The poorly kept secret is now public. Microsoft confirmed the work they’ve been doing on their iPod killer. (Btw, how come products that are called “xxx killer” before they come out never really kill much of anything; it seems “xxx killer” is only an accurate phrase after a product comes out and dominates the market.)
I’ve looked over what limited details have been released on this product and I’m left scratching my head. WiFi capabilities so I can see your playlists, what music you like and you can see mine as well? That sounds like a solution in search of a problem. Let’s be honest. I don’t care what your favorite songs are and you don’t care what mine are either. Why would I want to look at this stuff just because I’ve entered a hotspot?
I know Microsoft is proud of the market share they’ve carved out with the Xbox, but look at all the billions they’ve spent to get there. Are they likely to take the same loss-leader approach on the portable music player front? I hope not. Putting the Xbox 360 aside, how many pieces of Microsoft hardware can you point to and say, “Gee, that’s a great device”? Hardware isn’t their schtick. Maybe that’s why it’s called Microsoft and not Microhard.
In all seriousness, I really wish they wouldn’t keep trying to barge in and buy their way to market share in industries like this. Sure, Apple’s making a fortune at it. Why not go off and invent the next big thing rather than be perceived as another me-too in this segment though? Is it me or is Microsoft starting to look like that aging veteran athlete who doesn’t know when to retire? Instead, they hang around too long and start to look foolish. Meanwhile, all the young kids are running circles around them. Yeah, I know Microsoft can’t just “retire”, but I truly think there are more exciting and interesting things they could get into other than this zany Zune project.