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MacRumors
Jul 11, 2006, 02:18 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Last week, a Bloomberg story (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=conewsstory&refer=conews&tkr=MSFT:US&sid=aYqZI5U2Snnc) cause some excitement with claims that Microsoft was planning to release an iPod rival by Christmas of 2006. The new digital music player was said to include a wireless Internet connection allowing users to wirelessly download music. Microsoft is already meeting with Hollywood and music companies to license content for the upcoming device.

Steve Jobs predicted (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/01/20060116133359.shtml) in January that due to the lack of iPod competitors, that Microsoft was "going to have to get into the hardware business of making MP3 players". Currently, Microsoft relies on 3rd party manufacturers to develop around a common hardware specification.

This week, more information (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2003116550_brier10.html) about the upcoming Microsoft device was revealed. According to the Seattle Times article, Microsoft is actually developing a line of Xbox-branded digital media devices. The project is called "Argo" and under the Xbox development group.

What's being developed is actually a complete line of Xbox-branded digital-media products, including a device that plays media, a software media player and an online media service.

This would represent an more "end-to-end" business model described by Walt Mossberg (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/05/20060511102446.shtml) that has brought Apple a lot of success with their Music Store/iTunes/iPod integration. (A photo (http://www.engadget.com/2006/07/10/microsofts-argo-xbox-wireless-portable-media-player/) has also been posted that claims to be a development model of the device.)

Meanwhile, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster (http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/90004/next-ipod-to-be-wireless-analyst.html) believes that Apple will release their own wireless iPod this fall and do not believe "the yet-to-be-seen Microsoft offering will be a worthy opponent for the iPod".

baleensavage
Jul 11, 2006, 02:21 PM
Sounds more like a PSP killer than an iPod Killer. Looks like Microsoft is trying to move into Sony's territory.

network23
Jul 11, 2006, 02:25 PM
This is scary. While I have no doubts Apple's ability to "get it" will make Microsoft's offering pale by comparison, Microsoft might be able to more than make up for it through marketing and their dominant position in the computer and home gaming market. Then, as in the past, their monopolistic practices will slowly edge out Apple.

And I guarantee you that Microsoft will be much more willing to "play ball" with the movie studios to get the best/preferred deals in offering downloadable movies.

brsboarder
Jul 11, 2006, 02:26 PM
more then likely the wireless part is directed at the ipod, but this will only stimulate competition, its about time apple is forced to compete with others for the best device again

mduser63
Jul 11, 2006, 02:27 PM
Well obviously none of us here are going to be terribly interested if it's not Mac-compatible. That said, Apple has a lot to lose, so I hope they adapt and compete well.

hyperpasta
Jul 11, 2006, 02:28 PM
Steve Jobs knew about this in January... this says a lot about his vision. I'm confident that he is already well-prepared for this and has something up his sleeve to counter it.

There will NOT be a sudden exodus to Argo from iPod. If it ever happens, it will be gradual and easy to fix.

netdog
Jul 11, 2006, 02:29 PM
Well obviously none of us here are going to be terribly interested if it's not Mac-compatible. That said, Apple has a lot to lose, so I hope they adapt and compete well.

They will. Microsoft doing this will definitely cause Apple to be less stingy with the R&D and get some great small products to market.

God, I really hope that Leopard is more of an upgrade than Tiger was.

sbrhwkp3
Jul 11, 2006, 02:29 PM
Steve already knew this was going to happen. They're ready. I don't think it's possible to have an iPod killer anyways. The iPod is all about appeal for many, not necessarily the features.

nagromme
Jul 11, 2006, 02:32 PM
I still don't get the value of wireless in a music player--not in actual practice (battery life and added bulk, vs. the need to plug in to charge, which naturally takes longer than synching anyway).

But whatever it is, I think its chances will depend a lot on whether it can be as slim and light as an iPod, and the same elegant ease-of-use as iTunes and iPod.

If it has those things, the X-Box name could carry it to some kind of success. But of course there can be more than one successful product in a market--Apple is not in danger.

runninmac
Jul 11, 2006, 02:35 PM
So with the windows media center out they would be idiots to not convert it to a format for their player. This means Mac Media Center out this fall hopefully. :D

QCassidy352
Jul 11, 2006, 02:37 PM
its about time apple is forced to compete with others for the best device again

agreed. We haven't seen any ipod updates in a long, long time. The shuffle is over a year old, the nano is approaching a year, and even the 5G is no spring chicken any more. I certainly don't want to see MS cut too much in to apple's marketshare, but if a little competition means pushing apple a little more, that sounds good to me.

Collin973
Jul 11, 2006, 02:37 PM
Doesn't look terrible, but similar to the ipod (if that pic is legit). Competition is good though, because it'll stimulate new ideas and better products (hopefully). We'll see what happens, but I love my video ipod (as long as apple doesn't release a better one).

nxent
Jul 11, 2006, 02:43 PM
This is scary. While I have no doubts Apple's ability to "get it" will make Microsoft's offering pale by comparison, Microsoft might be able to more than make up for it through marketing and their dominant position in the computer and home gaming market. Then, as in the past, their monopolistic practices will slowly edge out Apple.

And I guarantee you that Microsoft will be much more willing to "play ball" with the movie studios to get the best/preferred deals in offering downloadable movies.

not so fast. remember 'origami'. "who?" "what??" yeh, exactly. msoft's tablet PC that generated a lot of buzz before it's launch. and when it launched, it promptly flopped, hence the hollow response when it's name is shouted. i agree that an xbox branded device will have to compete with both psp and ipod, and even nintendo's ds; and hence i don't think apple's in any real danger. nevertheless, it is 'bout that time they release another major ipod revision.

bcharna
Jul 11, 2006, 02:46 PM
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bluebomberman
Jul 11, 2006, 02:46 PM
Steve already knew this was going to happen. They're ready.

I hope so, but I won't say it's a given.

Supposedly, Bill Gates and other Microsoft top brass were obsessed with the decline of the big great corporations (IBM being one of the best examples). Yet Microsoft has been (arguably) slowly heading in that direction as it tends to stumble in markets where they can't exercise their monopolisitc power (as in anything not OS or Office related).

And Apple's quite familiar with monumental success and decline from past experience. So we'll see. But for once, the roles are reversed.

Squareball
Jul 11, 2006, 02:47 PM
God if those pics are right, I say... welcome to 2002 Microsoft!

It looks like a mix between a Rio MP3 player and a 3rd gen iPod

Felldownthewell
Jul 11, 2006, 02:49 PM
I am actually all for this. While I love my Ipod, I think that MS making a really good DAP will put more pressure on Apple and give us an even better Ipod; more original and more feature packed. When companies compete for your money, we win. As it is, Apple knows that you will buy an Ipod because it is the best, and in the future, that may cause them to get sloppy and not put out new and better revisions at a pace that will keep them competative. It is a good thing that MS is offering pressure- not enough to edge out Apple, but enough to keep them on their toes.

Also, I would love to see an mobile Xbox PSP-esque device, especially with a good line of mobile games with better graphics and design than the PSP. I know this is MS we are talking about so I'm asking a lot, but it would still be nice!

amac4me
Jul 11, 2006, 02:50 PM
If Microsoft is indeed developing such a device, Apple surely knows about it and will have a product to counter it.

Apple is using the current "video capable" iPods as a test bed for the true Video iPod. I'll place my bet that Apple has some cool innovative products up its sleeve that we can't even imagine.

dextertangocci
Jul 11, 2006, 02:52 PM
Why the hell does MS even want to attempt to release an "iPod killer"? Do they not realise they will lose money?:rolleyes:

Porchland
Jul 11, 2006, 02:53 PM
The big plus of a wireless iPod, I think, would be the ability to sync the iPod live over IP. This should start a move away from the the home Mac/PC as the "feeder" for the iPod. It has always urked me that I can't have my computer at home and at the office learn what songs I download from the other and sync the database accordingly.

This becomes even more important when the Mac mini media center rolls out and we've all got another device to sync.

.Mac seems perfect for this.

monke
Jul 11, 2006, 02:54 PM
Before this comes out, Apple is going to have to let consumers know that they make the iPod. Not Microsoft.

Some people may think it's the new iPod, judging by the picture on engadget, and this thread/article posted earlier (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=191119) saying that most people don't know the iPod is made by Apple.

If people think this 'Micropod' is the new iPod it could be over for Apple, unless they release something at the same time.


BTW, about the picture posted on engadget, the buttons look '3G iPodish'. Maybe Microsoft is going to try and play catch up with MP3 players now :p edit: missed bcharna's post

RodThePlod
Jul 11, 2006, 02:57 PM
not so fast. remember 'origami'. "who?" "what??" yeh, exactly. msoft's tablet PC that generated a lot of buzz before it's launch. and when it launched, it promptly flopped, hence the hollow response when it's name is shouted. i agree that an xbox branded device will have to compete with both psp and ipod, and even nintendo's ds; and hence i don't think apple's in any real danger. nevertheless, it is 'bout that time they release another major ipod revision.

Remember, though - Origami was another one of those projects where Microsoft do the software side and leave a number of third parties to do the hardware.

With this new device, Microsoft will do the whole shebang in the same way as they do the Xbox - so there's certainly danger here; look how the Xbox impacted the console market!

