Will history repeat itself with MS Portable Media Center?

zozo
Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Quote:

Microsoft Corp. MSFT.O said on Monday that it would launch software for a new portable media device to be launched next year that will allow users to listen to music and watch movies on the road.



Portable Media Center, Microsoft's answer to Apple Computer Inc.'s AAPL.O iPod digital music player, will be able to play MP3 files as well as audio and video content recorded in Microsoft's own digital format.



more here: clicky




Many years ago: No "consumer OS" is available. Apple steps in, cause "revolution", and OWNS the Personal Computer market. fast forward: MS gets IBM to use its OS for its Personal Computer venture, also licenses it to anyone else who wants it. Few years later down the line, MS has 95% market because Apple didnt license OS to others.



Today: Apple "owns" portable MP3 market. The OS is NOT theirs. BUT the little iPod can be used on basically any OS. Today's MP3 palyers have home-brew OSs, linux based, etc. Tomorrow MS will release MS Portable Media Center os. they will undoubtedly ship a crap product. second round, they will get basic things right, a few more years down the line, they have something that is generally ok, and embedded into every portable device from here to timbuktu and is already in Longhorn, etc. With the usual MS way of doing things, a Windows user will be so submerged by MS PMC and 3rd party ad pushing... that iPod will be slammed into a small market share.



Things to consider: The iPod and "portable media players" will change a LOT in the next few years. Or so we expect/hope. will the iPod become a personal phone/pda/media player that can even have a home directory on it? Will other portable devices fill that gap sooner than Apple?

Also, as said before, the iPod ALREADY can be used on any platform (just about) and iTunes is on Windows. There is even an iTunes for Java project (JiTunes I believe).

Seeing that this is NOT just a software problem (so, not really comparable to a Netscape vs IE scenario (from 99% market domination to 2% or so today) I think its more of complex scenario.



What does Apple have to be careful of? What mistake(s) do they have to not repeat?

Price? Its 'ok' for now... but to keep a total domination of the 'portable media player' market, they HAVE to get a "dirt cheap", dare I say, Dell price point beater, product.

Offer? Well, it basically does everything... and 3rd party accessories cover almost all bases



Sure, Dell's current DellDJ Pod sucks... but its a question of 6 months before they get a better one on the market, adjust their sights, and wham. With MicroSofts help, quarter after quater they will keep pushing their, and other, products, that will slowly but surely eat away at iPods share.



So... what do you guys think? will the 'forces of evil' prevail in 6 months? a year? 2 years? ever? Will there be such a thing as we know today as "iPod"?



Personally, I think they FINALLY have an AMAZING marketing strategy with the Pepsi and AOL promotion in line for early next year. If they can get a European iTunes Store too... well... no stopping them! At least for a while. It'll be like a tidal wave!

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    Well, price is always going to be a huge determining factor. So yes, Apple needs to stay aware of the competition's low balling price tactics. At some point, Apple will probably need to offer a cheap 10gig (or go back to a 5 gig) model for $200.



    They also need to maintain it's lead with iTMS which goes a long way in spurring iPod sales.

    Lastly, they need to market the sh*t out of both(iPod/iTMS) to the Windows users. Educate them that Apple is not a closed system but follows more standards than MS.
  • Reply 2 of 14
    asenasen Posts: 93member
    So, MS invents the 'Portable Media Center'



    To me, the choice of those three words to make that clumsy title just epitomises how truly awful... awful... MS really is.
  • Reply 3 of 14
    cubedudecubedude Posts: 1,556member
    I don't think Apple has anything to worry about. I have yet one person who doesn't like the iPod, and everyone I know wants one, and these are people who don't normally give damn about Apple and its products.
  • Reply 4 of 14
    This isn't history. . . History had fickle business people going with IBM over Apple because of status quo. MS made OS's for IBM machines. bada bing, bada boom.



    Now there are all sort of embedded, consumer electronics and MS want's in. They made the Xbox, which in almost all respects is a flop. I have no reason to believe that this new device won't also suck and sell poorly.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    zozo Posts: 3,115member
    Thats what people were also saying about Palm when they had something like 85% of the market. years down the line, Palm stillhas a respectable foothold (also thanks to licensing to 3rd parties), but 3rd party hardware manufacturers (iPaq, HP, dell, etc) are slowwwwwwly inching in, forcing it down user's throats.



    I could see Dell bundling a free DellDJ with every computer, talking to 3rd party manufacturers to do the same (although I cant really see HP giving a DellDJ...).



    I was also thinking though...



    Apple cunningly called it an iPOD. Its a sort of abstract designation. It carries EVERYTHING. Dell has now cornered themselves into selling a device that ONLY does Music (maybe some video... but everyone associates DJ with music...).



