "Zune".
    2. There's a reason the x-box dev. unit is way off campus and few people even realize that microsoft even makes the x-box who buy it. Nobody even likes saying they are "microsoft" there. they got smart. Association with MS is a strong acrid taste in the mouths of consumers.
    2.a (personal aside) Biggest mistake MS makes is calling anything the "Microsoft ______" (ie. MSN Search"--are you fuckinng kidding me?).
    3. "Creativity by committee" is true to a degree in all cases, yes, but microsoft has what marketing calls "inside out marketing". Because it only hires "smart" people who find flaws in everything, when there is any risk involved they all shoot it down internally to continue looking "smart" and that's why innovation (aka "risk") doesn't occur there. Innovation and risk are synonymous. Buying into the bell curve after early adopters only worked when they had the time to get in in that moment--but the moments happen too fast now for them to get in, and now the conversation on the internet also impedes their "buy and die" conquest plans for competing products.

    4. Personal feelings as a former MS marketer: I hope the company really makes apple increase their lead with x-box, make the songs cheaper, or whatever, causing MS to spin its wheels there. Because all of this will be old news when apple releases a true cross-platform (legacy intel) version of Tiger (Leopard or whatever) and you can install the strongest operating system on the planet while MS continues to not ship "longhorn".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57. identicon
    rich, Jul 23rd, 2006 @ 12:52pm

    Ipod is dying

    Dear Nerds, Most people over 25 do not enjoy maintaining their own music collection. Researching whats good, downloading songs, maintaining playlests its all a pain in the ass.
    A system close to the turning on the raido and having a personaized bot DJ do all the work is the next step in music. Something like a portable Launchcast service.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58. identicon
    ME, Jul 23rd, 2006 @ 1:36pm



    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59. identicon
    ME, Jul 23rd, 2006 @ 1:41pm

    ME AGAIN...

    u guys are nerds....tech dirt? i mean, c'mon !!!!! get a life and go watch some porn or something...geeks these days arguing about "the pocket protector 5000 edition" and what not...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2006 @ 5:01pm

    Re: Personally...


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61. identicon
    Mark Fox, Jul 23rd, 2006 @ 5:28pm

    Overreacting to

    No one is looking for "a family of products."

    Isn't the iPod mini, nano, and full sized iPod a family of products? Doesn't this just mean that Microsoft will be introducing more than more model?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62. identicon
    Michael, Jul 23rd, 2006 @ 7:09pm

    blah blah microsoft sucks blah blah blah

    It feels like anytime I hear about microsoft doing something new, or branching out, theres a billion blogs on the net about how they're doing it all wrong, or how they aren't as cool as google or apple.

    how about some respect, they've done an infinite amount of good things for alot of different industries and are under way more scrutiny then any other company out there.

    you can't make everyone happy, but they try pretty hard.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63. identicon
    Delta OP, Jul 23rd, 2006 @ 10:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Innovation

    I looked at your link and I see nothing that shows any such PROFIT since 2001 for their Home Entertainment Divison. I have to believe that you don't understand the concept of revenue as it relates to the business world. Unlike our local, state and federal governments where revenue is defined as the amount of money taken in via taxes and fees the definition of revenue in the business world is a whole different kettle of fish. In business, revenue is defined as the total sales of products and services and is not the "bottom line" number per se - it is often referred to as the "top line" because the bottom line is what is known as net income which is derived from subtracting from revenue the cost of providing those products and services as well as other related costs that were needed to sell those products and services to the consumer. In the case of the Xbox, you have an almost net $5 BILLION loss since launch as the cost of providing the product exceeds revenues taken in by that amount. It really is quite simple - not sure why you aren't grasping this yet...

    It is quite possible for a company to have billions of dollars in revenues yet they still can be losing money. In Microsoft's case they are only losing money in that market segment - their Windows and Office franchises remain licences to print money so the company remains well in the black in terms of profit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64. identicon
    Josh., Jul 24th, 2006 @ 3:11am

    X-Box Failure??

    Um since when has the XBox been seen as a failure. In lure of Sony's so far lacluster PS3 the Xbox is a gamers dream system. I fail to see how you can call the Xbox a failure when it's only rival is doomed to fail with Sony's lame Blu Ray discs and they're very lame and over priced packages of the PS3. I'd love to hear a gamers opinion on the thought that the Xbox has been a failure??

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65. identicon
    Mr. Ed, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 5:33am

    Well, it's refreshing to see that so many are coming to the aid of that little mom-n-pop operation we like to call Microsoft. I mean seriously, let them dominate everything. That's what the company is supposed to do. Please don't get in the way, or you'll be crushed by that inexorable steamroller of a company who will one day purchase the air we breathe and license it back to us for a nominal fee.

    Especially you gen-XYZers! You make me sick! Get off my digital lawn!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66. identicon
    Ivory Bill, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 8:24am

    Re: Re: Innovation

    Actually, Microsoft licensed QDOS from a company that copied CPM (Seattle Computing).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67. identicon
    WHO CARES, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 12:17pm



    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68. identicon
    Delta OP, Jul 24th, 2006 @ 2:13pm

    Re: X-Box Failure??

    I am not saying the Xbox is a failure - at least in the sense that it has achieved reasonable market penetration in the North American game console market. But I am not confusing the idea that a lot of my friends own Xbox consoles therefore I extract from that that Microsoft is making bushels full of cash on the thing. The numbers prove otherwise. What I do think is that the Xbox is a loss leader for a wider strategic decision Microsoft is making. They want to build mind share when it comes to home entertainment and the Zune is another sign that they don't want Apple to achieve market dominance when it comes to audio and video downloads and the means to play that media. At the same time, the Xbox is a counter to Sony in that they don't want the PlayStation brand to be the dominant home media server. They are willing to absorb massive losses in the hope that eventually they will be the dominant player after they have crushed the competition so they can name their price and we the consumer will have to pay them because we have no alternatives. In that way Microsoft wants to really be a like a utility where we pay them monthly for our personal productivity software needs and for our entertainment needs. I don't want to live in that world though...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69. identicon
    Xcetron, Jul 25th, 2006 @ 3:23pm

    You gotta love the insults on here that has nothing to do with the topic. I propose we all buy a share of big companies like microsoft and when we get rich later we can build a robot army and enslave the morons that dare defies technology.

    Just a thought though.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70. identicon
    Valentine, Oct 22nd, 2006 @ 6:51am

    MSFT isnt the dominator here but I will bet dollars against doughnuts that MS gets a lawsuit when their sales exceed iPod's as they will certainly end up with a better cheaper unit and market the crap out of it more then MAC but only the future knows!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71. identicon
    why do you care?, Nov 15th, 2006 @ 3:27am

    Re: Pfffft!!!

    i agree, FUCK apple, they have to be the best company at brainwashing, because the fucking idiots that buy their products spend so much time at the Apple store fixing their shitty products, while they're at it they shop some more for even more shitty products.. Ipods suck and they are dead, it's just retarded people who want to look cool keep buying them, or people who are on Apple's shit, wtf!?! Steve Jobs will continue to be a son, and a loser..

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72. identicon
    BAlla, Dec 18th, 2006 @ 7:16am

    fuck you son

    fuck u son apple is the shit yhall dont even no!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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