Thursday, August 11, 2005

Can Microsoft Orchesttrate a Challenge to iPod...Again?

You can file one this under the "I'll believe it when I see it" category. The
South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports Microsoft is working closely with several consumer electronics manufacturers to design and test MP3 players that "get close to competing with Apple's iPod."

According to the article, "Microsoft and its partners beat Apple to market with digital music players that work with Microsoft audio software. They proved unattractive and difficult to use, leaving the field open for Apple, which has sold 21.8 million iPods since October 2001, grabbing 75 percent market share in the United States."

Michael Gartenberg at Jupiter Research is skeptical Microsoft and friends have their act together this time around to get the job done. "It's going to take a lot to dethrone Apple. Apple won't sit on its laurels and I expect we'll see another iteration of the iPod for the holiday," he said. And as Gartenberg rightfully points out, "the difficulty is that Microsoft builds the software and doesn't control the hardware."

What's not said is that even with Microsoft's big advertising budget, they and their hardware buddies have shown little ability to out-market Apple where it counts most - with consumers....