Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer: Zune can beat iPod | iLounge News


Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer: Zune can beat iPod

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says he can break the dominance of the iPod with the Zune media player that hits stores today. “We can beat them, but it’s not going to be easy,” Ballmer said. “The market will have two big players for a long time, us and Apple. Obviously we’re the David in this one. Apple’s the Goliath.” Analysts, however, say Microsoft will struggle to win sales. “They’re not going to take a lot of share from Apple,” said Matt Rosoff, an analyst at Directions. “If they get double-digit market share overall in a year they’ll be very pleased.” Microsoft may take 5 to 10 percent of the market in the first year, said Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray. Meanwhile, UBS AG analyst Benjamin Reitzes expects Apple to sell 15.6 million iPods this quarter, topping the record 14 million sold in the 2005 holiday season.

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I heard that MSFT is also reporting that pigs fly too.

Posted by flatline response on November 14, 2006 at 10:54 AM (CST)


Poor Microsoft. A buggy OS 10.2 wannabe, Vista, will emerge next year to face a sleek OS X 10.5 Leopard.

And the clunky BROWN! Zune will find itself up against a new video iPod.

Microsoft has the money. But as computer geeks everywhere know, you can’t buy cool.

Posted by JakeB on November 14, 2006 at 11:14 AM (CST)


When will Ballmer learn to keep his mouth shut???  If MS wants to improve, they need serious changes at the top.  Zune will steal more marketshare from Creative, iRiver, etc; than from Apple.

Posted by billybob on November 14, 2006 at 11:20 AM (CST)



Posted by BTS.WRKNG on November 14, 2006 at 11:20 AM (CST)


...and they all lived happily in the land of make-believe.

Posted by unreal on November 14, 2006 at 11:22 AM (CST)


Those pigs were just toasters.

Posted by michael on November 14, 2006 at 11:29 AM (CST)


Zune can beat iPod ... in weight, in physical size, in bugs, in frustrations, in weird coloring schemes, in delusions of grandeur ...

Posted by cxc273 on November 14, 2006 at 11:33 AM (CST)


It might look an impossible task to take on the iPod, but as M$ have shown in the past, they will steadily pump money and resources until they get their result. Two examples of where M$ entered the market late with inferior product are PDA’s - at the time Palm had a HUGE market share. Several years later, guess who is the dominant Mobile OS, and Palms now even ship with Windows Mobile (yuk!). Then there was the XBox. Just when it seemed Sony had the market with the PS2, but gradually over time the XBox became the dominant platform.

Although it seems inconceivable now, five years time it might be a different story. ... I hope not though.

Posted by JamesS on November 14, 2006 at 11:42 AM (CST)


OK, but does anyone know how much they make off Windows Mobile and the Xbox? I think they’re both supported by the rest of the business, plus Sony has and continues to make huge cock ups. Apple won’t stand still. I think MS will move forward agressively but also that Apple will continue to progress even faster. The big difference will be the profits Apple continue to reap and the losses MS take. But you’re right, never write off MS.

Posted by Sebby on November 14, 2006 at 12:10 PM (CST)


Ha ha ha, ha ha ha, ha ha ha!

Sorry but I cannot help but keep laughing.

Let’s just see 5 years down the road, wait, let’s cut to 3 years, to see if the name Zune is still around, and is the iconic representation and the no. 1 digital music player of all times…

Hey wait, that spot has already been taken!  The iPod!!  But this just gets better, if we all know Apple well, by then, the name “iPod” may have already gone down the history books, and in its place is something even better than today’s iPod.


Posted by howwow on November 14, 2006 at 12:11 PM (CST)


microsoft could have beat apple - but they followed the apple biz model and so are stuck w/ something that is only second best -and always will it be. no one cares about better screen ...

weight - HEAVIER than the brick video.

drm model SUCKS (to sell ‘stuff’)
im sure it will be similar with all the anti-intuitive shortcomings.

plays only windows files? that will be a joke.

they should have taken a playbook from creative - the firmware is versatile and it basically plays all. that is a starting point.

Posted by thejaundicedeye on November 14, 2006 at 12:18 PM (CST)


Let, me find my ice skates, because Hell has apparently frozen over and we’re all going ice skating through it.  Steve, dear boy, dreams are nice but grab hold of reality with both hands and hold on real tight. Zune is ugly. Call me shallow but my tech gear has to look nice. The interface is clunky. The greater majority of us are not giving up are ipods. You’ll have to pry it out of our cold dead hands.
Is the mascot of MS Dogbert? They both have that tendancy to attempt world dominance thing going on?

