Apple iPod has nothing to fear from Microsoft’s so-called ‘iPod Killer’

Microsoft’s “Portable Media Centre will be ‘one of the hot devices for Christmas 2004,’ according to product manager James Bernard: never mind that we’ve only seen cranky prototypes at trade fairs, the PMC will carry all before it. Especially that pesky iPod,” Rupert Goodwins writes for ZDNet UK.

Goodwins writes, “There’s no reason to believe Microsoft, of course. It has a fine track record for introducing consumer devices that miss the mark, from the MSX home-computer series to the Smart Display, and while there’s certainly an amount of Buck Rogers gee-whizzery in having a video player in your pocket it’s got a lot of history stacked against it. People buy pocket radios and music players: they don’t buy pocket televisions. People listen to the same music many more times than they watch the same TV programme. Music meshes beautifully with any number of daily activities, but watching the box means you can’t do anything else.”

“The fact that the iPod doesn’t play video is no more a failing than the fact that David Beckham can’t play Hamlet. With the iPod Mini, Apple has underlined the validity of its vision: you can make a device that costs a lot and relies on a sophisticated market that’s already made big investments in fast computers and massive CD collections. Make it small and last a day, and it does the job. Make it beautiful, and it’ll sell itself. Personal Media Centres will fail on all counts,” Goodwins writes.

Full article here.


  1. Music and movies are “consumed” in totally different manners. Besides, how can the Microcrap device be considered to be an “iPod killer.” The iPod does not play videos or any of that other crap so they are already in different categories. That MS BS is competing with portable DVD players not the iPod.

    And thinking about movies, how in the world am I supposed to get my movies onto the MS device if I am legally not allowed to rip my DVDs? That thing will flop, it’s just not easily integrated into how people watch movies and listen to music.

  2. The inherent problem with the PMC is exactly what the writer and Jobs said, it’s an it’s an idle time gadget. If your driving in your car you can watch a DVD or use the PMC. If your traveling, you can use your PMC. If your laid up in a hospital you can use your PMC. Other than that you don’t have the time to sit and watch TV or movies. That’s why the iPod is perfect. They’ve basically capitalized on the market that Sony created with the walman. Everyone listens to music over and over again. Not everyone will want to spend $500 -$800 for a device to watch reruns.

  3. It’s good to hear someone in Wintel circles publicly state that MS’s device won’t fly. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  4. ” With the iPod, we could have had a variety of cool remote controls, voice software, playlist manipulation add-ons and other life-affirming, market-growing fun, if Apple had opened up a few interfaces.”

    It seems that this guy suffers from featuritis. I admit that some of his ideas are good, but iPod is not meant to be run like a personal computer, i.e. you can’t just install apps and drivers on it. It is meant to be an electronic gadget that does not crash. Apple may have a huge support problem if anybody can just install system enhancements, drivers, etc. on their iPod. Besides, it is not like it doesn’t have a limited open interfaces already, e.g. Belkins uses them for their products. I think you just need to partner with Apple to get the specs.

  5. Being a Gadget freak I like lots of functions but never underestimate the power of simplicity. A helluva lot of users really hate how complicated things have become and really really don’t want to have to read a manual to listen to their music.

  6. I’m kind of tied of this all iPod DRAMA going on. I really think that APPLE should think widely, instead of thinking iPod all the time. I mean, how many iPods are going to come out instead of a much “fuller” device? That’s BS. On the other hand, I think that the PC industry is slowly dying anyway, for all these viruses are starting to get on people’s nerves. APPLE should exploit this and just go ahead and make a smart move. Maybe they will, but I’m not a 100% sure…

  7. Paul…are you on dupe or grass. I have no idea what you are talking about. Your english is so bad. Your ideas from one sentence to the next is lost in your mind. Stop taking the drugs man.

  8. Whoa..Doth mine eyes deceive me? A reporter actually making a common sense logical argument pointing out the flaws in a Microsoft product? What’s next? Politicians admitting they’re complete morons and really only got into politics for the Money and Babes? Car Salesmen fully discolsing that not only was that car NOT owned by a convent and a bunch of Nuns, but it was in fact last owened by the Joey Chitwood stunt team? Hot Dog packages and Hot Dog Bun packages actually having the same number of Franks and Buns!?!?Please, someone provide me with a warning first, my weak heart may not be able to take the shock.

  9. micro$in(lower case) will realize that the 12″ iBook has already been invented in a year or so, but just like the Xbox, they are not out for profits, they are out for marketshare. Goliath fell hard when hit right between the eyes.

  10. OK, so I may not be a fashion maven these days, but how many people have a pocket to put these things in. According to yesterday’s story, it’s 3 times as thick as the iPod and twice as tall. That’s a big pocket. And you can’t use it from your pocket, or from a belt or arm holster. You have to either hold this thing in your hands or set it on a table. Yeah, that’s useful.

    Brought to you by Microshit.

  11. The portable DVD players did not fare too well because they were small, but not small enough, with screens that were not big enough. That is in addition to the hassle of carrying the DVD(s) and the lack of public excitement at the opportunity for repeatedly watching the same movie. Kids, on the other hand, just love to watch the same movie over and over again…

    One advantage that a hard drive-based (non-DVD) PVP might have is that you have the potential to download or stream video given sufficient bandwidth. If you were able to browse a movie menu and pick a video then you get past some of the disadvantage of watching re-runs. But it would take a smaller PVP with some type of flexible, deployable display of reasonable size before I would consider throwing down a lot of cash.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.