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The wheels are in motion for Microsoft's new wireless PMP

DailyTech reported last month that Microsoft was working on an iPod killer; now some new details are starting to leak out on the player itself and the music service attached to it. According to the latest buzz from industry insiders, Microsoft's portable media player (PMP) will have wireless functionality and will be released in time for the Christmas holiday.

According to the sources, prototypes of the new PMP will be delivered within weeks and Microsoft will use its massive cash base in order to heavily promote its iPod killer at launch. Given the wireless nature of the PMP, this opens up new possibilities of music syncing and music sharing between players (and the legal hassles that will ensue). Microsoft will no doubt take the opportunity to pare up the device with the recently announced Live Anywhere service which will be built into Windows Vista. Engadget points to a few more perks to be included with Microsoft's new PMP:

To attract current iPod users Microsoft is going to let you download for free any songs you've already bought from the iTunes Music Store. They'll actually scan iTunes for purchased tracks and then automatically add those to your account. Microsoft will still have to pay the rights-holders for the songs, but they believe it'll be worth it to acquire converts to their new player.

Microsoft’s deep pockets will definitely come in handy with this iTunes library hand-off and the possibility of bringing over the much sought after Pod users must have the top brass at Microsoft rubbing their hands together furiously.

Microsoft's Windows Media Player 11 (WMP11) will serve as a home base for the new PMP. The new media application sports a revised user interface along with a more streamlined album management system. WMP11 also adds support for instant search, audio fingerprinting and the new Windows Media Audio Professional format.

Microsoft has its work cut out for them as it tries to compete in a market that is 70% controlled by Apple. Sony tried with its own-branded players and music service, but its efforts have been in vain.





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Microsoft is up against more than they think...
By jwbailey on 7/6/2006 8:01:05 PM , Rating: 2
Even if Microsoft really is going to spend a billion dollars to break into the portable music player market, they will likely fail. The reason? They aren’t just up against Apple’s powerful combination of sleek players and simple music store – they are up against a cultural phenomenon. The iPod, if you haven’t noticed, is IT. To break the mold when more then 42 million iPods are already in people’s adoring hands – will be more than just a difficult task. Sometimes, even financial muscle cannot win the war.




By rrsurfer1 on 7/6/2006 8:06:28 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree. With enough money anything is possible. And the iPods along with iTunes certainly are not technically superior. Apple has been slow to innovate since the iPod caught on. They've been sitting back and kind of just enjoying their dominance. I hope this wakes them up.


By dagamer34 on 7/6/2006 9:14:14 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree. The next logical step for the iPod to take would be to fully support video, however, that isn't really possible unless you figure out how to make a functional and easy to use video download system. While downloading 4MB is easy enough these days, a decent quality movie easily takes up 700MB.

Just think of Apple's bandwidth costs!


By Bluestealth on 7/7/2006 1:54:53 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Just think of Apple's bandwidth costs!

Not even close to Microsoft's though :)


By jon1003 on 7/7/2006 12:09:31 PM , Rating: 2
"By dagamer34 on 7/6/2006 9:14:14 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree. The next logical step for the iPod to take would be to fully support video, however, that isn't really possible unless you figure out how to make a functional and easy to use video download system. While downloading 4MB is easy enough these days, a decent quality movie easily takes up 700MB."

Yeah, if you're watching it on a TV or a 17' monitor! LOL, this movie is for an iPod's tiny screen. Not anywhere close to 700MB my friend.


RE: Microsoft is up against more than they think...
By Pirks on 7/6/2006 10:27:26 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
With enough money anything is possible
Bullshit. A company like MS can have billions and still lag behind, just look at all this "when _at last_ Vista catches up to OS X?" stuff in the news. Look at how companies like AOpen tried to clone Mac Mini and failed miserably - if you don't have OS X, you can't build real Mac competitor, and NO billions will help you. Even if you try to develop OS X alternative on top of Linux or something. If I were wrong there would be hundreds of iMac and Mac Mini competitors around, but this hasn't happened and is not likely to happen, NO MATTER how much money MS/Dell/etc throw at the issue. If you CAN NOT build a slick smooth elegant and really-really user friendly computer like, say, iMac - you just CAN'T, and NOT because of money.

Let me give you an illustrative example: if you can not play chess like Garry Kasparov - will a billion dollars help you?

See, it's so simple :-)


By berat556 on 7/7/2006 12:06:17 AM , Rating: 2
Well, Windows does not really have a competitor in OS X, to really compare them you should look at the XBOX vs. PS fight or the logitech vs. microsoft fight in peripheral business. Apple is in big trouble if Microsoft comes to market with a product that is stylish, cheaper and has more features than the ipod. Anyway you put it this is good news for me since I like cheap and a lot of features.


