Microsoft, Toshiba, DoCoMo, Victor to develop Japan iPod+iTunes killer

“Microsoft Corp., the world’s biggest software maker, will ally with Toshiba Corp., Victor Co. of Japan, NTT DoCoMo Inc. and five other companies to offer music and video distribution services and media players to compete against Apple Computer Inc.,” Bloomberg reports.

“The companies will develop a portable music and video player for the Japanese market, according to a Microsoft press release dated yesterday. The device would challenge Apple’s iPod digital music player, the best-selling device that plays songs and other media downloaded from the Internet or copied from compact discs,” Bloomberg reports. “Microsoft will develop the software while consumer electronics makers Toshiba and Victor, will make the portable device.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” and “Sir Ian” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Yawn. Again? Perhaps the 57th time will be the charm. How many cooks in the kitchen does it take to out bake Apple? (Answer: One. One that can do it all, pays attention to detail and has taste, that is – which is why Microsoft and all of their “partners” together can never bake a sweeter pie than Apple can alone.) Which company is the one common denominator in every failed iPod and iTunes murder? Microsoft, a.k.a. “The Kiss of Death.” Uncle Fester’s minions. Towel lovers. Wouldn’t you think that the Toshibas, the Victors, and the NTT DoCoMos of the world would have figured it out by now? Alas, no. Why not just make a big pile of cash and set it ablaze? At least that would produce something briefly interesting to see for a change. So, okay, whatever, bring it on, “killers.”

[UPDATE: 3:10pm EDT: Changed “cake” to “pie” in Take. Thanks, F.P.]

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  1. So Microsoft is whoring around to find another “Winner”, you’d think all of the others would get sick of M$ playing the field and make nice with Apple.
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  2. “Every competing company in the market outside of Apple’s 75% market share to develop iPod + iTunes killer”

    go create another wheel somewhere else you loosers.

    We like what we have!

    Apple does a good job with it – that will not change!

    Apple will need to ship a fork in the dock connector to let people know it is done! iFork. You think that is lame? So are all these damn stories about companies dog piling to get a piece of the pie in the sky.

    Make something else better, and if it is better we’ll buy it.

  3. Microsoft is like that douche bag we all went to school with that talks big, likes to hear its own name, but noting ever really comes of it.

    “Microsoft to create iPod Killer”

    “Microsoft to create Origamy”

    “Microsoft to create .mpg rival”

    “Microsoft get in bed with whomever they can to do whatever they can, but not really end up doing anything.”

    Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time.

  4. The pro9blem all these late comers are having today is that they are going up against, not just the #1 seller, but a 900lb gorilla. If Apple were to introduce the iPod today, against the myriad of players and services currently competing against the iPod, They would have the same problem.

    That problem is ‘standards’. iTunes, and Apple’s FairPlay DRM, are the market standards.

    All new efforts are relying on Microsoft’s past ability to establish new standards, where one had already existed. The problem is that Microsoft’s past performance was tied to its ability to bundle standards into its OS. The DOJ took that ability away from them.

    Apple’s establilshed standards are cross-platform, and can’t be hindered by anthing Microsoft does to its OS. The DOJ would beat them about the head and shoulders brutally if they attempted that particular gambit.

    Nope, to win this war, you are going to have to convince those that haven’t already bought, that the Microsoft standard is superior to iTunes and FairPlay.

    Present iPod inertia alone will prevent that from happening anytime in the next few years.

  5. why try? will develop? the real trouble is they didn’t develop it 3 years ago when success was a remote possibility. . .Even if Apple sells half the iPods they expect to the next 4 quarters in a row, their lead will continue to grow due to growth of installed base (and lets face it, some element of pain in the backside negative inertia because of DRM AAC files folks may have). The microsoft alliance product would need to be so absolutely fantastic to make a dent in the iPod (the way OSX will make a dent in WinXP later this year). But harder; remember the iPod is sweet, so hard to compete against. . . XP is a dog, which is really why Apple will make gains.

  6. I disagree with MDN’s take – Microsoft (more specifically, WMA) is not the problem – it is actually the only thing _right_ about all these solutions – yet iPod and iTunes triump in spite of the advantage.

    Be reasonable for a moment – it makes sense that the standard that would interoperate with other devices would dominate (think HTML vs. IE specific HTML or rtf documents vs. MS Word docs) People like “standards” – that’s what made MP3 so great because they were small music files that could be shared by Linux, Windows, and Macs and describe themselves (artist, album, etc).

    So it stands to reason that consumers would gladly turn to the WMA “standard” and the “all you can eat” music subscriptions for that matter but the problem is, they can’t do that _and_ have their iTunes and their iPod – and there isn’t a good alternative, so _inspite_ of WMA and subscription option goodness, they stick with iPod and iTunes.

    And _that_ is how good Apple is and how compellin giPod and iTunes is.

  7. One last one . . .

    Think about the cultural norm and comerce empire that has been built around the iPod.

    Car integration
    speaker integration,
    about a bazillion piece of crap doodads and trinkets all based upon the i-Frikin’-pod; not the iRiver, or the iLake, or even iOcean. Not the Fake-o “Pimp my pod” garbage – nothing.

    It seems insane that these people think they can get into the market. BMW is not all of a sudden say, “Look at that MTV player – that is damn sexy! Boot the iPod, were going with the ‘other’ guy.

    Not happening. iPod is a subculture; it is ubiquitous; it is omnipresent; it is not going anywhere!

    MS: “I eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast!”
    Apple” You eat pieces of shit for breakfast? Weird.”
    MS” . . . . No! . . . . Shut-up

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