Apple are not resting on their laurels, though - I'm sure we'll see some pretty impressive updates to iPod because of this new competition. :D

RodC
--
www.expodition.com - for iPod users who love to travel

lmalave
Jul 11, 2006, 02:57 PM
I hope so, but I won't say it's a given.

Supposedly, Bill Gates and other Microsoft top brass were obsessed with the decline of the big great corporations (IBM being one of the best examples). Yet Microsoft has been (arguably) slowly heading in that direction as it tends to stumble in markets where they can't exercise their monopolisitc power (as in anything not OS or Office related).

And Apple's quite familiar with monumental success and decline from past experience. So we'll see. But for once, the roles are reversed.

I dunno, the XBox seems to be doing pretty well, and I don't see how one could say that Microsoft had a monopolistic advantage there. All they really had was a brand name and mucho $$$ for marketing, and they managed to establish a foothold in the game industry.

Microsoft is very smart to leverage its successful XBox brand rather than its floundering (in terms of reputation, not profits) Windows brand.

I for one, am glad to see Microsoft push Apple. My biggest hope is that Apple introduces an iTunes subscription-to-go service. I tried the Microsoft-compatible ones (especially Rhapsody), and they were awesome.

bcharna
Jul 11, 2006, 02:58 PM
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SteveRichardson
Jul 11, 2006, 03:01 PM
yeah I could actully see windows users buying this....just because it's made by microsoft.

perhaps this could slightly hurting the iPod, but then again, it'll up the competition and make apple come out with COOLER STUFF YEA!

uh huh.

pink-pony115
Jul 11, 2006, 03:02 PM
Well I guess Steve needs to get on the ball with a counter-product.

I wish Microsoft could be more innovative with their products.

ChrisA
Jul 11, 2006, 03:02 PM
[The Microsoft music player could be a huge success if Microsoft wants it to be. MS could offer them at such a low price they they would sell fast. Of course MS would loose a pile of money on each unit but why would they care if the goal is to run the competition out of bussenis. A $50 player with 10 GB of space would pretty much kill the iPod.

RodThePlod
Jul 11, 2006, 03:08 PM
After really looking at the photo, either Micro**** literally gave the 3G iPod plastic surgery or that is completely Photoshopped. It is SO similar to the 3G iPod with added ugliness to make it Genuine Micro****.

After looking at that photo I believe it's an ergonomic nightmare. Well, maybe not exactly a nightmare but certainly it's not the most ergonomic of designs. Having the play/pause button on the bottom right like that forces your thumb into an unnatural position to operate it.

Bearing this in mind, I proclaim this image REAL!!! :D

Only Microsoft would produce a design as dumb as that.

Lets hope when it ships they get class action after class action for people claiming it gives them RSI

;)

RodC
--
www.expodition.com - for iPod users who love to travel

Core Trio
Jul 11, 2006, 03:08 PM
After really looking at the photo, either Micro**** literally gave the 3G iPod plastic surgery or that is completely Photoshopped. It is SO similar to the 3G iPod with added ugliness to make it Genuine Micro****.

I think you're giving the design too much credit. I wonder how that silver disc is even operated

MNSUGrad07
Jul 11, 2006, 03:13 PM
Hmm... so if Microsoft's track record with Vista can tell us anything. I predict this should be ready around Christmas of 2009! :D All kidding aside, I don't see Apple resting on its laurels. As long as Apple continues to come up with new ideas, Microsoft is going to continue to play catch up.

CANEHDN
Jul 11, 2006, 03:14 PM
Apple knows what their doing. They will wait as long as they can on the 5G. Then before competition arises they will release a new one to stay on top. I wouldn't doubt that they announce a new iPod during the WWDC(a month away, eeekkk!). Jobs talked a little bit about the iPod the last few years, at the WWDC.

Then again, Microsoft lost money on every Xbox sold just to get their foot in the door. It's possible they will do the same thing on the "iPod Killer". Time will tell.

baleensavage
Jul 11, 2006, 03:15 PM
I'd wager that the photo is probably fake, but the info sounds real. It makes sense that M$ would cash in on their successful XBox name. The problem with Origami is that they had other people do it and that the Windows name doesn't hold much clout nowadays. You would think that Microsoft would actually put some of their R&D team on Vista so they can release it within a decade of XP instead of coming up with all these other hair-brained ways to waste their money.

sikkinixx
Jul 11, 2006, 03:16 PM
if MS makes it cheaper than an iPod then Apple might have some trouble. Parents/grandparents who are technologically ignorant will generally buy whatever Bestbuy salesman pimps to them for their kid. So if it is cheaper than an iPod with similar functions then a lot will be bought.

archurban
Jul 11, 2006, 03:21 PM
it will be a good competition after all. it's MS. not just small mp3 player makers. but I doubt that new product will take a piece of ipod so called 'ipod killer'? it's not how ipod killer looks but how it can integerate both hardware and software like itunes so well. whatever MS do, they have gizliions of money to put anyway.

on the other hand, Apple already knows MS plan. Apple will release new 6G ipod before MS will do or at the same time. plus movie download service could be launched becasue MS makes Apple to hurry for going more further way. it will be interesting to watch the competition. :)

Veritas&Equitas
Jul 11, 2006, 03:23 PM
if MS makes it cheaper than an iPod then Apple might have some trouble.
Of course it will be cheaper, there is no question. On even comparable products Microsoft always goes with the cheaper price, and Apple can charge a premium right now b/c iPod holds 80% of the market. If something comparable comes out, Apple will be forced to drop their prices.

Mustafa Monde
Jul 11, 2006, 03:29 PM
Not that it is the most clunky thing MS as spawned, but elegant-it ain't. I can imagine that whatever craptacular iteration of a music player Gates can come up with will be trounced nicely by the much more desirable next gen iPod. It must be tough to be so egotistical insofar as their products are concerned and yet untalented in making them. I hope they never get rid of Balmer and his ilk-they keep MS user unfriendly and thats the way I like it.

Donz0r
Jul 11, 2006, 03:33 PM
The picture is a concept photoshop designed by a forum user.
Look at the website it's posted at.

Glass
Jul 11, 2006, 03:48 PM
They will. Microsoft doing this will definitely cause Apple to be less stingy with the R&D and get some great small products to market.

God, I really hope that Leopard is more of an upgrade than Tiger was.


You don't think tiger was a significant upgrade? wtf?? lol.. it was packed with new features.

Keebler
Jul 11, 2006, 03:52 PM
the key to apple succeeding this battle is to win the rights with the movie industry.

if bill gates gets there 1st, apple's in trouble.

the immediate danger is that the movie execs now know that there will be 2 players, thus, I would imagine, lessening apple's power in negotiations. bad for us potentially given jobs' desire to create a level pricing field for dloaded movies.

i would love to be a fly on the wall inside apple these days. i have a funny feeling that the 'ipod video' dev team is working overtime fixing issues and getting it ready for market.

go apple go.

:)

network23
Jul 11, 2006, 03:55 PM
Steve Jobs knew about this in January... this says a lot about his vision. I'm confident that he is already well-prepared for this and has something up his sleeve to counter it.

There will NOT be a sudden exodus to Argo from iPod. If it ever happens, it will be gradual and easy to fix.

I would agree, but then I think about how Microsoft was late to the party regarding the internet and their release of IE. The exodus from Netscape to IE was virtually overnight.

know-it-all5
Jul 11, 2006, 04:00 PM
In all seriousness the photo shown looks like a microsoft type design. the truth is as much as i love all the ipods, apple is a little behind. there are loads of companies with products out there that out do the apple ipod gen5.
If you look at the photo of the microsoft player you can see that there are many companies that have come up with stuff almost identical. look at the creative zen for example. they are really similar in design.
I'd say to all the companies "watch out for apple", because apple mmust have something big up their sleeve to compete in the longrun. A good track record won't save apple forever.

I want to add that i love my mini, my nano, and i intend to buy a next gen video when it comes out.

These comments are all proving one thing... Windows is bearly competing with the companies that are barely competing with apple. Apple will blow everyone away with upcoming ipods! YOU ALL JUST WAIT! IT WILL BE AMAZING!!!!!

bluebomberman
Jul 11, 2006, 04:05 PM
I dunno, the XBox seems to be doing pretty well, and I don't see how one could say that Microsoft had a monopolistic advantage there. All they really had was a brand name and mucho $$$ for marketing, and they managed to establish a foothold in the game industry.


The first XBox lost lots of buckets of money. Jury's still out on XBox 360.

nxent
Jul 11, 2006, 04:07 PM
haha, here's what would have been had microsoft designed the ipod from the beginning...
now, this is only the packaging...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pXL5_RvGrs&search=microsoft%20ipod

jeriqo
Jul 11, 2006, 04:07 PM
It's would be fun if Microsoft released this player and Apple introduced the rumored full screen iPod a few days later..

http://guides.macrumors.com/images/thumb/d/dd/1fullipodav.jpg/800px-1fullipodav.jpg

stcanard
Jul 11, 2006, 04:35 PM
if MS makes it cheaper than an iPod then Apple might have some trouble. Parents/grandparents who are technologically ignorant will generally buy whatever Bestbuy salesman pimps to them for their kid. So if it is cheaper than an iPod with similar functions then a lot will be bought.