RE: Microsoft is up against more than they think...
By Pirks on 7/7/2006 2:51:59 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Windows does not really have a competitor in OS X
Looks like folks doing OS comparison think quite the opposite - the only area where Windows is still ahead is games, every other aspect of OS - MS lost. Read any Vista development blogs/news and see for yourself - technically speaking Vista is a bleak OS X clone. If not for games Windows would look total loser to me.
quote:
Apple is in big trouble if Microsoft comes to market with a product that is stylish, cheaper and has more features than the ipod.
There was A LOT of stylish feature-loaded cheap MP3 players on the market and iPod still kicked them out. Good for you if you like 'em cheap and feature-loaded - but looks like the market does not work this way. Demise of Creative confirms this - there's more to MP3 players (and personal computers, to some extent) than price, performance and features. Unless MS learns this - they will always lag behind and produce bleak OS X clones for good :)


By glennpratt on 7/7/2006 11:03:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Looks like folks doing OS comparison think quite the opposite - the only area where Windows is still ahead is games, every other aspect of OS - MS lost. Read any Vista development blogs/news and see for yourself - technically speaking Vista is a bleak OS X clone. If not for games Windows would look total loser to me.


To say Vista is an OS X clone is utter BS. You can download Beta 2, you don't need to read a useless blog to know that. And OS X certainly does not surpass Windows in the business market either. Software support... performance... hardware support... shall I continue.


By Pirks on 7/7/2006 2:27:11 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
And OS X certainly does not surpass Windows in the business market either. Software support... performance... hardware support...
I meant Windows is a bleak clone of OS X from a technological point of view. Here's a good example for you: Windows NT at the time had MUCH less software and hardware compatibility than Win95. Still Win95 was a pile of DOS32 crap compared to NT.

Same for OS X and Vista - tons of apps for Windows does not make it better _technologically_, got it?


By epsilonparadox on 7/7/2006 11:04:31 AM , Rating: 2
When apple has more that 5% of the global pc market, MAYBE windows will have a competitor. Vista could be the anti-OSX and still OSX couldn't compete. Apple would have to do the unthinkable and open their OS to OEMs to seriously compete.
quote:
There was A LOT of stylish feature-loaded cheap MP3 players on the market and iPod still kicked them out.

With MS and MTV closely knit with their recent deal, MS now has a centralized place to buy songs using WMP and Urge. Every single other competitor to the Ipod didn't have this advantage.


By Pirks on 7/7/2006 2:29:38 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
When apple has more that 5% of the global pc market, MAYBE windows will have a competitor.
It's like saying "when Ferrari has 5% of the world's car market then MAYBE General Motors will have a competitor" Actually you are right - but I was talking about technology. From the market share point of view MS is an unbeatable leader, I agree.


By KenGoding on 7/7/2006 7:54:47 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Let me give you an illustrative example: if you can not play chess like Garry Kasparov - will a billion dollars help you?


It'll help numb the pain. :)


By jcolonial7 on 7/7/2006 8:30:59 AM , Rating: 2
actually, a billion dollars will help you if you can hire a bunch of grand masters to program a machine like Deep Blue and beat him with a computer...


By Pirks on 7/7/2006 2:42:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
a billion dollars will help you if you can hire a bunch of grand masters to program a machine like Deep Blue and beat him with a computer
Apparently for some reason MS could not hire grand masters and program Vista so that it A) does not have all of its major features except DX10 cut out B) ship more or less on time because they know how to do it right - focus on areas you know you can do and such - plain old software engineering, taught in any decent university here.

Since MS could NOT do that I say having billions is not enough if you just CAN NOT do the job. I agree, you can hire masters and build a Deep Blue - but MS can not do EVEN THAT. The billions they have DID NOT help them to look like total losers on the technological front and OS X clone builders technology-wise - oh look it's a clone of iCal, that's a clone of iPhoto, that's a fuuugly clone of Expose blah blah blah - and that's from _Windows_ pundits like P. Thurriot - says a lot to me.


By AmbroseAthan on 7/7/2006 9:39:20 AM , Rating: 2
Unforuntately you are right, a billion dollars won't teach me to play chess well. Or to hit a MLB fastball, or be able to dunk over Shaq. Luckily we are talking about products which can be created if you have the resources (i.e. money), not skills which take some innate talent.

The problem with operating system comparisons is it is the opinion of the end user. Apple's folder system, keeping programs open, its ridiculous task bar; its all around feel makes me annoyed while using it. It does have some advantages, but nothing that makes me like it over Windows.

Windows I can customize the hell out of. If you want something user friendly, simply auto-hide your task bar at the top of your screen with your regularly used programs. Pops up if I need something, otherwise my screen is a nice blank slate.

To compete with the IMac, I give you Dell's XPS M2010. Personally, I like its appearance and design much more then the IMac (likely due to the fact I dislike white borders or such around my screen, not to mention the huge bottom on IMac's screen). Personally though, I use an Acer Ferrari 3200 (and soon the 5000 I think) with an Acer Ferrari monitor as a 2nd monitor, extending my desktop vertically. Apple doesn't have a single product that looks as good to my eye. Ease of use: I started them and they worked perfectly, no updates needed besides things I wanted to customize.

Once again though, it is all in the opinion of the user.


