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The Cody Blog: CW on RM: Microsoft's Latest So-Called iPod Killer

Saturday, July 08, 2006

CW on RM: Microsoft's Latest So-Called iPod Killer

New Media Revolution Hit of the Day
07/06/2006 2:48 PM

So Microsoft "secretly" talks up how it can design an MP3 player that can challenge Apple. Again. (I put quotes around "secret" because the reports in the press such as The Wall Street Journal are full of "off the record" quotes. It seems Microsoft truly has a new public relations strategy that entails "leaking" details to the press to create buzz. I take that as an ironic but unsurprisingly transparent attempt to emulate Apple's PR strategies.)

The fact is that at some point, someone's going to design a player and system that will be functional enough to crack some of Apple's dominance. Microsoft is probably the leading candidate to do it, since Sony seems so clueless about its digital music strategy.

I think part of Sony's problem is that it owns too much valuable content and can't put a Chinese wall between the content ownership and the content distribution business models. Sony, like so many other content owners such as the music labels and movie studios, just can't seem to grasp that it has no control over what gets distributed where these days. The Internet has truly made the consumer king, and only Apple and Google (and smaller companies like YouTube.com) seem to have figured that out so far. Still.

I will also throw in here that I don't expect the new iPods (and possibly the new living-room media device that I've mentioned before) to hit until November of this year. But we can expect an all-out blitz from the folks in Cupertino, Calif., when it does.

Look forward to more hits like this; I'm going to start a new daily feature in this trading blog, highlighting a "digital revolution" story each day.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Cody,
We are planning our New York trip and I looked you up on Google. Great articles!

7/08/2006 11:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Microsoft may be the best contender, but it's still a long shot. When was the last time the Microsoft came out with something that was slick, functional, and people gladly used even when there were other decent options??

Let's be clear that they need a slick (1) player (2) music store (3) iTunes like software and (4) digital rights management system that doesn't alienate people.

Being able to do one of those seems possible. Being able to do all 4 as well as apple is about as likely as me winning the World Cup by myself.


7/09/2006 11:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally agree on the timing of the iPods. Just in time to go against Mr. Softee for Christmas.... how convenient.

Can't wait to hear more of "the revolution take".... rock on!

7/09/2006 09:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sony's problem stems largely from internal politics. howard stringer hasn't got all his guys working well together yet. the BMG merger was a fiasco ... so much in-fighting at the music division that meaningful collaboration with the engineers in japan has been next to impossible. excessive focus on the fight against digital piracy was mostly an andrew lack thing and he is no longer running the show. if sony can straighten out its mangled interpersonal issues, they could have a shot because they have both the content library and the engineering capability. stringer's a very bright guy ... i wouldn't count him out.

7/10/2006 05:20:00 PM  

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