I think people are very wrong here.

iPod is the cool thing. It is the brand name. It is what everyone asks for, even if they're using a generic term.

If you have an identical iPod and identical Microsoft brand side by side, people will go for the iPod, because it is the standard they are comfortable with. Even my grandparents konw what an iPod is. It is the Windows / MS Office of the music player world.

I know its a hard thing to wrap our minds around, but in this particular space, Apple is the established gorilla and everyone has to fight for the extra mindshare. People gravitate to the iPod, and will look at an MS offering with suspicion. "What does Microsoft have to do with Music? Aren't they a computer company?"

Southerner
Jul 11, 2006, 04:48 PM
Knowing Microsoft, the Argo probably will get ridden with viruses...

Thanatoast
Jul 11, 2006, 04:52 PM
There's an awful lot of cock-suredness on this board.

If MS releases this player, which will have full wireless integration with the msTunes Music Store through your home PC with WMA10 or your XBOX360 some people could be persuaded to get it. The end-to-end process in a major part of the iPod experience, and this is MS's plan to get in on it.

Would I get one? No, because I have an Apple computer - but 90% of the world still runs windows, and now they won't have to install third party software or worry about integration issues. Their new PC (or old with new and improved WMA10) will connect right up and automatically fill up their new, media device - all without wires!

Give MS the benefit of the doubt here. If you dismiss them, you run the risk of falling prey to their marketing/sales/monopoly-position machine.

iMikeT
Jul 11, 2006, 05:02 PM
This goes to show that Microsoft is not done taking business from others.:rolleyes:

Even if this does generate some sort of competition for Apple and the iPod, Microsoft will be miles behind Apple as usual.

I hope this does not become a repeat of what happened back in the 80's. That is, first Apple comes out with great products and all is well for some time. Then Microsoft comes out with a poor copy of that product then takes 95% of the market.

Axegrinder
Jul 11, 2006, 05:07 PM
I know this is an Apple site and having recently "switched" I'm in no way knocking Apple or their products, but at the risk of getting flamed, why do people buy the video ipod with its tiny screen when there are other, better, video players out there already?

I have one of these (http://www.cowonamerica.com/products/cowon/a2/) and its fantastic. Great battery life, large vibrant screen, 30GB hard drive, plays movies, audio and records off the TV. Works great with my nice new 20" intel iMac too using handbrake and VisualHub.

I know brand loyalty plays a major part in peoples purchasing decisions but buying an ipod to watch video on a screen as small as that? Don't think I could stand it for long.

IMHO, both Apple and Microsoft will have to go some way to beat the COWON A2.

Patch^
Jul 11, 2006, 05:15 PM
what device is on this page: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/experiences/onthego.mspx

looks pretty cool lol.

netdog
Jul 11, 2006, 05:17 PM
Apple leveraged iPods to sell iTMS, and iPods to sell Macs, but Microsoft can use MediaPlayer/Vista/Urge to push its WMA players. Controlling 90%+ of the world's desktops with XP and soon with Vista, they have an opportunity to push the iPod and iTMS right off the map. It already seems well on its way to happening with movie downloads.

I am not saying that MS will do any of the above, but they are sure well positioned to do so. If Vista manages to successfully push people to register their credit cards at Urge, and WMA playback capability becomes a must-have feature, Apple will have a lot of trouble on their hands.

Say a prayer that Jobs manages to not only deliver must-have sexy devices, but that he makes iTunes a whole lot more impressive for Mac and especially for Windows so that people won't even want to use Media Player. If people adopt the new Media Player 11, and quietly infect the world with WMA/WVA media, watch out. In truth, the player doesn't have to be that good. It just has to play the media that people actually have. Hence their rumoured willingness to swap protected AACs for WMAs. That along with OS dominance is where the danger to iPod/ITMS exists.

gh0sted
Jul 11, 2006, 05:34 PM
I think if Apple gets the 6G iPod to the market before Argo, MS is dead in the water. People aren't going to buy an Argo after shelling out $300-400 for an iPod. Also once everyone sees their friends with the new iPod they wont want anything else. We all know Apple has done wonders making their player an icon.

I think DRM will kill the Argo as well.

Cinch
Jul 11, 2006, 06:00 PM
wireless (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Wi-Max whatever)? I used to think that this was a cool thing to have in an iPod. an iPod with internet radio capability sounds like a really cool idea. I'm lukewarm about now.

We already have wired music share libraries on our computers (college campus). I just don't have the motivation to explore other's music library. I turn my sharing off, quite frankly I'm embarrass to let the world know what I'm listening to most of the time:D .

The next step? An iPod phone. It should do two simple simple simple simple things (1) act like a basic phone you contacts, missed calls, dial calls etc and (2) behaves like a 4GB Nano. yeah I know, Motorolo Rokr didn't meet the challenge.

Cinch

povman
Jul 11, 2006, 06:12 PM
Heh... Knowing XBox, the device will probably be twice as big as the 1st gen ipods and require a separate (not bundled) control unit to access all functionality.

wedge antilies
Jul 11, 2006, 06:15 PM
why do people buy the video ipod with its tiny screen when there are other, better, video players out there already?

I have one of these (http://www.cowonamerica.com/products/cowon/a2/) and its fantastic.

IMHO, both Apple and Microsoft will have to go some way to beat the COWON A2.

I know,
A) people use the iPod video for Music first, thats why its "iPod video" not the "Video iPod". The video feature is only a bonus.

B) you can use the iTMS with the iPod video

C) Its $120 more than the iPod

D) Who the hell is COWON?!? - It's sounds like one of those "Simpsons brands" like Sorny.

When the REAL Video iPod comes out, this will be a collectable* item like a Beta VCR.



*By "Collectable" I mean - un-resell-able.

-Red 2.

boncellis
Jul 11, 2006, 06:29 PM
...D) Who the hell is COWON?!? - It's sounds like one of those "Simpsons brands" like Sorny.

Lol. Good times...

This doesn't spell doom for anyone or anything. Companies that are afraid of competition usually never stood much of a chance in the first place--Mr. Jobs has thrived under these conditions over the past 5+ years, I would expect nothing less now.

wedge antilies
Jul 11, 2006, 06:30 PM
The XBox seems to be doing pretty well.


The following is from Gamespot. com
http://www.gamespot.com/news/6148512.html?page=3

"But as a result of increased production and marketing costs of the Xbox 360, on which Microsoft currently loses an estimated $126 per unit, its Home and Entertainment division found itself in an unenviable position. Despite the fact the division's quarterly revenue went from $571 million in 2005 to $1.056 billion in 2006, all its new income evaporated. Its quarterly operating loss went from $175 million in 2005 to $388 million in 2006."


However with the Games console Microsoft can make money from Game sales and liscensing. Since Apple has already admitted that the iTMS has razor thin profits, they won't be able to duplicate that revenue stream in this area.

The following is from Gamesarefun.com
http://www.gamesarefun.com/gamesdb/editorial.php?editorialid=4

"Since the Xbox launched, the Home and Entertainment Division has seen financial losses approaching $1 billion per year. The losses are $880 million and $990 million per fiscal year, respectively. Add in the $273 million lost in Microsoft's fiscal Q1 (calendar Q3), and $241 million lost in fiscal Q2 (calendar Q4) and we get $2.384 billion lost since the launch of the Xbox".


The argument some people are making is that if Microsoft is willing to put up with losses like this, they can do the same in the "iPod-like" market. However, the markets are truly different in a few ways - a) there is no razor/razorblade economic model b) there are VERY FEW barriers to entry c) The upgrade cycle is MUCH faster.

I think this a threat, but I think Apple may have this covered.


-Red 2.

boncellis
Jul 11, 2006, 06:58 PM
...I think DRM will kill the Argo as well.

Bingo.

It always comes down to content and DRM. When you think about it, the PSP could (perhaps should) have been the coolest thing since sliced bread with all its features and even movies and Sony's music service tailor-made for it. So what happened? Sony's atrocious proprietary scheme has made it a shell of what it could have been. I have a feeling MS hasn't learned any lessons since the "Works for Sure" campaign became something of a running joke.

Wasn't the Origami supposed to be an iPod killer?

irmongoose
Jul 11, 2006, 07:05 PM
WE HAVE COMPETITION!! Thank you, at last... :sniff:

This is war.




irmongoose

yac_moda
Jul 11, 2006, 07:21 PM
Today magnesium Nanos means tomorrow ...


... transparent aluminum iPods !!!


And I predict wireless disposable earphones :eek:


So no one will EVER find anything interesting in MS products :p :D ;)

mymacluvsme
Jul 11, 2006, 07:39 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

This would represent an more "end-to-end" business model described by Walk Mossberg (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/05/20060511102446.shtml) that has brought Apple a lot of success with their Music Store/iTunes/iPod integration.


Who's "Walk Mossberg"?

Hunabku
Jul 11, 2006, 07:42 PM
If this ipod killer was coming out of MS central (software dev, etc) i wouldn't be concerned. However the team that is working on it (xbox) actually are decently creative.

Also apparently ms has taken a hands off strategy to let the division develop its own creative culture/workflow. Let us remember what really drives the great products from apple - its the creative synergy of many in a culture of passionate people who truly enjoy making things together - a highly collaborative and insanely cool environment.