RE: Microsoft is up against more than they think...
By Pirks on 7/7/2006 3:17:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Unforuntately you are right, a billion dollars won't teach me to play chess well. Or to hit a MLB fastball, or be able to dunk over Shaq. Luckily we are talking about products which can be created if you have the resources (i.e. money), not skills which take some innate talent.
Please do not say building modern dektop consumer OS is mere skill and no talent. I can see what it leads to looking at how MS was doing this iteration of Windows development -> Hey look guys, here's a FREAKIN LOAD OF FEATURES we MUST stick in Windows - there we go, let's do it Ballmer Boy Scouts! - some time passes - oh crap, this PILE of FEATURES would not freakin go inside - we CAN'T BUILD IT, help, heeelp us someone - and then BG comes about and the development is restarted, and some time passes - oh crap, guys, we STILL CAN'T stick it all inside before 2015, wha da we daa arghh - let's cut Monad - CHOP! -> this feature's dead - move on - oh crap can't fit WinFS too - CHOP! -> WinFS goes south too -> CHOP CHOP CHOP -> sh1t we CAN'T chop DX10 - we'll be dead then, Ballmer save us again -> Ballmer: "Yo customers! You hear me? Vista is ready WHEN IT'S READY, crystal? Bye now, have a nice day!"

Did you see this circus on Apple turf? I wish, I really wish Jobs and his team were such clowns too - somehow they refuse to perform like a stupid cheap circus - tell me why?

I'll tell you why - it's because OS development, CAR developmen, SPACE SHUTTLE DEVELOPMENT, ANYTHING complex - IT REQUIERS T-A-L-E-N-T. This is crucial point that only few people understand - you CAN NOT go to university, graduate with M.S. in engineering and go build a space shuttle in your back yard. Or build an OS X or Vista killer on your lap - even IF YOU HAVE billions!

Just imagfine yourself with a billion dollars on your bank account. Now imagine some big computer company president approaching you and begging to build an OS X killer - an operating system that kills OS X technologically on every side, costs similar amount of money to produce and takes similar timeframe to develop, say 5 years. What would you do? Nah, don't say me you'll sit with your freshly hired team and easily build an OS X killer - I heard a LOAD of this stuff from Linux zealots since late 90s. Sorry, I think I have to disappoint you here - your billion won't save you. You will waste it just like others - because you have to have brain of Jobs and his top brass to compete - and this means what? This means - brain IS EVERYTHING, and money are only the blind dumb stupid TOOL. NO BRAIN - NO PRODUCT. Period.

quote:
To compete with the IMac, I give you Dell's XPS M2010
That'd be an argument if the M2010 price was anywhere near the price of iMac. Are you going to tell me that $300,000 Aston Martin is way cooler than $100,000 Lexus? Nice try - I'll point at the price and the discussion is over. You wanna compare PCs with iMac? Fine - find me something in PC world that's as slick and stylish and small as iMac AND costs THE SAME! NOT $4000 or your Sony PC-TV for big $$$ - I mean SAME PRICE.
quote:
Personally though, I use an Acer Ferrari 3200 (and soon the 5000 I think) with an Acer Ferrari monitor as a 2nd monitor, extending my desktop vertically. Apple doesn't have a single product that looks as good to my eye.
Well, I dare to say your Acer Ferrari and second monitor are not your middle class PCs price-wise, like the Macs, especially iMac. Not quite a normal situation when if you wanna beat Mac in style or appeal you have to shell out $5000 for Acer Ferrari with monitor or fancy Dell M2010 - when you can have both style/slickness/noiselessness/etc _and_ OS X (in addition to Windows) for $3000 LESS!
quote:
Once again though, it is all in the opinion of the user
I wish the introduction of OpenGL/DirectX 3D rendered interfaces in OS X and lately in Vista has ANYTHING to do with tastes of users. I'm afraid it's not. Hence Vista loses on technological side - that's what I was talking about, and that is not somethig depending on tastes - technology is tasteless.

This of course, leaves a plenty of space for users who love, say, Win 3.x or Win95 interface - sure, let them use it, no problem. Does it hide the fact that _technologically_ Win 3.x and 95 are stinky piles of dirt compared to modern Windows? Nope, I'm afraid not :-) See, technology and USER TASTES are quite differnt things.


By AmbroseAthan on 7/9/2006 6:11:31 PM , Rating: 2
To start... the Acer Ferrari cost $1900 when I got it from NewEgg. The Monitor currently goes for around $420... Looks to be a good bit less then $5000. The only reason it surpasses IMac in price, by a bit, is the addition of a second monitor. The iMac's "style" looks like something someone puked up after drinking all night; at least to my eyes. At close to the same price, I could easily get a Ferrari 4006 from NewEgg right now, which I find much more "stylish" and more appealing visually.

Also, liking the look of my Acer's over Apple is a matter of the OS technology? Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with the technology of the OS. With regards to the OS, I simply don't like OS X and its usage/flow; indirectly it is the technology, but it is the feel I get while using it I don't like. So, deciding which OS I like better, really does have to do with my tastes.

Your entire argument about the money vs. brain is completely misdirected. Your first example involved a single person learning to be a chess master because they had money. Teaching oneself to be the most skilled person in any event can't be done by money alone. Building a product though, can allow you to find the talent and "Brains" as you so claim we need (on which I agree) with money. There is a good chance of failure, sure. But with money you can find brains to help innovate and design. A man with a billion dollars doesn't try and make the product himself; he puts together a team that has the needed talent/skill to create the product. Sure it doesn't happen often, because most people with a billion dollars in their pocket have much better things to do then try and create a killer product with all of their money.


