Here's a poorly kept secret: Microsoft plans an assault on Apple's iPod and digital music stronghold.
But few details of Microsoft's plan had emerged until this week. Now, there finally seems to be some substance to the ramblings. The company is building its own handheld music and video player and plans to have it in stores in time for the holiday season, people briefed on the company's plans told The New York Times.
Microsoft plans to one-up the iPod, the overwhelming leader in digital music player sales, by adding wireless connectivity so that users can download music and video without being connected to a PC, according to the report.
No question, Microsoft has the resources to take on the iPod and Apple's iTunes digital music service. But, bloggers wonder, is it taking the right approach and is it too late to displace the iPod's iconic status?
Blog community response:
"Today's New York Times has YAMIKR -- yet another Microsoft iPod-killer rumor. This has got to be the world's worst kept secret. For the record, we noted rumors of Microsoft's iTunes-killer music store, only a month or so after its prior iTunes-killer URGE was launched with MTV. And the rumors of Microsoft's xPod go back more than a year to when Robbie Bach was tapped to do something in the digital music space after his success at launching the stand-alone XBox."
"I'm not a branding expert, but, so it seems, neither is Microsoft. You canÂ’t beat ipod on its own turf. The only way for M$ to build an ipod killer is to, yep, not build an ipod killer. Create a new category. Build something else."
--Peter Van Dijck's Guide to Ease
"And make no mistake, this will not be an easy battle. iPod is more than a consumer electronics device, it's become a cultural icon backed up by a lifestyle marketing campaign, things that Microsoft has no history of success in creating."