Microsoft: ‘iPod killer’ reports based on ‘speculation and rumors’

“Microsoft has said reports that the company is planning an MP3 player to rival the iPod are based on ‘speculation and rumours,'” The BBC reports.

“Unnamed music industry executives have told the New York Times that they have received briefings about the product,” The Beeb reports. “The iPod rival would have wireless internet capabilities to download music without a PC, said the report.”

“Earlier this year reports that Microsoft was developing a rival to iPod proved inaccurate. The firm was developing a new handheld computer platform technology which was then licensed to third-party companies to build,” The Beeb reports. “Nate Elliott, digital home analyst at Jupiter Research, said that if Microsoft were planning an MP3 player it would be because of ‘frustration.’ ‘Microsoft and its partners have made no significant headway into Apple’s dominance of the market.'”

“Mr Elliott said Microsoft would have a challenge breaking Apple’s hold on the market. ‘Apple has a fantastic product. Other mp3 manufacturers have added features to their products but the vast majority of consumers have voted with their wallet and bought iPods. The extra features do not seem to matter to them.’ Mr Elliott said Microsoft was entering the market before it was too late,” The Beeb reports.

Full article here.

According to C. Max Magee of Indie Research, and Microsoft “plan is risky for a number of reasons. First and foremost, no one has successfully taken on the iPod, which has become one of the most recognizable and iconic brands in recent memory. Microsoft would have to offer an alternative that was compelling on many fronts for it to make a significant dent in the iPod’s market share.”

“The move is also risky because it will put Microsoft in competition with some of its customers. Samsung, Sony, Creative Technology, and others use Microsoft software in their music and video players,” Magee explains. “Microsoft certainly faces an uphill battle if it’s going to knock Apple off its perch, especially when one considers that Microsoft hasn’t been terribly successful at breaking into new markets that stray from its core software products… It’s never a good idea to dismiss the plans of a company as ambitious and powerful as Microsoft, but for all the reasons mentioned above, it’s hard to imagine that Microsoft will be able to end the iPod’s dominance.”

Full article here.

“If even the likes of Sony are unable to hinder the iPod’s market domiance, Microsoft is going to do so with what could very well be a me-too machine? Microsoft has been in the handheld media game for a very long time now with little to show for it,” Tony Smith writes for The Register. “The Bloomberg report talks about MS’ gadget having better picture quality than the iPod’s, but again, that’s easy to do – and equally easy for Apple to top in a future incarnation of the iPod, such as the video-oriented model once rumoured to have been scheduled for an April 2006 debut but now expected later this year at the earliest. The same goes for the addition of other neat-sounding features, such as Wi-Fi support – if Microsoft offers them, Apple will too, soon enough.”

Full article here.

Red Herring reports, “‘The portable video market has been dealing with suboptimal products for a long time,’ said Roger Kay, founder of the technology research firm Endpoint Technologies Associates. ‘Microsoft sees the problem and they probably see an opportunity to make their market entry… This will not be the first time that Microsoft trails Apple into the market. It took Microsoft a decade after the introduction of the Mac to market Windows, so following Apple into the MP3 market by five years is not that surprising.'”

Full article here.

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30 Comments

  1. “Microsoft has said reports that the company is planning an MP3 player to rival the iPod are based on ‘speculation and rumours'”

    Exactly right. Microsoft don’t expect it to rival the iPod.

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