RE: Microsoft is up against more than they think...
By Pirks on 7/10/2006 3:43:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
At close to the same price, I could easily get a Ferrari 4006 from NewEgg right now, which I find much more "stylish" and more appealing visually.
It's normal that Ferrari appeals to your taste, but technologically speaking... I'm not sure. MacBook Pro with configuration similar to Ferrari 4006's will cost a couple hundreds more... but where's your shock sensor on Ferrari? You know the one that turns off your hard drive when notebook is flying towards the concrete floor. Where's two finger scroll or two-finger right click? Well, if you don't like those features, say you don't care whether your hard drive breaks when notebook falls down on the floor, or you disagree with majority of people who just fall in love with two-finger scroll - even then - where's the thinness and lightness of MacBook Pro? This Ferrari is not as thin and light as MacBookPro 15", so even judging by this criterion - nah, not Ferrari for me. I could run Windows XP on MacBookPro if want to, and still get a lighter and thinner notebook than your Ferrari - works great for me! Even if Mac is a bit more expensive. Style? You don't like how nice MacBook Pro looks? You must have not ever touched it in your local Apple store - I did, and it looks nice, not worse than Ferrari aesthetically. Ferrari is nice red, MBP is nice titanium silver, both look great to me. It's just TECHNOLOGY and DESIGN of both the OS and hardware that win with Mac. Not the TASTE and EXTERIOR LOOK - that's important!
quote:
Also, liking the look of my Acer's over Apple is a matter of the OS technology?
Nope, it is a matter of taste. People very often like nice products that are inferior technologically - the case with your Ferrari. Unfortunately its great looks (and it does look very nice, I agree with you here) didn't help it to win technologically against MacBook Pro.
quote:
With regards to the OS, I simply don't like OS X and its usage/flow; indirectly it is the technology, but it is the feel I get while using it I don't like. So, deciding which OS I like better, really does have to do with my tastes.
There's nothing wrong with preferring Windows over OS X, I prefer Windows myself because OS X is too niche at the moment - can't run any decent games on it. Still, there is also nothing wrong with preferring Win 3.1 over XP. Or even MS-DOS. Some people just LOVE Win 3.1 interface, it fits their taste perfectly. Or MS-DOS maybe. Yeah, stuff happens... does it make Win 3.1 or MS-DOS technologically inferior to XP? Nope. Does your and my preference of Windows over OS X make Windows technologically superior? Nope. You just don't like how OS X feels, and I don't like to play games on a separate machine if I can do everything including games on ONE machine. So we're both stuck with an old technologically inferior OS called Windows XP, you and me.
quote:
Building a product though, can allow you to find the talent and "Brains" as you so claim we need (on which I agree) with money. There is a good chance of failure, sure. But with money you can find brains to help innovate and design. A man with a billion dollars doesn't try and make the product himself; he puts together a team that has the needed talent/skill to create the product.
Ha-ha! Well, let me tell you this - even FINDING someone who can do your project well, on time and on budget and also, by the way, blowing any potential competitor away requires TALENT. Again - building and managing such a team CAN NOT BE DONE WITHOUT a properly oriented and talented brain. In case of MS it was Billy the Great - he and maybe a couple of other guys knew how to build the empire and how to run it. They had BILLIONS and THE BRAINS - important. Do they have brains now? Looks like they're not totally braindead yet, right? (bad joke here) Do they have brains good enough to build technologically advanced products that make people say "hey look - this, this and that was cloned from Vista in everything else, and all of that and this was stolen by Apple - jeez how much MS innovates and others just steal it"? Nope! This is an interesting part that you probably starting to understand now, following my explanations - they CAN NOT yet manage large projects like Vista properly, so that noone complains that "ah, this and that was in OS X eons ago and Vista looks like a bleak clone, meh, usual MS way of doing things blah blah". They have billions to BUILD Vista - but they do NOT have BRAINS to do it well, without looking like an OS X clone.


By Pirks on 7/10/2006 3:44:47 AM , Rating: 2
"does it make Win 3.1 or MS-DOS technologically inferior to XP? Nope." should be this -> "does it make Win 3.1 or MS-DOS technologically SUPERIOR to XP? Nope."


By rushfan2006 on 7/7/2006 9:48:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Let me give you an illustrative example: if you can not play chess like Garry Kasparov - will a billion dollars help you?


First if I had a billion dollars, why would care about playing Garry Kasparov in Chess..not to mention I had the game. ;)

Secondly, your chess analogy is a horrible one IMHO. Totally has NOTHING in the least to do with what you were talking about regarding no money helping to build a better OS.

Its not having money alone that matters -- its what you do with it.

Money can help...BIG TIME in fact, because you can hire the talent to get the job done. To correct the point you are trying to make...would be more accurately stated as "A company can have all the money in the world, but if they don't know how to use it well -- its not going to help them at all!".