Because the creative capacity of MS sucks they need to make up with it in cash and market strategy. At least they had the sense to give xbox team freedom from the predominantly borgish world of MS - multiple stupids. - sorry couldn't resist.

spaz
Jul 11, 2006, 07:48 PM
I'm not sure if it's just a bunch of "computer guys" around here, but in the gaming world Xbox 360 has a fair amount of cultural cachet. It's not my cup of tea, but it's pretty dang popular with youth culture. Microsoft already has a highly successful, profitable, and critically lauded online service in Xbox Live, with millions of subscribers.

I think it's a bit of wishful thinking to claim MS will "screw this up", since the infrastructure is already there, and it's already functioning in a lot of young people's homes.

Look, I'm the biggest Apple fan I know, but Microsoft has proven over and over that they can move into an arena with another market leader and chip away. They lost hundreds of millions on the Xbox, and went right ahead and made a successor. They don't care if they lose some money, because eventually, they will make money.

I would love to see iPod continue its success, but, aside from a current lead in marketshare, Microsoft has a lot going for it this time around.

ddrueckhammer
Jul 11, 2006, 08:02 PM
Bingo.

When you think about it, the PSP could (perhaps should) have been the coolest thing since sliced bread with all its features and even movies and Sony's music service tailor-made for it. So what happened? Sony's atrocious proprietary scheme has made it a shell of what it could have been. I have a feeling MS hasn't learned any lessons since the "Works for Sure" campaign became something of a running joke.

Nintendo could have done the same thing with the DS Lite. There are addons for web, music, and video for this device and the battery life would still be on par with iPods...They, probably wisely, decided to keep the price of their device down and provide these features as accessories. Not everyone needs their portable device to do everything but the iPod, PSP, and DS Lite all have the potential for being brilliant convergence devices. Microsoft's talents in this area are still untested. The cellular companies would like their phones to be ultimate convergence devices but the are too greedy (at least in America) for their own good and most of the devices come off as buggy and overpriced...It is interesting, however, that Microsoft is willing to put their Xbox brand (which is pretty well accepted) in the untested market...

yac_moda
Jul 11, 2006, 08:05 PM
I'm not sure if it's just a bunch of "computer guys" around here, but in the gaming world Xbox 360 has a fair amount of cultural cachet. It's not my cup of tea, but it's pretty dang popular with youth culture. Microsoft already has a highly successful, profitable, and critically lauded online service in Xbox Live, with millions of subscribers.

I think it's a bit of wishful thinking to claim MS will "screw this up", since the infrastructure is already there, and it's already functioning in a lot of young people's homes.

Look, I'm the biggest Apple fan I know, but Microsoft has proven over and over that they can move into an arena with another market leader and chip away. They lost hundreds of millions on the Xbox, and went right ahead and made a successor. They don't care if they lose some money, because eventually, they will make money.

I would love to see iPod continue its success, but, aside from a current lead in marketshare, Microsoft has a lot going for it this time around.


:eek: YOUTH CULTURE :eek:


Where has it gone, withered on the vine ??? the USA's YC used to rule the world ?? Now PC is the only thing the comes close to ruling the world ?

JRM PowerPod
Jul 11, 2006, 08:19 PM
If Microsoft try to undercut the iPod in price. Steve will get revenge. He will start bundling all new macs with his pirated version of Windows XP Pro and Office Pro. hehe cop that Bill

Darrin Bell
Jul 11, 2006, 08:30 PM
I dunno, the XBox seems to be doing pretty well...

...Microsoft is very smart to leverage its successful XBox brand rather than its floundering (in terms of reputation, not profits) Windows brand.

I just hope Apple already has the name "xPod" trademarked.

wmmk
Jul 11, 2006, 08:56 PM
Who's "Walk Mossberg"?
Walt Mossberg, of the WSJ.
People make typos. Live with it:rolleyes:

Jetson
Jul 11, 2006, 09:30 PM
I read some of the reader comments at the end of that article. This "Argo" is just vaporware, yet people are saying they'd rush out and buy it.

Other commenters got upset because someone pointed out how the "Argo" is an iPod ripoff. It IS a ripoff - you'd have to be as blind as a mole to not realize that Microsoft wouldn't have a clue of how to build this thing without copying the iPod. That's what Microsoft does - copy.

Another thing Microsoft does well is to market a product as a loss leader - for years if necessary. Remember how they started giving away their IE browser and just buried poor Netscape. Microsoft has money to burn.

Microsoft doesn't mind putting a piece of crap on the market. They know that the lemmings will buy anything with the MS logo on it. Then they will take years to iron out the bugs and end up with a fairly serviceable product. Not a great product, but one that works well enough for a world that follows the crowd.

And why is Microsoft supposedly launching their "iPod killer"? Because they just can't stand the thought of Apple dominating the market that Apple built. Ballmer says they are going after this market because it's there. He says they want 90% of the market or nothing.

povman
Jul 11, 2006, 09:34 PM
I just hope Apple already has the name "xPod" trademarked.

I hope microsoft has the name 'iBox' trademarked.. wouldn't want apple to ever make an iBox...

gh0sted
Jul 11, 2006, 09:35 PM
I doubt MS can afford to pull another XBox on the Argo. At least in the game console business you can hope to make back your losses on game sales and accessories. In the digital music business you know you are going to make squat on music sales. The best I see them doing is selling their player at cost. As for them trading users iTunes collections for their .wma collections... I wouldn't even want to go through the trouble of downloading all my songs over.

Also... if you had pirated music, would you trust microsoft scanning your library? I doubt many would :)

bloodycape
Jul 11, 2006, 09:45 PM
Forget MS I think Apple needs to worry about Sandisk and their 8gig flash player.

SanDisk has announced a drop in price for many of their digital audio players, including the e260 and e250, which are now $ 200 and $ 150 direct, respectively (with a limited free case offer). The cheaper c100's and m200's have also decreased in price, though most of SanDisk's models are quite a bit cheaper if you buy them from various webshops.

Also, hiding on SanDisk's site is a picture of the once-rumored e280 (8 GB), now visible under the e250/60 flash demo. Well, it says 8 GB on the back at least, I doubt it's a typo.

It seems SanDisk is gunning to push this out ahead of the next iPod Nano iteration, which many expect to get a bump in capacity as well. I'd really like to see an 8 GB player, but even more so I'd like SanDisk to work out the few little bugs in the e200's first and foremost (eliminate the headphone out noise, improve on-board playlisting, perhaps space out the playback buttons).


Using a firmware sandisk users haven't seen yet so that says something.
http://img528.imageshack.us/img528/9521/beta3to.jpg
http://www.pmpz.net/pics/newspics/Sansa_8GB.jpg

bloodycape
Jul 11, 2006, 09:50 PM
the key to apple succeeding this battle is to win the rights with the movie industry.

if bill gates gets there 1st, apple's in trouble.

the immediate danger is that the movie execs now know that there will be 2 players, thus, I would imagine, lessening apple's power in negotiations. bad for us potentially given jobs' desire to create a level pricing field for dloaded movies.

i would love to be a fly on the wall inside apple these days. i have a funny feeling that the 'ipod video' dev team is working overtime fixing issues and getting it ready for market.

go apple go.

:)

I will agree with you there but however, if apple want to succeed in that area they need to offer more than 2hours(at best) of video playback. Look at Creative users are getting close to 5-6 hours out video playback while still have close to 20hours of audio. And I am getting close to 9 hours out of my Cowon PMP with a 4in screen and clost to 18 out of audio. Additionally apple needs to support to add more video support like divx which is popular enough to have some dvd players to support it and even have players just desinged to play that formart. Just my 2cents

The Bazilfunk
Jul 11, 2006, 10:01 PM
I still don't get the value of wireless in a music player--not in actual practice (battery life and added bulk, vs. the need to plug in to charge, which naturally takes longer than synching anyway).

But whatever it is, I think its chances will depend a lot on whether it can be as slim and light as an iPod, and the same elegant ease-of-use as iTunes and iPod.



Wireless music players is the future but also a problem again for the music industry. Taken the popularity of the iPod you would be able to have acces to over a 1000 music librarys in a small city. You would be able get a new network next to the internet dedicated to wireless music and videos. This all if Apple doesn't lock those things out but surely hacks would be created to make this possible.

Filesharing will move from the internet to the street. I see a lot of things possible with wireless music players. For good and bad but it will definately change the way we listen to music again.

MegaSignal
Jul 11, 2006, 10:35 PM
I still don't get the value of wireless in a music player--not in actual practice (battery life and added bulk, vs. the need to plug in to charge, which naturally takes longer than synching anyway).
Precisely.

If Apple dumped FireWire IEEE1394 for the sake of slimness, it is highly doubtful that they'd re-clutter and fatten it up with Bluetooth (which, after trying for many years (with other devices) I have now considered to be worthless crap). Really - unless one can charge with built-in solar panels (as Citizen (http://www.citizenwatch.com/COA/English/intro1.asp)does with their watches), wireless is a non-issue.

The current iPod has panache. It is "sessy". Neither word describes MS at all...and it is because of this that the Argo will have a tough time of it.

