iPod Competitor from Microsoft?

New York Times – Looking to Take On Apple’s iPod, Microsoft Plans Its Own Hand-Held Player

I doubt the industrial design will be as nice, but the feature set includes exactly what the iPod and similar players like the Gigabeat are missing – wireless connectivity. Wireless connectivity is the future when it comes to digital devices in the home. Microsoft is way ahead of the competition in this area. Cables pumping media in-between digital devices and around the house is just, so, old school.

I wonder if this will push Apple to build wireless into the iPod? Unfortunately there’s no strong motivation factor for this since a wireless iPod wouldn’t be able to share non-Apple approved music and video. In fact, I’d argue Apple will play down the significance of wireless as it threatens forcing them to open up the iPod to other music formats. An Achilles’ Heal in the iPod ecosystem? Quite possibly.

Update –

I found this interesting:

The music and TV companies are interested in working with Microsoft in order to blunt Apple’s power in the market, according to people close to the media companies.



Google’s Product ADD

Interesting article over on Business Week about Google’s failure to produce much of anything worthwhile other than search.

Company officials concede that some of the newer products haven’t caught on. But they say a high failure rate is baked into their strategy — as it is for an increasing number of innovative companies. Marissa Mayer, vice-president for search products and user experience, estimates that up to 60% to 80% of Google’s products may eventually crash and burn. But the idea, she says, is to encourage risk-taking and let surviving products truly thrive. “We anticipate that we’re going to throw out a lot of products,” says Mayer. “But [people] will remember the ones that really matter and the ones that have a lot of user potential.”

Am I just being critical again or is this the craziest approach to product development ever? “Most of our products suck, we’ll eventually throw them out.” Which products exactly? Why would I sign up and dump tons of data in any product if there’s a good chance the product, and my data, will land in the trash bin? People use products companies are fully invested in. Now I understand why most of the products Google has released have met with little success.