Log in

View Full Version : Can MS really make a run at iPod?

Aaron Roma
08-24-2006, 06:08 PM
Do you think MS can really pull this off and make a run at the iPod dominance?

Personally, I think if anyone can, MS can, and I think they have a real shot. Not with this first gen, but just a bit down the road.

08-24-2006, 07:17 PM
Microsoft has proven itself time and time again that it can break into most markets it wishes to. Take for example the game console market and how the xbox competed with the PS2 and GameCube, or the PDA market (Palm vs Pocket PC). I also agree that maybe the 1st-generation product may not be the one to stand out, but it'll be a great stepping stone, similar to how the xbox evolved to the xbox360.

08-24-2006, 09:31 PM
I am not a big MS supporter but am rooting for them here. Quality competition always results in better produchs for the consuner.

08-24-2006, 10:29 PM
Perhaps they will in the long run. But the iPod has such a large lead, and I believe will maintain it. To me, the situation is very much like when Pocket PC debuted. Except I don't see Apple doing a complete collapse like Palm for failing to innovate.

08-24-2006, 11:51 PM
If they are going to catchup to Apple in their already well established lead and following, then they not only have to match Apple's offering of an integrated Player, Software, and music store, but beat it with something better, yet as simple to use.

08-25-2006, 01:41 AM
Like JesterMania already mentioned - Somehow Microsoft already have proven that it can break into something that no one would even think of doing, and actually survive, or better yet actually succeeds.

Competition is always good for us; the consumers.

08-25-2006, 02:02 AM
I'm curious to see what Zune really becomes - the technologies it employs, the features it offers, how inspiring a piece of hardware and software it really is. As others have mentioned, Apple has built such mind-share in the marketplace that it's almost ridiculous - parents may not even totally understand what an "ipod" is, they just know they kids want one and that "everyone has one". That is the real challenge MS has IMO - they need to somehow become the device that replaces the ipod, probably with some kind of paradigm shift in consumer electronics. I think the race for MP3 players is done - it's Apple's win by a landslide. Rather than chase Apple and vy for the scraps left over, MS needs to define the "next thing" in the market....

08-25-2006, 02:44 AM
I think the point MitchellO brought up would probably lead Microsoft to integrate Zune with many of its other product offerings. It would be expected that Microsoft make a player similar to the iPod and a software+music store similar to iTunes. I think the main edge Microsoft has over Apple would be integration to its other product offerings. Right now, Apple has got iPod + Mac. Microsoft has at least a PDA market (Pocket PC), phone market (WM Smartphone), and game console market (Xbox) - all of which Apple doesn't have. I think that if Microsoft can prove how easy it is for Zune to integrate with all these products, Microsoft can then win. Of course, this is reliant on the expectation that all these other separate markets become popular too...

Aaron Roma
08-25-2006, 11:54 AM
Apple has built such mind-share in the marketplace that it's almost ridiculous - parents may not even totally understand what an "ipod" is, they just know they kids want one and that "everyone has one".

Of course this is the same challenge they faced with the PPC. As far as most people go... there was no such thing as a PDA, there was only Palm Pilots.

JesterMania: I agree. The Zune cannot compete as just another DAP. There has to be a REASON to change to get / change to Zune. Otherwise, why not stick with the standard, an iPod.

08-25-2006, 12:55 PM
Of course Microsoft can overcome the iPod - in fact given Microsoft's history its almost a formality.


They are really going to have to work on the end-user experience to win this battle. The majority of DAP buyers aren't technically minded and won't be prepared to get involved with patches and bug fixes and generally messing around with a Zune.

Look at the iPod user experience - seamless integration with iTunes, a doddle to setup and just works out of the box without any specialist knowledge or geek credentials.

Now look at the WMP/WMP mobile user experience: its f**king dreadful. Lost album art, poor playlist handling, no playlist or track resume on restart... I could go on. Suffice to say that Windows Mobile users tend to gravitate to one of the alternate media players rather than suffer the indignities of WMP10 mobile. If the Zune experience is as poor then Microsoft could have bought themselves a huge mountain of trouble.

Owning the PDA market has cost MS more than $0.5b (as close a guess as I can make looking at their recent results publications) and I would guess seeing off Apple could cost an awful lot more.

This end-user experience is what will win or lose the market for MS, not adding features and gimmicks to flesh out a spec sheet...

Jason Dunn
08-29-2006, 06:09 AM
Some good, thoughtful replies here. I'll be chewing on this very topic soon enough on the front page, but it's definitely important to point out that I haven't seen anything coming from Microsoft that makes me think they believe they have an easy victory on their hands. Just the opposite in fact: they've been very clear that it will take the Zune several years to get any significant traction against the iPod. This is a long-haul plan, not a blitzkrieg.