As others have said earlier in this issue, the good that will come out of all of this is that Apple will provide us with a better iPod.

solvs
Jul 11, 2006, 11:56 PM
I'm all for competition, but this is just a bad idea. MS is only going to be competing with other WMA players like they do with their oh so successful Music Store. The business world is one thing, even gaming I could see them being somewhat successful with one of these years as that's what PCs seem to be best at. The xBox is just a little computer anyway. But this is a different kind of entertainment. It's about cool. It's about style. It's about stuff that people want to just work. MS doesn't have any of that. This will be a me too product that few will care about.

It's not like Apple's resting on it laurels either. I'm sure they've got something cool planned that'll blow us all away, or at least stave off the "competition" for a little while. I just hope it has better battery life. :p

MattInOz
Jul 12, 2006, 12:30 AM
Precisely.

If Apple dumped FireWire IEEE1394 for the sake of slimness, it is highly doubtful that they'd re-clutter and fatten it up with Bluetooth (which, after trying for many years (with other devices) I have now considered to be worthless crap). Really - unless one can charge with built-in solar panels (as Citizen (http://www.citizenwatch.com/COA/English/intro1.asp)does with their watches), wireless is a non-issue.

The current iPod has panache. It is "sessy". Neither word describes MS at all...and it is because of this that the Argo will have a tough time of it.

As others have said earlier in this issue, the good that will come out of all of this is that Apple will provide us with a better iPod.

Don't Intel have that new low power low range network chip that does Wi-fi, wireless firewire, wireless usb but only about 10m range they are pushing for home entertainment equipment. Get that build into the iPods (full size to start) and you have wireless that might be worth considering.

Then replace the dock connector with a magsafe power connector. to make charging a snap. sure you still need to get the battery life up a bit on current. It's starting to look like an interesting revision.

Yep MS have cash and exposure in other products to be a big threat to Apples iPod cashflow. Although Apple have the momentum, the options and range to keep themselves as first choice.

Hey I always wonder why Apple don't release iTunes for Playstation, or Nintendo.

HGW
Jul 12, 2006, 12:47 AM
if it happens this is a typical attemp by microsoft to copy the tactics of another company, put loads of money into marketing and bring about nothing innovative. great but i know who'd id rather give my money to.

if it doesnt play cool games, you'll know they blindly copied apple mistakes also.

Evangelion
Jul 12, 2006, 01:29 AM
wireless (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Wi-Max whatever)? I used to think that this was a cool thing to have in an iPod. an iPod with internet radio capability sounds like a really cool idea. I'm lukewarm about now.

I'm not. What would I like to see from Apple? What would my ideal iPod be like? Let's explore the possibilities.

Bluetooth-headphones. This would kick ass. No more wires that get tangled up. And it CAN be done!

Large touch-screen. No separate controls, the controls would be right in the display (like in the image that was linked before in this thread).

And before you say "but there would be fingerprints on the screen! And it wouldn't provide any tactile feedback!". Ah, but how about that "no-touch" controls that have been rumored? I have no idea that is it really possible, but what if? You could simply hover you finger 1cm from the screen and use the controls. No fingerprints. As to the tactile feedback.... Tactile feedback is used that you know where the controls are without actually looking at the screen. "No-touch" UI does not have this, because you aren't actually touching anything. So how do we make this work? Well, what if you could just put your finger close to the screen ANYWHERE on the screen. If you do circlular motion (like in current iPod) the device would scroll, adjust volume, and do the other things you can do on the current iPod. If you move your finger straigh up, it would be equivaltnof clicking "menu". Straight down would be play/pause and so forth.

As to WLAN and the like.... What if the new iPod could be tied to iChat? You could VOIP to/from the iPod. just turn on the wireless, and browse to the "buddy list" menu on your iPod, and you are all set. Hell, the iPod could have a camera as well! if they can put video-cameras on phones, is there any reason why iPod couldn't have one?

if we assume that the "no-touch" UI is possible, then nothing I have listed is impossible. iPod with those specs would be YEARS ahead of any other device on the market! It would absolutely embarrass all the other devices.

Evangelion
Jul 12, 2006, 01:34 AM
If Apple dumped FireWire IEEE1394 for the sake of slimness, it is highly doubtful that they'd re-clutter and fatten it up with Bluetooth (which, after trying for many years (with other devices) I have now considered to be worthless crap).

Huh? Bluetooth absolutely kicks ass! I have used it extensively with my laptop and my cell-phone, when making data-calls through the phone. No need to have any wires, no need to even take out the phone. Just turn on Bluetooth on the computer and dial. And it just works. Granted, few years ago Bluetooth had all kinds of problems. But it works very very well these days.

Now, it might be that operators in USA cripple Bluetooth (I have heard that they do that). Luckily in Finland they don't do that, and things work very well indeed.

Evangelion
Jul 12, 2006, 01:39 AM
I'm not sure if it's just a bunch of "computer guys" around here, but in the gaming world Xbox 360 has a fair amount of cultural cachet.

IIRC, PS2 is still outselling the Xbox360. And when we compare install-base, Sony's lead over MS is HUGE. And since PS2 is still outselling their competitor, that lead is increasing.

bloodycape
Jul 12, 2006, 03:02 AM
In Japan and Korea iRiver currently has one or two mp3/pmp wi-max players which is doing decent for what it is. But the wi-Max is only for multiplayer games it offers, plus all those odd things the have available there wi-max can use.

bloodycape
Jul 12, 2006, 03:10 AM
Hell, the iPod could have a camera as well! if they can put video-cameras on phones, is there any reason why iPod couldn't have one?


There is a few pmp/mp3 player devices out currently with a camera. There is the Archos Gmini 402CC. The camera quality is a little better than what you get on a normal 1megapixel camera phone and video isn't bad either. Then their is those host of video players that support web/backup camera type cameras via av-ports. So a camera ipod is possible or an accessory to add a camera/video support but it will be kind of a useless feature.

sjo
Jul 12, 2006, 03:34 AM
If this ipod killer was coming out of MS central (software dev, etc) i wouldn't be concerned. However the team that is working on it (xbox) actually are decently creative.

Still they need to start actually making money one of these days. Subsidizing new versions for ppls itms libraries it would cost them roughly $1B... They can't sell their player for a premium (if they could they wouldn't need to subsidize song, right?) so the margins are likely to be thin, as are the margins on online music store business (except for record labels). This seems yet another venture without profits in the foreseeable future for xbox division.

Besides, I fail to see what's creative about xbox or xbox360 :confused:

netdog
Jul 12, 2006, 03:34 AM
I think that some of us may be overestimating the coolness of the player as the factor. While that worked in the early days, it may not now.

Apple has in their favor the fact that many people now have ripped CDs and bought protected music in Apple formats. If that base is solid enough, Urge won't fly, and hence there won't be a large installed base of protected WMA files in search of a player. If a significant number of Vista users are just starting their collection, or building on existing MP3s, there is a very strong chance that they will do the easiest thing and buy protected WMA files from Urge. This could spell disaster for Apple, particularly if Microsoft is willing to replace any protected AAC files in people's collections free of charge.

Finally, while in the early days of online music sales, it was the players and not the music downloads that drove the market, we are inevitably going to find that the players become the razor and the downloadable music the blades. Microsoft will probably price their player based on that model.

Macnoviz
Jul 12, 2006, 03:37 AM
I think Apple has most to fear from M$ in the price battle, an iPod copy that costs significantly less would probably catch on pretty fast, of course, the popularity of the iPod brand is still larger than XBox.
Although I doubt that the design will be quite as dull as that picture
I'm thinking it will be more organic, like the XBox 360, with some curved shapes maybe.

Lollypop
Jul 12, 2006, 03:55 AM
Apple should take this as a big threat, apple has Ipod/itunes/ITMS, microsoft has argo/windows media player 11/xbox/xbox live/windows media centre and the lemmings that fall for that entire thing! The ipod ecosystem has worked well for apple, but they need to expand it, bring out a media centre version of the mac, break the ITMS away from a single PC and have it accessible from anywhere (wireless not necisarily implied) and try to get PC manufacturers to install itunes on their PC like they did with HP.

Evangelion
Jul 12, 2006, 03:57 AM
So a camera ipod is possible or an accessory to add a camera/video support but it will be kind of a useless feature.

Not if you tie the iPod to iChat. "Videoconferencing, on the go".

Evangelion
Jul 12, 2006, 04:00 AM
Apple has in their favor the fact that many people now have ripped CDs and bought protected music in Apple formats.

You just demonstrated the risk of closed formats and DRM. Suppose a superior product does become available. That superior product would have hard time competing, since iPod-users are tied to FairPlay (if they have used iTunes that is).

That said: there has been rumors that Microsoft would make the songs the user has bought from iTunes available to "switchers" for free, eliminating the FairPlay-lock in (by replacing it with another lock-in).

netdog
Jul 12, 2006, 04:18 AM
You just demonstrated the risk of closed formats and DRM. Suppose a superior product does become available. That superior product would have hard time competing, since iPod-users are tied to FairPlay (if they have used iTunes that is).

That said: there has been rumors that Microsoft would make the songs the user has bought from iTunes available to "switchers" for free, eliminating the FairPlay-lock in (by replacing it with another lock-in).

Yes, I mentioned the switch for free rumours in my post.

