“Microsoft on Thursday added Creative Technologies to its coffer of manufacturers developing Media2Go portable devices capable of playing digital video and music.”
“Microsoft made the Creative Media2Go announcement at CeBit 2003 in Hannover, Germany. Creative will join iRiver, Samsung, Sanyo and ViewSonic, which also plan to develop Media2Go devices. But Creative’s success in delivering PC audio and video technologies makes the company’s support potentially the biggest endorsement to date for Media2Go, say analysts…”
“Creative is not a retail leader in portable audio devices, mainly “because their stuff is pretty expensive compared to some of the other players,” Baker said. Most portable music players are sold at retail.”
“During the fourth quarter, Creative ranked five in retail portable music player sales, as measured in dollars, with nearly 8.1 percent market share, according to NPDTechworld. In terms of unit sales, Creative ranked sixth, with 7.2 percent market share.”
“Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft unveiled Media2Go, which runs the upcoming ‘McKendric’ version of the Windows CE .Net operating system, during the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Built around a hard drive, as are Apple Computer’s iPod or Creative’s Nomad, Media2Go will be capable of storing or playing back digital video, music or photos.”
“The devices will be capable of playing Windows Media Audio or MP3 audio files and Windows Media Video and MPEG 4 video files. Support for Windows Media 9 Series and MPEG 4 means the devices can play back fairly high-quality video at lower file sizes than that available with other formats, such as MPEG-2.”
“Manufacturers optionally will be able to add support for other audio and video formats, such as Apple’s QuickTime or RealNetwork’s Real Audio, according to Microsoft.”
“Media2Go devices can play about 175 hours of VHS-quality video or 8,000 songs stored in Windows Media format. Battery life is expected to be about six hours.”
“Riseland would not discuss an official launch date for Media2Go devices or pricing, although Microsoft has set a target of holiday availability. Media2Go or no go?”
“As Microsoft and its hardware partners prep their Media2Go devices, Apple looms as a potentially threatening competitor, say analysts. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company reportedly has been testing several iterations of a portable video device that would build on the success of iPod. Like Media2Go, Apple’s portable video devices, if ever brought to market, would be built around a hard drive.”
“Apple would have as a starting point success in the portable music player market, where iPod is a leader in retail sales. During the fourth quarter, Apple’s dollar market share reached 27 percent compared with about 10 percent for second-ranked Rio, according to NPDTechworld. In terms of unit sales, Apple captured 11.2 percent market share, following closely behind Rio at 11.3 percent and top-ranked RCA at 13 percent.”
“Still, Baker remained skeptical the portable video player category would take off anytime soon. For one thing, ‘it usually takes a few iterations to get this kind of thing right,’ he said. ‘This was certainly the case with music players,'” reports CNET News.com.
Full article here.
Apple should license companies to start cloning the Ipod. The Ipod clones could then saturate the market and Apple would have control of licenses and push apple standards (firewire,Gui,Itunes,Quicktime,etc) on MANUFACTURES. This would make manufactures all to happy to Pay Apple and at the same time apple could make a few pennies off the Music Industry for use of the DRM downloads.
The article; (http://www.macdailynews.com/comments.php?id=P762_0_1_0) makes me believe that MS$ has an achiles heel and wants to put a shoe on it before (Apple gets a hold of it) it’s to late.
MS$ does not have control of the Music Player or the (Ipod) yet, ” but is working feverishly with other MANUFACTURES to incorporate Windows CE. into the MP players” (quote from article) .
MS$ knows by past experience if they can not control the OS they can not control the MP (Music Player) industry and rely heavily on other manufactures to produce wares . The Ipod is that MP that MS needs but knows Apple has full control of the OS and the hardware. So, MS$ convinces manufactures to convive (live together) and lets them (Manufactures) take the risks (Microsoft notepad) in developing an MP with the same features as the IPOD for the Windblows OS.
From the URL provided by Macdaily news , “Manufacturers optionally will be able to add support for other audio and video formats, such as Apple’s QuickTime or RealNetwork’s Real Audio, according to Microsoft.” If apple takes charge the statement can be turned the other way to read ” “Manufacturers optionally will be able to add support for other audio and video formats, windows media players, realplayer and Windows DRM , according to Apple.”
If apple gets the manufactures support then they dictate what direction to stir the MP market. This would put a block on Microsoft Windows CE .Net strategy for the MUSIC PLAYERS operating system.
If apple would have licensed the Apple GUI to cloners Apple would have been the Microsoft of today.
Just a thought. Apple let this one go.