Microsoft blogger ends quest for better solution than iPod+iTunes; gets iPod nano, installs iTunes

“Here is the deal. For over a year now I’ve been trying to look for a device that is > the iPod. In that time Apple has constantly moved the needle forward in a number of areas. We are still far behind, and in all likelihood, when we catch up, Apple will have something like this,” Omar Shahine, Microsoft employee and blogger, wrote last Friday. Shahine’s been on a long quest (17 months and 22 blog posts) to find a better product than Apple’s iPod.

Shahine ticks off reasons why the iPod dominates the market:
• The new generation of iPods and Nano are smaller, prettier and more feature rich
• All iPods have a readable color screen with album art
• The UX and Interaction Design are still better than anything out there
• The iPod [adds] new features as an FM radio remote
• There are about 100,000 new accessories that have appeared since I started looking for a replacement. many of these are just awesome.
• Staying at the W Hotel? forgot your iPod charger or Sync cable? They have some for you to borrow in the same way they have plug converters if you are in a foreign country. Have some cryptically named Philips device with a massive brick? You are out of luck.
• Staying at your friend’s house and forgot your iPod? Yeah, well they have a charger too.

“I’m beginning to change my mind about things. Even though we have a great eco system for music stores etc, the reality is that our OEM partners are never ever going to create a product like the iPod. They are simply no match for the iPod Dock Connector, which as generated an ecosystem of hardware that’s probably more lucrative than the online music business,” Shahine wrote. “Game over.”

“I’m not such a zealot that I’m simply going to go out of my way to make myself miserable when the answer is probably an iPod. I don’t sync my music very often (like once a month) so using iTunes might not be so bad (eeek I can’t believe I said that). All I have to do is have my PC transcode all my music to MP3 or AAC in a few days,” Shahine wrote. “For now I’m going to hold out for the Gigabeat S. But if it’s big and ugly and has crappy battery life or a bad FM radio I’m out. I’m 90% of the way there. I’m also going to hold out for urge.com and Windows Media Player 11. But if any of these things suck, I’m off to the Apple Store to smack down a few hundred on some bling bling.”

Yesterday, Microsoft employee Shahine reported that he bought an Apple iPod nano and installed Apple iTunes. Find out all about it here.

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32 Comments

  1. Great read; looks like he actually gets it!

    Interesting that he give kudos to Apple for both the Mac and the iPod, Sony for the PlayStation in addition to his own company for the Xbox, I bet Bill will drop him an unhappy memo.

  2. I was NEITHER an Apple fan, nor an Appel user until OS X…

    But after years of using Apple as apunch line, I started using one as a home computer (PowerBook G4).

    What a great experience it has been the past six years! I have NEVER had to reinstall the OS (something I did with Windows once a year) and OH the ease of use!

    Why this MS employee is so brain washed that Apple’s iTunes would be a horrible thing to install is beyond me. Windows Media Player is fine – a standard windows app – but iTunes is, just like the iLife apps, how things should be!

  3. That was a nice read. But one thing concerns me about Apple and it is summed up in this sentence:

    As I was walking to the store, I heard a bunch of people say, “lets go to the iPod store”. That’s right, they don’t even call it the Apple store.

    Apple has so successfully branded the iPod and not (in my opinion) effectively marketed their computers (and OS) to their full potential that the everyday non-technical consumer will only think of buying iPods and accessories from Apple – not an iMac, not OS X, just an iPod. The retail presence is nice and it definitely helps the bottom line, but not everyone lives near an upscale mall to go to the Apple store. Apple’s computers and the OS needs more mass market penetration. But if Jobs and company are content with where they are headed and how fast they are going to get there, then there is nothing wrong with being known only as the iPod company.

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