As for using this as a critique of DRM, Apple and Microsoft will use DRM. The old rent-a-tune subscription model applied to WMAs will, no doubt, not be the only model offered by Microsoft. As for whether DRM is a good idea or not, while I hate it, the fact is that consumers are buying huge numbers of DRM-protected files, and our debates about the merits of DRM are just whistling in the wind.

RodThePlod
Jul 12, 2006, 04:50 AM
If you do circlular motion (like in current iPod) the device would scroll, adjust volume, and do the other things you can do on the current iPod. If you move your finger straigh up, it would be equivaltnof clicking "menu". Straight down would be play/pause and so forth.


Yup - this would be a good way of implementing things - much like the Newton's guesture-based interface where you draw an up line to capitalize words, down to set them to lower case, scribble to delete something, etc.

The Newton interface still rocks today and it would be great to see some elements of it re-appear in the next generation iPods...

RodC
--
www.expodition.com - for iPod users who love to travel

phoenix9744
Jul 12, 2006, 07:25 AM
Steve Jobs knew about this in January... this says a lot about his vision. I'm confident that he is already well-prepared for this and has something up his sleeve to counter it.

There will NOT be a sudden exodus to Argo from iPod. If it ever happens, it will be gradual and easy to fix.


Sounds a bit like the CEO of Sony when the Xbox was released...lets just hope microsoft doesn't do to this industry leader what it did to Sony

Padraig
Jul 12, 2006, 07:55 AM
Don't know how true this is, but if correct demonstrates MS determination to take losses to dominate the market. From Engadget,

But it gets better. To attract current iPod users Microsoft is going to let you download for free any songs you've already bought from the iTunes Music Store. They'll actually scan iTunes for purchased tracks and then automatically add those to your account. Microsoft will still have to pay the rights-holders for the songs, but they believe it'll be worth it to acquire converts to their new player.

http://www.engadget.com/page/4/

irmongoose
Jul 12, 2006, 07:59 AM
Padraig: Damn, that would be quite a blow, nice business plan... for Microsoft.

I hate their goddamn tactics. :mad:



irmongoose

Evangelion
Jul 12, 2006, 09:23 AM
I'm not. What would I like to see from Apple? What would my ideal iPod be like? Let's explore the possibilities.

Bluetooth-headphones. This would kick ass. No more wires that get tangled up. And it CAN be done!

Large touch-screen. No separate controls, the controls would be right in the display (like in the image that was linked before in this thread).

And before you say "but there would be fingerprints on the screen! And it wouldn't provide any tactile feedback!". Ah, but how about that "no-touch" controls that have been rumored? I have no idea that is it really possible, but what if? You could simply hover you finger 1cm from the screen and use the controls. No fingerprints. As to the tactile feedback.... Tactile feedback is used that you know where the controls are without actually looking at the screen. "No-touch" UI does not have this, because you aren't actually touching anything. So how do we make this work? Well, what if you could just put your finger close to the screen ANYWHERE on the screen. If you do circlular motion (like in current iPod) the device would scroll, adjust volume, and do the other things you can do on the current iPod. If you move your finger straigh up, it would be equivaltnof clicking "menu". Straight down would be play/pause and so forth.

As to WLAN and the like.... What if the new iPod could be tied to iChat? You could VOIP to/from the iPod. just turn on the wireless, and browse to the "buddy list" menu on your iPod, and you are all set. Hell, the iPod could have a camera as well! if they can put video-cameras on phones, is there any reason why iPod couldn't have one?

if we assume that the "no-touch" UI is possible, then nothing I have listed is impossible. iPod with those specs would be YEARS ahead of any other device on the market! It would absolutely embarrass all the other devices.

I decided to quote myself here. I would like Apple to REALLY do something revolutionary for a change. iPod was nice. A big improvement over what was available at the time, sure, but not revolutionary. And while iPod has been improved over the years, the steps have been quite small. Larger storage, smaller size, less weight, color-screen, refinements... How about REALLY rocking our world for a change? Enough with these evolutionary steps, take a revolutionary step instead! You have the audience, you have the market, you have the brand. You CAN do it! If there's anyone who can do it, it's you.

Remember the "Think Different"? I would like Apple to do so. Instead of living the status quo, and making small improvements, make something different. Make iPod revolutionary. The groundwork has already been done. You just need to take that one step.

netdog
Jul 12, 2006, 09:28 AM
I decided to quote myself here. I would like Apple to REALLY do something revolutionary for a change. iPod was nice. A big improvement over what was available at the time, sure, but not revolutionary. And while iPod has been improved over the years, the steps have been quite small. Larger storage, smaller size, less weight, color-screen, refinements... How about REALLY rocking our world for a change? Enough with these evolutionary steps, take a revolutionary step instead! You have the audience, you have the market, you have the brand. You CAN do it! If there's anyone who can do it, it's you.

Make iPod revolutionary. The groundwork has already been done. You just need to take that one step.

Hear hear!

HGW
Jul 12, 2006, 09:44 AM
i gave up wanting more from an ipod when discovered you cant take pictures from an ipod photo

know-it-all5
Jul 12, 2006, 10:30 AM
I will agree with you there but however, if apple want to succeed in that area they need to offer more than 2hours(at best) of video playback. Look at Creative users are getting close to 5-6 hours out video playback while still have close to 20hours of audio. And I am getting close to 9 hours out of my Cowon PMP with a 4in screen and clost to 18 out of audio. Additionally apple needs to support to add more video support like divx which is popular enough to have some dvd players to support it and even have players just desinged to play that formart. Just my 2cents

Here are some reasons why the new ipod video will have better battery life...

1. HELLO, the current ones are old already, they are bound to have better batteries. Its been a year. a year ago that was the best apple could do. Its not the best anymore.

2. If this is a VIDEO IPOD... 2hrs-3hrs of battery life for videos, sure as hell wont cut it. the current ipod makes video as more of a cool feature as opposed to MAIN feature. music was most important.

3. Microsoft is prepared to lose money on their ipod killer just for the sake of market share. Apples next ipod can't just have a bigger screen. It will need more to compete. Apple will have to convince people to pay an extra few bucks for there product. With these extra things apple NEEDS to add to compete, you will need more battery life.

JGowan
Jul 12, 2006, 10:35 AM
[The Microsoft music player could be a huge success if Microsoft wants it to be. MS could offer them at such a low price they they would sell fast. Of course MS would loose a pile of money on each unit but why would they care if the goal is to run the competition out of bussenis. A $50 player with 10 GB of space would pretty much kill the iPod.I don't think MS's stockholders would stand for that.

Peace
Jul 12, 2006, 10:54 AM
Don't think MS is after iPod ?
Read this :

http://ilounge.com/index.php/news/comments/microsoft-approaches-ipod-accessory-makers-for-zune/

masterthespian
Jul 12, 2006, 10:54 AM
Knock Knock

Who's there?

Argo?

Argo who?

Argo **** yourself Microcrap!



my 2.5 scents....

rob

bloodycape
Jul 12, 2006, 01:58 PM
Not if you tie the iPod to iChat. "Videoconferencing, on the go".

I see where you are getting at but who would want to use an ipod for video conferencing when the business user which it is aimed at rather use a phone like the Razr V3x, a pda or that new 4.5in Sony tablet pc.

bloodycape
Jul 12, 2006, 02:16 PM
1. HELLO, the current ones are old already, they are bound to have better batteries. Its been a year. a year ago that was the best apple could do. Its not the best anymore.

2. If this is a VIDEO IPOD... 2hrs-3hrs of battery life for videos, sure as hell wont cut it. the current ipod makes video as more of a cool feature as opposed to MAIN feature. music was most important.

I see what you are saying however there were PMP's that came out the same time as the 5G iPod that gets 5 hours out of video from a removable battery with a 4in screen. When the iPod color came it had the same battery life as the monochrome ipod. So if history is a good indication of the past then the next ipod will have similar specs out of a larger screen machine? But I could be wrong.
I think for Apple to be competitive in the pmp market against the best currently out now they need to do a few thing. The main thing this is have a player that gets 5 hours or more of video with 25hours of audio. Then they need to have video recording if they want to compete with the likes of the Cowon A2, and Archos AV500 series. And then there is the open source Digital Cube V43 with its touch screen and linux/unix based.

Evangelion
Jul 12, 2006, 02:46 PM
I see where you are getting at but who would want to use an ipod for video conferencing when the business user which it is aimed at rather use a phone like the Razr V3x, a pda or that new 4.5in Sony tablet pc.

What makes you think that it's aimed at "business users"? Seriously? Is VOIP and/or video-conferencing solely meant for just businesses? Mere mortals need to stay away from it?

I guess we can forget that "video-conferencing for the rest of us" (http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/ichat/) then?

dextertangocci
Jul 12, 2006, 02:59 PM
It's would be fun if Microsoft released this player and Apple introduced the rumored full screen iPod a few days later..

http://guides.macrumors.com/images/thumb/d/dd/1fullipodav.jpg/800px-1fullipodav.jpg

Or a few days earlier.....

weg
Jul 12, 2006, 05:24 PM
God if those pics are right, I say... welcome to 2002 Microsoft!

