Microsoft: iPod to face increased competition | iLounge News

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Microsoft: iPod to face increased competition

Microsoft says that the iPod will face increased competition from new portable devices before this year’s holiday shopping season. The company is helping electronics makers such as Philips, Samsung and Creative Technology design and test digital music players that will take direct aim at the iPod.

“Come this fall there is going to be a number of devices that get close to competing with Apple’s iPod,” said Erik Huggers, the head of Microsoft’s Digital Media Division. By the second quarter of next year “there is going to be a whole lineup of products that can compete with Apple in industrial design, usability, functionality and features.”

Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg, however, says Microsoft has a steep uphill battle. “It’s going to take a lot to dethrone Apple,” said Gartenberg. “Apple won’t sit on its laurels and I expect we’ll see another iteration of the iPod for the holiday. Unless Microsoft is really willing to spend the time and effort to get behind a player or a select group of players, it’s not going to happen.”

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Comments

1

good, i hope apple does get competition. it is needed. apple needs to do something new with the ipod. Example: full touch screen, video, 120 GB hard drive, TIVO compatable…..just that would make me happy

Posted by hoping4vPod on August 10, 2005 at 7:33 PM (PDT)

2

Microsoft is a joke when it comes to this. They will “help” just about any hack company that wants to make an mp3 player if it means lessing the marketshare of the iPod.

Although they don’t seem to get it yet, more features does not equal a better product. As far as I’m concerned no mp3 player has been able to make a cleaner, easier to use interface than iPod.

And Microsoft is not going to be able to help with that…just look at windows.

Posted by Bill on August 10, 2005 at 7:46 PM (PDT)

3

I’d bet Microsoft won’t do too much of a good job… Ipod is just too good. But like hoping4vPod says, the competition is going to be good. I bet it’s just going to make Ipod better.

Posted by stingraze on August 10, 2005 at 8:05 PM (PDT)

4

full touch screen, video, 120 GB hard drive, TIVO compatable

Dunnoe about the touch screen, but for a $100GB video portable you’ll pay around $800. And that’s from Archos, a company that traditionally undercuts Apple by around 30% on the price point for equivalent electronics.

I can’t imagine much a similarly configured iPod would list for…

Posted by Demosthenes on August 10, 2005 at 8:11 PM (PDT)

5

The Bill who cried wolf once again.  Geez.  How many people are going to fall for this time and time again.  These reporters are like Lucy and Charlie Brown with the football.  Bill makes his big “prediction”, the press eats it up and hails him as the “true successor” to Steve Jobs’ reign.  Then Apple reports another spectacular quarter of strong sales.  Hey, I guess Bill will get it right eventually if he keeps saying it.  Problem is, if the iPod does lose its dominance, it ain’t gonna be because of Microsoft.  I’d bet money on that one.

Other companies Microsoft was supposed to put out of business:

Oracle (database)
TiVo (video recording device)
AOL (ISP)
Yahoo! (portal)
Google (search)
Sony (video gaming)
CNN (news)

Yet, Microsoft has failed to topple the dominant player in any of these areas. 

I know that Fox is the dominant news player but MSNBC was formed when Fox News was in it’s infancy.  It’s attempt to become the next Fox News was marred by the disasterous short lived run of Michael Savage.  You can do a web search (on Google of course) to find out what happened there.

Posted by Frank Z on August 10, 2005 at 9:12 PM (PDT)

6

Bill Gates can try as hard as he wants. I doubt he’l succeed.

Posted by Stephen Liu on August 10, 2005 at 9:30 PM (PDT)

7

i think it is sad the way microsoft is expecting apple marketshare for the ipod to drop. by the sound of the article they are HOPING for it to drop. the ipod is way too good of a product and unless it is copied 1:1, apple has no chance of failure on the mp3 market. maybe apple should start speaking up on how windows vista will suck. but of course, apple wouldnt do such a thing.

Posted by chris on August 10, 2005 at 10:22 PM (PDT)

8

apple has the advantage either way, with itunes and all. ipod is still one of the best players around, cause its way too easy for almost anyone to use. microsoft will probably forget about the music and make it into a useless portably media center, which isnt bad, but i dont want to walk around watching something i could do in the comfort of my own home.

Posted by neftalynavas on August 10, 2005 at 10:38 PM (PDT)

9

Yea, MS has done wonders for the projects they give full support in design and marketing to: tablet PC’s, home media center PC’s, webTV, MSN (the paid ISP), MSN (the search engine), WMA9 DVD discs, PocketPC (look at PDA market when they entered, look at market now), MS watch OS ... in sports parlance, Apple has gone about 15-2 in the last 6 years with only the Cube and the spotted iMacs as failures ... and Apple gets eviserated for two non-successes while MS has probably spent $15 BILLION on those items above with a consumers not even noticing or caring they ever got released ...

Posted by jbelkin on August 10, 2005 at 11:13 PM (PDT)

10

hoping4vpod-
Are you insane? If you want all of that “functionality”, go with an archos. The iPod should do one thing - PLAY MUSIC. If we wanted a bulky, battery-sucking, touchscreen-weilding device, we’d go for an entirely seperate device. The iPod is beautiful because it sticks to what it was made to do - and not become a PocketPC.

Posted by mongoos150 on August 10, 2005 at 11:30 PM (PDT)

11

Oh how I long for the discussion of an Apple device that doesn’t have people throw Apple-esque marketing garbage like “Pristine”, “Beautiful”, or “Elegant” instead of “Useful”, “Intuitive” or “Straight Forward”.