Posted by denise on November 14, 2006 at 12:32 PM (CST)


I guess they forgot about creative and dell and all the other companies that produce mp3 players. Honestly, MS shouldn’t get so ahead of themselves.

Posted by ShinRiceface on November 14, 2006 at 12:53 PM (CST)


I don’t understand why people are at all surprised by this sort of statement.  As CEO of Microsoft, Ballmer kind of *has* to say this.  No CEO in his right mind would step up and say, “We are going to put a lot of money into competing with this market leading product, but I don’t really know if we’ll be able to come out profitable, much less on top.” 

Shareholders would be up in arms, and consumers certainly wouldn’t be willing to commit to a product that even the CEO doesn’t appear to have faith in.  It is Steve Ballmer’s job to saunter out onto the stage, sweat-soaked and glistening, and swear on his life that this DRM-laden gadget with all the style of an old bowling shoe is going to topple the iPod.

Poor guy.

Posted by didymos! on November 14, 2006 at 1:24 PM (CST)


Ballmer is a shaved dancing gorila that dances the music of the trumpet of the gypsy bill gates.

Posted by Shin on November 14, 2006 at 2:07 PM (CST)


“Then there was the XBox. Just when it seemed Sony had the market with the PS2, but gradually over time the XBox became the dominant platform.”  wrong…WRONG!

Sony is still the dominant gaming platform by far.  Up until about a month ago PS2’s were outselling Xbox 360s, and the dip was because of the impending PS3 launch this Friday.  Not to mention that the Xbox division has still yet to make a profit.

“Several years later, guess who is the dominant Mobile OS, and Palms now even ship with Windows Mobile (yuk!).”

The only reason MS is the market leader is stand alone PDAs is because that market is dead.  Business has moved to all in one PDAs (phone, PDA, email client) Blackberry (RIM) owns that market with Palm being distant second with the Treo that only recently adopted a windows environment

So while MS will poor money into a product they have never been able to become the market leader in any of their endeavors outside of Windows.

Posted by Art Vandelay on November 14, 2006 at 2:09 PM (CST)


The Xbox is popular because:
Developments of Add-ons for the PS2 had stagnated, and the infrastructure for network play on the PS2 sucked.
The 360 was quicker to Market than the PS3.

Windows Mobile is dominant because:
Palm Hotsync was an absolute Joke. It didn’t fully take advantage of ActiveSync or iSync, and now they’ve missed the boat.
HP iPaqs are given away free when you buy a laptop.

iPods are dominant because:
They are simple to use and have a consistant interface; something people can comprehend as soon as you put it in their hand.
The MP3 and MP4 formats are accessable using freely available software.

Posted by Daniel on November 14, 2006 at 2:12 PM (CST)


Add Zune to the 20 or 30 “iPod killers” on the rack at your local box store. It’s really just another one of those. And it will probably see the same fate. Just as the Walkman came to mean any portable tape player in the 80s, “iPod” has become synonymous with “portable MP3 player” today. There’s nothing MS can do to ever change that, no matter how much bravado they pump into it. Didymos, the old bowling shoe is SUCH a good analogy! lol

Posted by Laer on November 14, 2006 at 2:12 PM (CST)


...but gradually over time the XBox became the dominant platform.

Excuse me? When has the Xbox ever become the dominant console platform?

As much as I LIKE the Xbox (and I DO still like it a lot), worldwide the PS2 continues to outsell the Xbox every quarter of Xbox’s existence.

As for the Xbox 360 (which I also like and use a lot), the only thing it has going for it is its head start and the fact that Sony is currently having a TOUGH time building enough reliable PS3s (BluRay lasers aren’t the easiest to get working correctly, it seems). It may dominate the next-gen consoles for now, but if Sony ever gets their manufacturing act together (a price cut would help as well), MSFT is going to see that very loyal Playstation user base show their true Sony colors once again.

I don’t understand why people are at all surprised by this sort of statement.

Surprised at what comes out of Ballmer’s mouth? Perish the thought; nothing out of his mouth is surprising. Ballmer is Ballmer; nothing can correct that. But it does bring a smile to a dreary day poking and prodding at his verbal foibles, though, shareholder placation notwithstanding.

Posted by flatline response on November 14, 2006 at 2:16 PM (CST)


Awesome, will there eventually be a frustrating SP1 + SP2, so my Zune can match my OS?!?

Posted by Fabricate on November 14, 2006 at 3:25 PM (CST)

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