It looks like a mix between a Rio MP3 player and a 3rd gen iPod

it's prototype.. unless it's a a fake of course. If they manage to seamlessly integrate this into Windows they've a good chance to beat the **** out of the iPod (so far, all the hardware that Microsoft produces is great.. I'm using a Microsoft Natural keyboard as well as a Microsoft Bluetooth mouse with my Powerbook).

weg
Jul 12, 2006, 05:45 PM
Sounds a bit like the CEO of Sony when the Xbox was released...lets just hope microsoft doesn't do to this industry leader what it did to Sony

Hmm.. I think the XBox 360 didn't really have any impact on the sales of the PS2, since these two products don't necessarily compete (the XBox 360 is more a highend product, where PS2 stands for affordable entertainment). However, I believe that the Xbox will pretty much kill the PS3 sales.. if there are two platforms whose power isn't even tickled by currently available games, why buy the more expensive one?

As for the MicroPod: We've yet to see if Microsoft manages to come up with a simple enough product.

yac_moda
Jul 12, 2006, 06:02 PM
1 WORDS !!!

Foam Aluminum nannoMackiBooky :eek:

http://www.metcomb.com/products.html

http://www.industryweek.com/ReadArticle.aspx?ArticleID=12210
"Metcomb's foam is approximately 70% to 85% lighter than solid aluminum. Metcomb says typical parts would have a dense aluminum skin."

gh0sted
Jul 12, 2006, 09:25 PM
According to this Zune site, MS won't be giving away free music. They might try to convert ACC to WMA but I doubt that'd be legal for their own software (but I am sure 3rd party software already does this). I don't see everyone dumping their iPod for something they'd have to re-buy all their music for.

http://www.zunenation.com/?gclid=CMGH-v3TjYYCFRE3GAodE2w_Vw

gh0sted
Jul 12, 2006, 09:34 PM
One other thing according to the Harris poll, Apple broke the top 10 in brand confidence this year and Microsoft fell out of the top 10. People usually go with a company they trust (for what ever reason).

http://www.macnn.com/articles/06/07/12/apple.takes.no.10.brand/

bloodycape
Jul 13, 2006, 01:10 AM
It turns out the iPod already has some tough competition in the form of the Toshiba Gigabeat S, the Creative Zen M: and V/V plus and the Samsung YP-Z5 seeing how they have so far beaten the iPod in head to head battle on cnet and that site tends to be a little bias towards the ipod specially editor James Kim.

Darrin Bell
Jul 13, 2006, 01:31 AM
I hope microsoft has the name 'iBox' trademarked.. wouldn't want apple to ever make an iBox...I know that's facetious, but I agree. I'd rather avoid brand confusion. I still remember having a hard time convincing an elderly friend that her piece of crap computer was not an Apple iMac, it was an eMachine.

mandis
Jul 13, 2006, 07:41 AM
They will. Microsoft doing this will definitely cause Apple to be less stingy with the R&D and get some great small products to market.

God, I really hope that Leopard is more of an upgrade than Tiger was.

Are you referring to the tons of "exciting new products" Steve promised all those months ago?

Seriously though, what the hell happened to all those new products and updates? Where is the Mighty Mouse BT or the new ipod Video? Does anybody still remember those rumors about the iPhone? Or even those long overdue updates of the Airport Express and Airport Extreme, which would allow for video and higher speeds?

There are now fewer Apple products in the market than 2 years ago... :confused:

newrigel
Jul 14, 2006, 09:30 AM
Before this comes out, Apple is going to have to let consumers know that they make the iPod. Not Microsoft.

Some people may think it's the new iPod, judging by the picture on engadget, and this thread/article posted earlier (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=191119) saying that most people don't know the iPod is made by Apple.

If people think this 'Micropod' is the new iPod it could be over for Apple, unless they release something at the same time.


BTW, about the picture posted on engadget, the buttons look '3G iPodish'. Maybe Microsoft is going to try and play catch up with MP3 players now :p edit: missed bcharna's post
OK, and were not on planet earth hehe... If people are that stupid then the worlds definitely gone for sure!
C'mon, apple will adhere to wireless USB technology and you can have your WIFI... could you imagine how long it will take to get high def audio files into it? I listen to 16 bit AIFF's @ 48 Khz and they are big files, this would take forever on a WIFI protocol. This is for the kids man!

colgate13
Jul 14, 2006, 01:19 PM
As someone making the switch from the PC to Mac world because of the iPod, I'd say Apple is on the upswing here. At least 3 friends of mine have made the switch as well.

I'd say plenty of people are beginning to realize there is a world besides Microsoft out there and the iPod is the ambassador of all of this. Speaking for myself but maybe others, once I go over to Mac, I'm not going back. So as long as Apple and the iPod stay relevant, I think you're going to see iPod users stick with their iPods and also buy Macs next time around.

iPod Killer? Not even worth the time to put it down. For this arena, the tables are turned, and the person trying to preach the gospel of some Microsoft music player will sound like the Apple nuts I used to scratch my head at in 1998. Microsoft would have to do something complete revolutionary to change these dynamics, and I think they're too much of a behemoth to pull that one off.

sushi
Jul 15, 2006, 08:39 AM
Don't know how true this is, but if correct demonstrates MS determination to take losses to dominate the market. From Engadget,

But it gets better. To attract current iPod users Microsoft is going to let you download for free any songs you've already bought from the iTunes Music Store. They'll actually scan iTunes for purchased tracks and then automatically add those to your account. Microsoft will still have to pay the rights-holders for the songs, but they believe it'll be worth it to acquire converts to their new player.
If this is true, it will allow those considering a switch to be a no brainer.

Good marketing for Microsoft.

gh0sted
Jul 15, 2006, 09:14 PM
Microsoft is denying it is true. Being that they need the record labels to sign off on their music store, I doubt they'd infringe on already set licenses and risk a music business revolt.

yac_moda
Jul 17, 2006, 02:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Padraig
Don't know how true this is, but if correct demonstrates MS determination to take losses to dominate the market. From Engadget,

But it gets better. To attract current iPod users Microsoft is going to let you download for free any songs you've already bought from the iTunes Music Store. They'll actually scan iTunes for purchased tracks and then automatically add those to your account. Microsoft will still have to pay the rights-holders for the songs, but they believe it'll be worth it to acquire converts to their new player.


If this is true, it will allow those considering a switch to be a no brainer.

Good marketing for Microsoft.

:eek:

YAH !!! Great JOBs MS between their new music store, hemorrhaging Box, and brilliant marketing of constantly diluting their installed base with new solutions that don't solve anything and overpriced licensing they will be in the poor house in no time.

Remember when DELL was a big company, they will simply fade away with a whimper just like DELL did !!! :cool:

MegaSignal
Jul 17, 2006, 09:38 PM
Huh? Bluetooth absolutely kicks ass! I have used it extensively with my laptop and my cell-phone, when making data-calls through the phone. No need to have any wires, no need to even take out the phone. Just turn on Bluetooth on the computer and dial. And it just works. Granted, few years ago Bluetooth had all kinds of problems. But it works very very well these days.

Now, it might be that operators in USA cripple Bluetooth (I have heard that they do that). Luckily in Finland they don't do that, and things work very well indeed.

I'm happy that it works well for you.

However: the only reason that I have to reboot and restart any Mac computer in my house is because of this abomination; when Bluetooth is disabled, no problems. Unfortunately, I must use it occasionally with my iBook, and, as such, deal with its dire consequences.

End of story.

JosiahPB
Jul 18, 2006, 12:04 PM
I think cement and gravity are more of a killer to an iPod than a Microsoft product will ever be.

BoyBach
Jul 21, 2006, 03:12 PM
Well, it's official now.

http://www.engadget.com/2006/07/21/microsoft-confirms-zune-project/

OdduWon
Jul 21, 2006, 03:42 PM
this microcrap "zuno" thing looks like it's made from cheap plastic, you know the kind that dell moniters use where the "silver" color wears off the buttons shockingly fast. also maybe they should redesign their media player software to look like they player design that they pick. that would help the integrated feel their shooting for.

BoyBach
Jul 21, 2006, 04:07 PM
http://www.comingzune.com/

One question, what is he doing to that rabbit? :eek:

OdduWon
Jul 21, 2006, 04:11 PM
looks like he's love'n the bunny:D

RodThePlod
Jul 21, 2006, 04:29 PM
http://www.comingzune.com/

One question, what is he doing to that rabbit? :eek:

What a strange clip!

Hehehehehe... when I was watching that I thought the rabbit was gonna spin around and eat the little guy!

Kinda like Microsoft were the big guy and Apple were the lil' guy...

Hmmmm.....

RodC
--
www.expodition.com - for iPod users who love to travel

yac_moda
Jul 21, 2006, 05:41 PM
Watch the BUNNY :confused:


What a PERFECT name for MS ...


... ZUNE ...


... much later then SUNE !!!


กกก WoW !!!

Nothing looks more similar to a TOILET :eek: I think I will FLUSH ...

http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/top/microsoft-argos-final-name-the-zune-186359.php

macmax
Jul 21, 2006, 08:01 PM
Watch the BUNNY :confused:


What a PERFECT name for MS ...


... ZUNE ...


... much later then SUNE !!!


กกก WoW !!!

Nothing looks more similar to a TOILET :eek: I think I will FLUSH ...

http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/top/microsoft-argos-final-name-the-zune-186359.php


never seen something so Ugly!!!!!!!!!!Yikes!!!!!

solvs
Jul 22, 2006, 12:37 AM
looks like he's love'n the bunny:D
No, that's this guy (http://www.lebonze.co.uk/playground/bunnylove.htm).