By rushfan2006 on 7/7/2006 9:49:43 AM , Rating: 2
*hate*....had should of read *hate*. ;)

(Hmm...that's when I'll win the lottery, the day DailyTech announces an EDIT feature on their forums. LOL)


By Pirks on 7/7/2006 3:20:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
To correct the point you are trying to make...would be more accurately stated as "A company can have all the money in the world, but if they don't know how to use it well -- its not going to help them at all!".
Yeah, this is exactly what I meant when I said "Bullshit. MS has billions and can't do stuff etc..." - you've just clarified my words, thanks.


By RMTimeKill on 7/7/2006 10:00:39 AM , Rating: 2
Its not so much all of that, its simply not enough "mac lovers" to justify spending all the money to compete with a company who doesnt have a dominent hold on the market... Why compete with the losers? (speaking in terms of market share, mac vs ms)


By Pirks on 7/7/2006 3:33:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why compete with the losers?
Totally wrong point here - Apple market segment is not losers, it's exactly THE OPPOSITE - Mac users are more affluent people who want to enjoy their personal computers as easy/trouble-free as possible and have a sense of style, and do not want to spend time with virii/malware/basic software or driver setup issues and such.

It's mostly poor budget minded guys who buy PC stuff like cheap Dells - so they are actually losers :-) If I had money I'd go for a MacBook in a sec - the only thing that keeps me with Dell Inspiron is the PRICE. Actually, generic Wintel PCs have the only attraction left - the low price. That's all about generic market segment - corporate and such. Does not touch enthusiast segment at all... hence not quite for this enthusiast-oriented forum :)

Gamers are totally different segment and Macs suck crap in that area as always, and DX10 will only widen the gap.

In terms of market share size - I'm not sure, Apple managed to rise very high with its small market share and huge market share did not help MS at all with Vista, to me now it looks like market share has a little to do with a product quality/elegance/style. In fact, the better is the product - the SMALLER is its market share - because quality product is always EXPENSIVE.

So when you tell me - hey, this market segment is losers only - I'll tell you - "sure! just like all these losers who buy BMW cars - there are only a few of them compared to your GM driving public" :-))) Looks like losers have a lot of money these days, hehehe :))


By PrinceGaz on 7/7/2006 12:18:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
if you can not play chess like Garry Kasparov - will a billion dollars help you?


Yes, because you could probably pay Garry Kasparov to play for you. Microsoft have been known to occasionally (ahem ;) spend money to acquire other companies which specialise in certain fields.


By Pirks on 7/7/2006 3:36:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Microsoft have been known to occasionally spend money to acquire other companies which specialise in certain fields.
Are you aware of any company that produced a nice iPod killer that actually succeded and killed said iPod?

No? You never heard of such a company?

Then who MS is gonna buy this time to develop such a killer?


RE: Microsoft is up against more than they think...
By Pirks on 7/6/06, Rating: 0
By rrsurfer1 on 7/7/2006 9:01:05 AM , Rating: 2
Yea, and maybe their OS will actually be able to run a database application at even a modest speed, without getting trounced because of how the OS handles low-level system calls.

OS X is not without its flaws, something you Apple fanboys tend to forget.


RE: Microsoft is up against more than they think...
By Pirks on 7/7/2006 3:40:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yea, and maybe their OS will actually be able to run a database application at even a modest speed, without getting trounced because of how the OS handles low-level system calls.
And maybe then people will understand that running client-side desktop OS on database servers is not a very bright idea ;-) I hope you do not consider OS X Server any kind of competition in a server market, do you?

Are we talking about server market here?

Nope.

quote:
OS X is not without its flaws, something you Apple fanboys tend to forget.
We Apple fanboys speak of innovation here, not about flaws. And we Apple fanboys tend to notice when our number one competitor starts look like a clone of you know what ;-)


RE: Microsoft is up against more than they think...
By RyanLM on 7/8/2006 6:28:20 PM , Rating: 2
You can never argue with the Apple cultist because the argument transcends technology or even reason. They have been programmed by a corporate marketing campaign which feeds their need and desire to be thought of as special, artistic and "different". It's like talking to a Islamic fundamentalist or Scientologist. They are impervious to any attacks by logic and reason.


By Pirks on 7/9/2006 5:01:23 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
They are impervious to any attacks by logic and reason.
Had I been impervious I have bought a Mac a long time ago. Nice shot, but a miss again - you have no idea who are you talking to :P


By abhaxus on 7/6/2006 10:50:06 PM , Rating: 2
apple dominates the mp3 player space mindshare. it is similar but far more pervasive than sony's dominance with the "discman" and "walkman." except of course that every ipod sale is linked to a few more itunes downloads which nets more money for apple.

MS will lose this one worse than they lost with the xbox 1.


By clementlim on 7/7/2006 12:07:02 AM , Rating: 2
I am a Playstation fan, but I have to a give credit to Microsoft cause their Xbox n X360 aren't failures, coming up against Sony and Nintendo when they were defacto in gaming consoles. So what's to stop Microsoft coming up against iPod?