Posted by John on August 10, 2005 at 11:47 PM (PDT)

12

“Come this fall there is going to be a number of devices that get close to competing with Apple’s iPod,? ...

That’s funny. Notice the “get CLOSE to competing” part. They’re not thinking about REALLY competing. Just close to competing. Pathetic.

Posted by snowcrash on August 10, 2005 at 11:48 PM (PDT)

13

Isn’t a video iPod just a LifeDrive?  I don’t see a video iPod coming in the next year at least due to one thing, content.  Remember iTunes was out before the iPod.  Until there is someway of legally transferring DVDs onto a digital device then there’s not going to be a video iPod.

That means until there’s an iApp (ie. iVideo or something) that lets you rip your movies to your hard drive and then onto an iPod there won’t be a video iPod. 

How about a video store that Apple might open?  Well as much as I love the iTunes store let’s face it nobody would buy iPods if you could only put music you bought from the iTunes music store on it and not your own CDs.  Same with the music store. 

Sadly Hollywood will be the thing that holds this up.  The only real content Apple could let you put onto a video iPod would be your home movies.

Posted by Jeffery Simpson on August 10, 2005 at 11:56 PM (PDT)

14

Microsoft has one thing going for it: Money. The iPod on the other hand has something Microsoft certainly doesn’t have; and established identity. There have been 4 or 5 different iterations of iPod, and people replace their old one with a new one. If iPod topples it won’t be this year, or next, it will take a while to build up a following.

Let’s say Microsoft/MS backed company releases the most kick-### product EVER this season. Only some people will switch. Next year they do the same, more people switch, they build a following, etc etc. I am CERTAIN they won’t beat iPod this season, but saying it’s impossible is ridiculous. Of course it’s possible, it will just take time.

That’s my too sense. Surely it means nothing.

Posted by Mondayne on August 11, 2005 at 2:40 AM (PDT)

15

IF, by chance, there is any competition at all, Apple would only have to make a new addition to the line or a next generation iPod to get the attention back on the iPod.  Imagine if the main iPod went through some kind of design makeover….  New functions wouldn’t be necessary - a large, but easy, change that reflects user interests would add fuel to the iPod fire.

Posted by L on August 11, 2005 at 4:59 AM (PDT)

16

I swear, some people are pathetic. Someone mentions that they want to make a product to rival the ipod and people stick their noses up. Are you people kidding? If it was really about getting the best music player you would embrace this news, and realize that in the end, this will either be the creation of a whole new awesome device, or the start of even more creativity by apple. You want a player that just plays music, and does it well, then fine, you have it. Just keep your ipod and don’t even bother looking at what comes out. But for us who realize that so much more can be done, we look forward to this news, and to the idea that an even better player can be created out of it.

Posted by jcpiebald on August 11, 2005 at 5:18 AM (PDT)

17

WMA9 DVD

Hey, these are actually pretty good. For the last couple of years it’s been the only way to see proper 1080i and 1080p movies on a HDTV - forget about all thise 480p “upscaling” garbage - that’s like adding fins onto a Yugo.

Posted by Demosthenes on August 11, 2005 at 5:28 AM (PDT)

18

This is rich.  Four years after Apple dominates the market, not by predatory tactics, but by delivering a solid product, Microsoft decides “Well, golly!  Guess we’ll have to do something about that!”

I’m sure that Steve Jobs is quaking in his boots waiting to see what Creative comes up with next.  I mean, just because all of Creative’s other offerings got destroyed in the market, doesn’t mean that adding some new shiny button won’t turn it around, right?

Buy what works for you.  I bought an iPod because it’s simple, reliable, and well designed.  There’s nothing else on the market that comes close.

Posted by Lee Gibson on August 11, 2005 at 7:31 AM (PDT)

19

This is great news and if you apple fanatics would look at the bigger picture for a second you’d realize that. Apple needs some serious competition in the mp3 player market. It will drive innovation up and prices down which is GOOD for everyone. As long as apple keeps dominating the market they’ll be able to charge whatever they want for the iPod and they won’t feel the need to provide better products year in and year out.

Yes, the iPod is a great product but everything can improve somehow and prices can go down more. We would never know what could become of the iPod and how many more great products could be released if apple never gets any competition. I for one hope that a viable competitor gets released soon so I can have more choices as a consumer and so that companies don’t get complacent etc…

Posted by Victor on August 11, 2005 at 8:34 AM (PDT)

20

Competition fuels innovation and that is EXACTLY what Apple needs, but the features offered by their competitors just aren’t enough to sway the public from it’s current love affair with the iPod. On top of that, “iPod” just rolls off the tongue as opposed to “Samsung Yepp 1040/BL89” (made up name) wink

What makes the iPod so attractive is that though the sound quality isn’t the best (Creative mp3 players sound infinitely better than the iPod IMHO) the iPod strikes just the right balance between cross-platform compatability, ease of use and tight integration with it’s online music store. Until the competition can match and/or beat Apple in those areas, they don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell!

Personally, I think someone has to light the fire under Apple’s Marketing and R&D departments so that they may actually come out with innovative features consumers actually WANT! A colour iPod is great, but how many of that would trade that for increased bass response, a customizable EQ, and CROSSFADING! I know I would in a HEARTBEAT!

Posted by ahMEmon on August 11, 2005 at 9:06 AM (PDT)

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