OdduWon
Jul 22, 2006, 12:42 AM
No, that's this guy (http://www.lebonze.co.uk/playground/bunnylove.htm).
wow that was the funniest bunny lovin i've ever seen:eek: . they should have had that at the zune site atleast this makes sense:D

OdduWon
Jul 22, 2006, 12:51 AM
heres a shot of the macrocrap zuno that is flush worthy:D

solvs
Jul 22, 2006, 02:35 AM
wow that was the funniest bunny lovin i've ever seen
I could've posted something even funnier, but I didn't want to get banned.

weg
Jul 22, 2006, 05:08 AM
Well obviously none of us here are going to be terribly interested if it's not Mac-compatible. That said, Apple has a lot to lose, so I hope they adapt and compete well.

So far, Microsoft's Hardware was always perfectly Mac compatible...

OdduWon
Jul 22, 2006, 01:53 PM
is'nt that because apple loads all the stuff you need to run it already? i know an windows formated ipod will work on either mac or pc, but mac formated wont wonk on windows. is this just some player hate'n by windows or is there a way to run a mac formated ipod on a pc? also i've experienced my ipods (windows formated for versitility) format get corrupted on my pc. i'll be using it one day and then booom! "this ipod is not formated for blah blah blah" never ever had this happen on my mac's. is this an apple issue with the correct windows format or with windows being windows? :confused:

Keebler
Jul 22, 2006, 02:24 PM
is'nt that because apple loads all the stuff you need to run it already? i know an windows formated ipod will work on either mac or pc, but mac formated wont wonk on windows. is this just some player hate'n by windows or is there a way to run a mac formated ipod on a pc? also i've experienced my ipods (windows formated for versitility) format get corrupted on my pc. i'll be using it one day and then booom! "this ipod is not formated for blah blah blah" never ever had this happen on my mac's. is this an apple issue with the correct windows format or with windows being windows? :confused:

the only format that will work on both a mac and a pc is fat32. i don't have a windows ipod, but i imagine if it works on both, then it must be fat32.

mac ipods are formatted in mac os format...omg..that could be the wrong name, but it's not fat32, that i know :)

Phat_Pat
Jul 22, 2006, 02:45 PM
It's would be fun if Microsoft released this player and Apple introduced the rumored full screen iPod a few days later..

http://guides.macrumors.com/images/thumb/d/dd/1fullipodav.jpg/800px-1fullipodav.jpg
they probably will

bloodycape
Jul 23, 2006, 01:06 AM
I think along with IT support I think Apple should make their players UMS support to make on the fly transfers to and from the computer easier.

iPost
Jul 24, 2006, 12:02 AM
Microsoft has proven time and time again that they are clueless about design. It's just not part of their DNA. Their corporate environment does not cultivate good design and does not reward good design. Just look at Windows Pocket PCs and Windows Mobile Smartphones... all very awkward to use!

As we are all aware, Microsoft likes to try to enter markets, which others have created, by copying others' products. But, they always seem to have a hard time grasping the essence of what makes the original product so great. And their copy usually misses the mark. I'll really be surprised if things are different this time.

Add to that, Microsoft typically has a difficult time getting the software technology right on their first several releases of a new product. It makes you wonder who they have coding these things... newly hired college graduates who are still learning from their first mistakes? So, if history is an indicator, I'd expect this product to crash and hang a lot and not to have good battery life (due to the bad software architecture decisions that Microsoft tends to make in rev 1 products).

In any event, even if Microsoft does get this product mostly right, I doubt that it even matters now. The game is over. The iPod has won. It does not do any good to bring in your star relief pitcher after the final out of the ninth inning.

cwedl
Jul 24, 2006, 05:55 AM
http://www.groupereflect.net/IMG/jpg/image_blog5.jpg

sobolobo
Jul 24, 2006, 08:45 AM
I also doubt that this thing will break the iPod's dominance in the market, however the transfer in loyalty that's been happening is not as profound as people might think. A couple of years ago, people will be deciding between a Vaio or a Toshiba, today, it's a PC or a Mac but at this stage it appears the PC is still winning out.

And there actually are people who don't know who made the iPod! :confused:

someguy
Jul 24, 2006, 09:39 AM
<--micropod image-->
Absolutely hilarious! Thanks for the laugh!

someguy
Jul 24, 2006, 09:51 AM
And there actually are people who don't know who made the iPod! :confused:
My mother, a month ago:

Her: A guy I was talking to has an iPod for sale, he only wants 100 bucks for it.
Me: What is it? A regular iPod or a nano, and what size?
Her: It's an Apple one, so it's got to be the better kind, whichever that is.
Me: That's iPod, but there are different iPods available.
Her: Well, whichever one Apple makes is the one he's selling.

Eventually, I was able to show her that iPod is made by Apple. There are no Sony iPods, Creative iPods, etc. iPod does not simply mean MP3 player. I guess that's one of the downfalls of Apple's success with the iPod is that the term eventually becomes synonymous with MP3 players in general.

stefan15
Jul 24, 2006, 11:39 AM
MAN.. these designers aren't getting it.. The ipod looks great because the design is ultra simple, clean. Why doesn't anyone else get this? Less is more.. That grey border around the screen is horrendously ugly. And why SILVER on the middle button? Arhghgh

One way or another, this means the ipod will only get better (that's the nature of competition)

stefan15
Jul 24, 2006, 11:41 AM
[--micropod image--]
OMG almost killed myself laughing

Rooivalk
Jul 24, 2006, 02:28 PM
http://www.deadzune.com/ :)

OdduWon
Jul 24, 2006, 02:33 PM
wow:eek: did apple change their site to kill the ipod killer:confused:
(edit) oooh you got me for....... about five seconds

OdduWon
Jul 24, 2006, 02:34 PM
wait was that a poke at apple being dead zune :confused:

Mal
Jul 24, 2006, 11:29 PM
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/06jul/ufng009334.gif

Wait for it, it's a nag strip, but sooo worth it.

jW

dsnort
Jul 24, 2006, 11:52 PM
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/06jul/ufng009334.gif

Wait for it, it's a nag strip, but sooo worth it.

jW
I'd be worried about that exept one incontrovertible fact. Steve Jobs has more creative spark in his left pinky than M$ does in it whole genetic tree.

Mal
Jul 25, 2006, 12:03 AM
I'd be worried about that exept one incontrovertible fact. Steve Jobs has more creative spark in his left pinky than M$ does in it whole genetic tree.

I think that's the idea. The implication I got was that they were going to give Microsoft a generous stretch of rope and let them hang themselves.

jW

Oblivious
Jul 25, 2006, 12:11 AM
I hope it turns out nicely... the iPod needs a good competitor to keep the engineers at Apple on their toes.:)

Alas, if it ends up very similar to that proto design, it's doomed to fail. It looks ugly as *****. Microsoft.:rolleyes:

tveric
Jul 25, 2006, 01:22 AM
I'd be worried about that exept one incontrovertible fact. Steve Jobs has more creative spark in his left pinky than M$ does in it whole genetic tree.

And so, my friends, we see why funny comic strips don't get published widely; instead, we have to live with pablum like "Family Circus" because if it gets any funnier than that, 90% of the population doesn't even come close to getting it.

stunna
Jul 25, 2006, 08:54 AM
And so, my friends, we see why funny comic strips don't get published widely; instead, we have to live with pablum like "Family Circus" because if it gets any funnier than that, 90% of the population doesn't even come close to getting it.
LOL!

BoyBach
Jul 26, 2006, 04:48 PM
A funny article about Zune's new software etc, and what it means for PlayForSure:

Switched On: The next PlaysForSure ad (http://www.engadget.com/2006/07/26/switched-on-the-next-playsforsure-ad/)

Microsoft. Your products. Our prerogative.

bloodycape
Jul 26, 2006, 11:47 PM
http://www.groupereflect.net/IMG/jpg/image_blog5

I will say that is pretty funny but the odd thing is Apple's formart support isn't the best either, especially for video. If it had or gets divx support that is another story.

golferjh3
Aug 2, 2006, 05:08 PM
Remember when DELL was a big company, they will simply fade away with a whimper just like DELL did !!! :cool:

I don't remember Dell going anywhere.

dsnort
Aug 3, 2006, 12:29 PM
I think that's the idea. The implication I got was that they were going to give Microsoft a generous stretch of rope and let them hang themselves.

And so, my friends, we see why funny comic strips don't get published widely; instead, we have to live with pablum like "Family Circus" because if it gets any funnier than that, 90% of the population doesn't even come close to getting it.

You're right, I missed that!!!:eek:

(Gads, I have GOT to quit drinking while I cruise the forum!!:D )

bense27
Aug 3, 2006, 06:40 PM
just the fact that its name is the "Argo" tells you that its not posing a threat to iPods.

SteveRichardson
Aug 3, 2006, 07:44 PM
just the fact that its name is the "Argo" tells you that its not posing a threat to iPods.

I think it was changed to "Zune".

Still...

bense27
Aug 4, 2006, 11:43 AM
haha wow that is even worse. One syllable names just don't sound good.