By Pirks on 7/7/2006 2:57:40 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
So what's to stop Microsoft coming up against iPod?
Nothing too new, just their usual way of doing things. They don't always produce truly polished and well-integrated quality products. When they controlled everything with Xbox, just like Apple controls everything with Macs - they did a decent job. The question is how well they will control their PiMP or whatever it'll be called... they COULD do it well, but it may turn out to be another tablet PC or UMPC - yet another #uckup, oh well, move on... I hope they succeed, we need some good powerful competition for this fruity a$$


By epsilonparadox on 7/7/2006 10:54:52 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree also. When MS came into the market with the xbox, the playstation was IT. Now with the second iteration of the xbox, MS is going toe to toe with Sony and Nintendo and looking to break even in marketshare with those two heavyweights. If MS can do the same to the MP3 market, its going to be a real defeat for Apple.


By Pirks on 7/7/2006 3:42:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If MS can do the same to the MP3 market, its going to be a real defeat for Apple.
I agree 100%. I wish MS all the luck in the world - let's cross our fingers and hope MS can pull it off and finish off Apple's monopoly in the DAP market.


...
By dude on 7/7/2006 3:45:59 AM , Rating: 2
How would this work? If I purchase a song on iTunes, and I buy the Microsoft player (or 3rd party version), I can download those songs I've already paid for for free?

Is this only for the initial download/logon/account-setup or will this be forever. If it's forever, I'd always keep iTunes and my iPod, purchase songs on iTunes, and if I bought another player, just get the songs for free there, or if my brother/cousin/stranger wanted free songs that like what I like, I can just have them transfered to me/them for free?

If this is the case, iTunes forever!

BTW, I've had my iPod for about 2 years and only purchased about 70 tunes. If I go by what someone said that Apple pays about 80 cents per tune, that means Apple only made $13.30 from the 70 or so tunes I purchased?

So, if Apple sold 1 Billion songs, they've only made $190-200 million in the iTunes store? This is considered peanuts in the whole scheme of things, but to a stock holder's options, it certainly isn't so. Financially, wouldn't the final numbers count instead of their stock price these days? Well, with the exception of Microsoft stock...




RE: ...
By AmbroseAthan on 7/7/2006 9:11:48 AM , Rating: 2
The ITunes store doesn't exist as a profit center. Once the IT costs of maintaining everything involved, plus whatever business costs, it works out to a around 10 cents profit per song or less.

http://www.macobserver.com/article/2004/04/06.13.s...

ITunes basically exists as a marketing gimick to help keep the IPod on top. Being the apple store is so "user-friendly" and works so well with the IPod, it is just another selling point for IPods. Control the majority of way people get their music, and you control how they listen to it (on an IPod).

Personally I would love Microsoft to come in with a good product that would be worth replacing my Nano.


RE: ...
By creathir on 7/7/2006 9:20:20 AM , Rating: 2
*Cough*
$0.10 * 1,000,000,000...

$100,000,000.00 profit...?

I guess that is not a lot of money?

FYI, this is a MASSIVE amount of money. Sure it may not be big like Microsoft big, but to a companies bottom line, you are talking about a LOT of money. iTunes store DOES exist as a profit center, otherwise songs would only cost $.90 per song for us, instead of a dollar. Any profit, is SOME profit.

- Creathir


RE: ...
By creathir on 7/7/2006 9:20:55 AM , Rating: 2
ccompany's*


RE: ...
By AmbroseAthan on 7/7/2006 10:02:13 AM , Rating: 2
$100,000,000 over the course of 3 years is hardly a splash in the pond for Apple. Quater 2 Profit for Apple was reported at $410,000,000; for a single quater. iTunes contributed roughly $11 million of that (figure 100m / 12, plus some extra for growth of ITunes since April, 2003). In terms of money making for Apple, iTunes is a small fish in their product lines.

Even Steve Jobs agrees with me, "Mr Jobs told analysts that iTunes was "not a money-maker"." (from the previous link from Financial Times).


RE: ...
By lewisc on 7/11/2006 8:54:44 AM , Rating: 2
iTunes is supposed to be a loss leader; the real money for Apple is made in the sales of the iPod, not the sales from the tracks. Letting users know there is an easy, albeit expensive, way of filling up their iPod is just another way of getting them to buy their product.


So... a few issues...
By Shadowself on 7/6/2006 7:17:37 PM , Rating: 3
"To attract current iPod users Microsoft is going to let you download for free any songs you've already bought from the iTunes Music Store. They'll actually scan iTunes for purchased tracks and then automatically add those to your account. Microsoft will still have to pay the rights-holders for the songs, but they believe it'll be worth it to acquire converts to their new player."

So...
Isn't buying into a new market with free software what got them into trouble on anti-trust issues last time?

and

If I had bought 1,000 songs on iTunes (just for the record I have not bought even one) then Microsoft is going to give me all 1,000 again free to me? The music labels are going to love this. Apple pays them over 80 cents per 99 cents recieved. Now Microsoft will pay them maybe as much as 80 cents again for the same song for the same customer. The music labels are getting the twice the anticipated revenue.

Supposedly Apple iTunes Music Store customers have downloaded well over 1 billion songs. This could then be as much as 800 million dollars windfall to the music companies.