    I agree that Apple is in a kickass position... NOW. Just hope it keeps it. We all know that most Personal Computers are pieces of crap, but 15 years down the line, 90% of the market is made up of crap computers... Price is law.
  • Reply 6 of 14
    screedscreed Posts: 1,077member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Splinemodel

    Now there are all sort of embedded, consumer electronics and MS want's in. They made the Xbox, which in almost all respects is a flop. I have no reason to believe that this new device won't also suck and sell poorly.



    But that's problem, Microsoft has so much money that the Xbox could continue to sell at a loss for years inching forward along the way. Most business divisions have to have a profitable target quarter within a few years or they get "restructured." If Microsoft really, really wants the gaming market they can try and try and try again losing money all the way and not flinch.



    Screed
  • Reply 7 of 14
    progmacprogmac Posts: 1,850member
    Pretty much everything microsoft has ever made has flopped, with the exception of Windows and Office. There is a website out there with all of their failed products, and it is unreal how many there are.



    I wouldn't worry about MS making some cool mp3 player that everybody buys. They might make an mp3 player, but it won't be cool and nobody will buy it.
  • Reply 8 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally posted by progmac

    Pretty much everything microsoft has ever made has flopped, with the exception of Windows XP and Office.



    Uhh, I take it you weren't around for Window 95's release? Copies were flying off the shelves. That year took another big dent in Apple's sales, as I recall.



    You don't get to own 95% of the market if everything you've made "has flopped".
  • Reply 9 of 14
    progmacprogmac Posts: 1,850member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Brad

    Uhh, I take it you weren't around for Window 95's release? Copies were flying off the shelves. That year took another big dent in Apple's sales, as I recall.



    You don't get to own 95% of the market if everything you've made "has flopped".




    Whoops, I meant to say Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office, not Windows XP. Outside of OS & Office, MS has tried to make tons of "innovations" and they have all flopped.
  • Reply 10 of 14
    yevgenyyevgeny Posts: 1,148member
    There is no cause to be concerned, and there is great cause to be concerned.



    No cause:

    Any device that was both a mp3 player and a mpeg player would be more costly than just an mp3 player (more expensive larger LCD, more expensive CPU to decompress the movie). Such a player could not compete against the iPod on either size or price. Besides, who wants to watch a movie on a 4 inch screen?



    Great cause:

    MS will undoubtedly push the platform as a common OS for media players. This platform will undoubtedly use WM9. This is undoubtedly the competition from MS that Mr. Jobs was worried about. Ms will attempt to unify the hardware vendors on a common platform and this does isolate Apple. As long as Apple can keep up their marketshare and mindshare they should be fine.



    My solution:

    A Christmas blowout of iPods to establish Apple as the indisputable marketshare and mindshare leader. Get something like 75% of the marketshare. Perhaps offering a 5GB intro iPod model with a lesser profit margin would help to shore up the marketshare and at the same time would work to wet people's appetite for an iPod with more storage capacity.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    yevgenyyevgeny Posts: 1,148member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by progmac

    Whoops, I meant to say Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office, not Windows XP. Outside of OS & Office, MS has tried to make tons of "innovations" and they have all flopped.



    XBox live is an innovation, and is not a flop. The XBox itself doesn't quite count as an innovation, but the online service to hundreds of thousands of homes for real time game play with VoIP in a console is most definitely an innovation.



    I'm just saying this because I preordered my copy of Halo-2 over a year ago...
  • Reply 12 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Yevgeny

    No cause:

    Any device that was both a mp3 player and a mpeg player would be more costly than just an mp3 player (more expensive larger LCD, more expensive CPU to decompress the movie). Such a player could not compete against the iPod on either size or price. Besides, who wants to watch a movie on a 4 inch screen?





    Is there much of a difference between watching a 4" screen from 2 feet away and watching a movie on a 13" drop-down monitor (on an airplane) from 12-14 feet away?



    Didn't think so.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    Here's your MS portable media center





    http://www.shopping.hp.com/cgi-bin/h...owse_link=true
  • Reply 14 of 14
    t9000t9000 Posts: 34member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Yevgeny

    XBox live is an innovation, and is not a flop. The XBox itself doesn't quite count as an innovation, but the online service to hundreds of thousands of homes for real time game play with VoIP in a console is most definitely an innovation.



    I'm just saying this because I preordered my copy of Halo-2 over a year ago...




    Xbox live is free for a year and then costs like 20 dollars a month. I cancelled mine, the PS2 is all free online (except for Final Fantasy), and you can voice chat also.
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