10 reasons why Microsoft’s ‘iPod killer’ will fail

Metro lists and explains “10 Reasons Why the Microsoft Portable Music Player Will Fail” for Metroxing:

10. A look at the rumored features of WiFi, community, and trading your AAC tracks for WMA tracks
9. MS has failed in every consumer venture since 1998: “Xbox/360? When you spend $400 to sell every unit, how many more ‘successes’ can you afford?”
8. Information is already leaking like a sieve
7. It will antagonize MS’ many partners – they will fight tooth and nail to hold MS at bay
6. MS’ “marketing prowess” is a myth
5. MS’ real reputation: MS is the kludgy company with the not-quite working things with unattractive-looking products
4. They don’t really understand consumers
3. Clueless arrogance + bureaucratic culture ≠ success
2. MS’ bad design
1. MS has already failed

Full article, with explanations of each point on the list above, here.

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Related articles:
Enderle on what it would take for Microsoft to kill Apple’s iPod – July 10, 2006
Microsoft: ‘iPod killer’ reports based on ‘speculation and rumors’ – July 07, 2006
Can Microsoft hit a fast moving target? Apple likely to debut wireless iPod this year – July 07, 2006
Analysts: Microsoft faces uphill fight to supplant Apple’s iPod+iTunes market dominance – July 07, 2006
Microsoft plans to convert iPod users by replacing iTMS songs with free WMA format songs – July 06, 2006
Microsoft to release wireless ‘iPod killer’ by Christmas to challenge Apple – July 05, 2006
Analyst Wu: Microsoft unlikely to dethrone Apple iPod+iTunes – June 21, 2006
Microsoft preps iPod+iTunes killer – June 19, 2006
Report: Microsoft readying Apple iPod+iTunes rival – June 16, 2006
Microsoft: No iPod killer planned – June 05, 2006
Microsoft, Toshiba, DoCoMo, Victor to develop Japan iPod+iTunes killer – June 02, 2006

Patent application shows iPod capable of live wireless video conferencing – June 13, 2006
Apple patent application filed for wireless iPod+iTunes distribution – May 04, 2006
Generator Research: Apple to Ship $4.2bn in Wireless iPods (WiPods) by 2010 – March 14, 2006
Ready for your wireless Apple iPod? – February 09, 2006
Wireless iPod? CSR and PortalPlayer to bring wireless connectivity to personal media players – February 08, 2006
Wireless Apple iPods coming in 2006? – December 09, 2005

More blood on Apple iTunes Music Store’s play button: MyCokeMusic is dead – June 20, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: iRiver gives up on digital media player market – May 23, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Sony’s Walkman Bean is cooked – February 13, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Dell dumps ‘DJ’ hard-drive MP3 player line – February 04, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: iRiver pulling out of Europe? – February 01, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Thomson gives up on MP3 player, CE markets – December 12, 2005
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: BenQ withdraws from MP3 player markets – November 28, 2005
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Olympus halts production of portable digital music players – November 09, 2005
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Rio is dead – August 26, 2005
Apple’s iPod has blood on its Click Wheel: Virgin Electronics is dead – March 08, 2005
Apple’s iTunes Music Store has blood on its play button: BuyMusic.com is dead – March 28, 2004


  1. Maybe they’ve finally learned something from Apple? Deny the rumors, let the hype flow, misdirect the competition, and then drop the product bomb. Unfortunately, for Microsoft, the product will actual bomb, since this strategy actually requires more innovation than a photocopier can reproduce.

  2. “Hmm… wasn’t the Xbox a pretty major success?”

    If selling your product at a loss is a success, I guess so. I guess they consider that a winning strategy these days; we’ll buy your iTunes tracks at a loss. In the end, it only works IF you create a monoply.

  3. As much as I despise Microsoft, it is a formidable competitor. The Xbox is a tremendous success despite the fact that it was not profitable. Microsoft has so much cash, it can afford to lose money to enter a market and steal market share from the major game box makers. And that is exactly what they did. MS is now #2 in the gaming market and with the continued set backs by Sony, MS may well take over the #1 spot. Most hardcore gamers I talk to think the Xbox system is superior to the Play station systems. I would not know as I play very few games. But Apple should not be too smug thinking that MS has no chance in the music arena.

  4. X-Box is only a success in America, for the most part. Japan has had it’s issues with Microsoft before including an anti-trust lawsuit. The reason X-Box isn’t popular over there is because most of the games you can get on it are either already on a Sony or Nintendo console (both Japanese companies), or don’t appeal to the Japanese gamer. Microsoft isn’t a good listener to the consumer. Sony and Nintendo have been there for years so they can identify with the mindset. The X-Box controller is kludgy, bulky, awkward. That’s why I would consider the X-Box a failure.

  5. You have much to learn young capitalist.

    1. If a product or service loses money with no sign of every turning a profit – it could be the most popular widget on the planet, but that does not make it a success.

    Well, it does make it a success perhaps in the consumer or business world, but that’s not what shareholders care about, they care about making bank, period.

    2. Xbox fits this mold to a tee. In only one quarter has the xBox division turned a profit. M$’s only goal is to outlast its competition, and eventually dominate. If M$ cannot dominate in the 80%+ range, it’s models loses, and they are losing quite often outside of OS and Office sales.

    3. This is not the Apple of the late 80’s and early 90’s. Steve Jobs and crew run the show, and the gloves will be coming off this fall, with Apple brining it’s latest smash to M$ in portable entertainment, and will build upon this success with Leopard in early ’07.


  6. Leaving aside things like the beauty of the click-wheel interface and the seamless integration with the iTMS (things that Microsoft, if they actually innovated for a change and maybe got some new people in – could actually manage), the one thing that Microsoft will never (or a least is very unlikely) to do is to match Apple’s marketing success with the iPod.

    Marketing is not an exact science, it’s as much luck as design. I’m not saying that Apple was lucky in the success of marketing the iPod, it’s just that marketing in itself has a lot to do with being in the right place at the right time, with just the right marketing mix, aimed at the right people.

    Apple scored hit after hit here and got everything right, and it’s something that even if Microsoft had a top agency with a great marketing campaign they would still need to be lucky to get the same market penetration as the iPod.

    Plus the fact that they now have a major competitor – Apple.

    Heck, it shows how difficult marketing is because Apple hasn’t simply repeated what they did with the iPod for the Mac. If Apple finds it difficult, Microsoft hasn’t a hope.

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