Finally, IF this rumor is true, it seems like Microsoft is extremely desparate to get into this market. Being willing to sink up to 800 million dollars to buy into a market is pretty desparate. It will be a long time before they get that back even if Microsoft has its own "MSPod" to sell.




RE: So... a few issues...
By soydios on 7/6/2006 7:26:23 PM , Rating: 2
If those rumors are true, Apple will be in for a run for its money.
I bought my iPod not because it's the best music player out there, because it definately is not. Other players offer more capacity, bigger screens, and longer battery life. I purchased it because it interfaces so well with iTunes and the iTunes store.
If Microsoft can beat Apple on all fronts, particularly cost, seamless integration, features, and image/advertising, then they have a winner, fair and square.


RE: So... a few issues...
By Steve Guilliot on 7/6/2006 7:41:49 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft got into trouble by leveraging its OS dominance to win the browser war, not because IE is free. iTunes is free too, but Apple isn't in any anti-trust trouble.

Second, any would-be competitor to the iPod has to deal with its entrenched position re: iTunes Store and 3rd party peripherals. None have been successful so far because none have had the resources to do what Microsoft is planning. You can argue that it doesn't make business sense to risk a billion+ dollars to compete with the iPod, but it's no more desperate than any other expensive business venture.


RE: So... a few issues...
By OrSin on 7/7/2006 9:22:36 AM , Rating: 2
if MS spent 800 million then they would be totally dominianing the market. My guess any company would be will to spend that much maney to take over the moarket completely. More than like likely MS will get about 20-25% share and spend less then 100 million to get it. that would eb huge win for MS. The MP3 market is going to Video soon. If MS can get in the market before that then they keep taking share from Apple. Sorry but Quicktime is not as entrenched a format as any of the .avi. So if they can get in now then when video come MS can pull away. For the apply fans, I'm not saying quick time sucks, just saying the best don't always win. When Visit come out and you can synch you audio and video to a device from the other room without even loading drivers it will make you think twice if you want eh new Ipod or not.


RE: So... a few issues...
By jon1003 on 7/7/2006 12:07:11 PM , Rating: 2
So the music Co's get paid twice...wow, sweet deal for them.


Apple or Microsoft???
By othercents on 7/7/2006 10:49:00 AM , Rating: 2
As much as I dislike the of Apple when dealing with iPod/iTunes, I'm not sure if I want Microsoft to be the one taking over all of this. Their own device isn't going to be the iPod killer, but their software could be the iTunes killer. Once this happens the lines on which MP3 player to purchase will become hazy and people will see all the other great products available. I think this will definitly be a win for the consumer.

Once Vista rolls out then the music store will be integrated into Windows. This means there won't be a reason to install iTunes and it should be easier to setup your iPod on Vista instead of needing to install iTunes. Other things to keep in mind is the ability to use other players and since Microsoft is able to build from the ground up there interface should be better. I have heard of many complaints with the iTunes interface.

FYI. I have never used iTunes. I like MusicMatch better, but I don't purchase or download music either.

Other




RE: Apple or Microsoft???
By rushfan2006 on 7/7/2006 12:56:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
FYI. I have never used iTunes. I like MusicMatch better, but I don't purchase or download music either.


Ummm..just curious, how can you know you like something better if you never even tried the competing product? LOL

That's like saying you think Woman "A" is hotter than Woman "B" and you only ever saw Woman "A" to begin with...



RE: Apple or Microsoft???
By 9nails on 7/8/2006 5:45:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ummm..just curious, how can you know you like something better if you never even tried the competing product? LOL

That's like saying you think Woman "A" is hotter than Woman "B" and you only ever saw Woman "A" to begin with...


Nah, it's more like saying "I've never hit a home run with Woman A, and only went to 3rd base with Woman B. But I prefer not to marry either woman." Ownership of music creates a two-way DRM trust relationship with the selling company.

He/she is confessing to have never purchased products through iTunes. This does not draw to conclusion that he/she has no familiarity of iTunes.


To DRM or not to DRM
By Bull Dog on 7/7/2006 11:32:17 AM , Rating: 2
If Microsoft allows the music you download to be DRM free or easily converted into DRM free formats, they may have just found a customer. If its nicely locked into propritart DRM infected WMA files.......I'll be staying away.




RE: To DRM or not to DRM
By epsilonparadox on 7/7/2006 11:43:15 AM , Rating: 2
I assume you're not a customer of Apple either since they also have DRM music. MS won't get the music industry backing if they choose a non-DRM strategy.


RE: To DRM or not to DRM
By jon1003 on 7/7/2006 12:18:50 PM , Rating: 2
There's no question about it really, it's definitely going to be DRMed and probably WMA. They couldn't get away with selling it otherwise.


Interesting concept
By fic2 on 7/6/2006 7:21:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
let you download for free any songs you've already bought
- interesting concept of not having to buy songs that you have already bought. I doubt it will catch on.




RE: Interesting concept
By themusgrat on 7/7/2006 11:43:42 AM , Rating: 2
" - interesting concept of not having to buy songs that you have already bought. I doubt it will catch on."

Lol. I think you are right.


By rushfan2006 on 7/7/2006 9:57:33 AM , Rating: 2
What the hell do people use MP3 players for that they are so involved and enamored with them having tons of features and all? LOL.

Particularly so since most people have cellphones today too..so there is your address book, calendar, "messenging" service, etc.

This is what matters to me with an MP3 player and little else:

-Does it sound good?
-Is it easy to use?
-Is it relatively inexpensive?
-Doe it have reasonable battery life?

That's it....if a player meets those four things, doesn't mean a hill beans to me who's brand is stamped on it, or if it can play videos or FM or any other things.

When I work out at the gym when I'm playing a game (I often mute the game sound and just listen to music) that's when I use my MP3 player. When I want to do anything else -- that's what my PC is for and my HDTV/DVD player is for...

In short...dude its just a music player...relax.





By Homerboy on 7/7/2006 10:11:13 AM , Rating: 2
actually this is a PMP... and I would use the video capabilities ALL the time. Not to mention I don't have cell phone.



pronunciation?
By meyerds on 7/7/2006 7:17:20 PM , Rating: 2
how is one to pronounce Microsoft's new player? Nobody wants to call their MP3 player a "Portable Media Player"... this thing needs something catchy like "iPOD". I hope to God the acronym "PMP". That could prove to create potentially disastrous pronunciation problems.

Any thoughts?




RE: pronunciation?
By meyerds on 7/7/2006 7:19:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I hope to God the acronym "PMP".

*correction: I hope to God the acronym "PMP" doesn't stick.

my mistake, sorry everyone...


By Zirconium on 7/6/2006 7:28:23 PM , Rating: 3
I have a feeling that someone or some group will find a way to "trick" Microsoft's scanning software into "believing" that you have rights to songs you do not actually have, allowing you to get free music.

Also, is it just me, or do others find it tempting to pronounce PMP phonetically? "I got a PiMP in my pocket."




Rawr!
By Orpheus333 on 7/6/2006 7:31:18 PM , Rating: 2
I just bought my Sansa e270... hesitating because I was looking forward to the M$ ipod killer. DAMNIT!




Wifi?
By One43637 on 7/6/2006 7:51:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Given the wireless nature of the PMP, this opens up new possibilities of music syncing and music sharing between players (and the legal hassles that will ensue).


hrm this should prove interesting if they manage to include wireless on the retail version.




Do you mean to tell me
By Mant on 7/6/2006 8:13:21 PM , Rating: 2
there are NO leaked pics???
NONE!?!?
Are we taking bets on whether it is white and "XBOX green" and the interface has an Organic Electroluminescence Display ala SONY?

Also, I agree with rrsurfer, any competition is good competition




What's the Price?
By crystal clear on 7/7/2006 10:47:43 AM , Rating: 2
All said & done,you come to the store & ask yourself
"Whats the PRICE" & "What can I BUY for this money from
the competition".
This is a start of a PRICE WAR to come-Just to remind YOU
Samsung,Creative,Iriver are also in the competition.
Also Real networks is around the corner with Itunes/Apple.
Put all the players in the market,You get a PRICE WAR.
Good for the consumer/buyer-quality/price ratio.
MS can upset the existing relationships it has with
Samsung/Apple/Creative/Iriver-dont expect them to sit
back & let MS takeover.Their Sales/Profit margins are at
stake.Sony may also jump in to make it worse for all.

Its going to be A Red Hot christmas for all of them.
The winner is You & the company that gives the best PRICE.




too many features make wmp sucky
By iamright on 7/7/2006 1:17:18 PM , Rating: 2
has anyone tried the new WMP11? It isn't nearly as intuitive as itunes. It has a lot of dumb reatures that just make it cluttered and the urge service isn't as seamless as the itunes music store. There is no column browsing (just the vista style imitation that doesn't have the full column view). There is a picture viewing feature that is cool but it just ads another bunch of media to confuse with the music. People seem to forget that apple is ahead. Unlike the Xbox vs PS2 market, it doesn't take 2,3,or 4 years to release the next console. Apple can release a new ipod and update itunes within a matter of months and recapture the lead over MS or anyone else. One innovation from MS and 100 mill may help for a moment but won't garentee any sustainable advantage whatsoever.




I welcome it
By IMPoor on 7/7/2006 2:00:03 PM , Rating: 2
I have had several ipods. They are really good mp3 players. They have a great interface and the control is very nice. They may cost more and may have less features. But I have a video ipod now and it is awesome. I didn't even see the point of watching videos on a mp3 player until I actually had one. But I listen to music and occasionally watch video on it. Thats it. I don't need the calender, contacts, solitaire, etc. In fact I don't even care if it tells the time. And most people I talk to only care if it is simple, small/portable, and easy to use.

So if microsoft comes out with something just as good or better for the price I am all for it. Let them spend a billion dollars if they want. We all know they have the money. And if it is small, plays video, has a decent screen, and is easy to use then I will buy it day one. I am a microsoft supporter. The xbox kicks ass, windows XP rocks, and I like their hardware. So bring it on. I think OSX is good for my grandma and my sister though.




awegasdf
By matthewcaudle on 7/8/2006 2:55:30 PM , Rating: 2
i feel dumber for reading through all of this. thanks haha




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