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CmdrLaForge
May 28, 2004, 04:11 AM
Hi,

here some news from:


Denver Post (http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36~33~2174543,00.html)

Microsoft to undercut iPod price with player

Microsoft Corp., the world's largest software maker, will begin selling portable music players for as much as 80 percent less than Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod.

The Microsoft-branded devices will "look and feel" as good as the iPod for as little as $50, said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of MSN at Microsoft Corp., at the Goldman Sachs fifth annual Internet Conference in Las Vegas. The iPod sells for $249 to $499.

Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., will release a number of music players when it launches its online music service later this year, giving customers more choices than Apple, Mehdi said.

virividox
May 28, 2004, 04:18 AM
i hope they fail!!!

dopefiend
May 28, 2004, 04:23 AM
i hope they fail!!!

Why?

CmdrLaForge
May 28, 2004, 06:31 AM
i hope they fail!!!

Depends on their goals. They will not fail. Because they have $40Billion in their bank and can afford to drive anybody else out of business. Because if you don't care about losing money and sell products way below M$ production cost and really their goal is to drive somebody else (in this case Apple) out of business and not making money.

edesignuk
May 28, 2004, 06:44 AM
It'll be interesting to see what they can come up with for $50.

wide
May 28, 2004, 07:17 AM
Because they have $40Billion in their

I thought they had 52 billion lol

I think we have to remember that the iPod is already an icon in today's society. People who can afford the iPod will probably buy one, and those who cannot or who want a player that they are not afraid to throw (and break) around will buy the Microsoft.

I myself look forward to what Microsoft is going to bring out. They aren't going to mess up this time--I don't think they can afford to bring out a bad product again.

Also, does anyone know how much Apple pays for one iPod 15 GB? Because I would be interested to know--it could be that Microsoft isn't getting that large a profit from these players, say 100%, whereas Apple gets 300%. Just a thought.

wide
May 28, 2004, 07:17 AM
ahh sry didnt mean to post this time just ignore this (i pressed "quote" instead of "edit" on my last post)

win_convert
May 28, 2004, 07:35 AM
You could have just hit the back button. As I could have before posting this superflous rubbish.

jxyama
May 28, 2004, 07:51 AM
i predict an utter failure for one reason: look at their quote - going for the "look and feel of iPod."

iPod works because it's a good complete package. unless M$ can copy the iPod and sell for $50, they will fail because you never beat a complete package by aiming to beat it. you don't beat iPods by trying to make iPod better - you beat iPod by designing another complete product that's better than iPod.

at this point, it's vaporware anyway. for all we know, they could release a very mediocre product for $150. they claim as low as $50...

they do this all the time - just announcing something spectacular before and the actual product not living up to it. heck, they announced longhorn years ahead of its release and they already gave up on including some of the features.

stark contrast to the way apple introduced iPod... nothing but secrecy and the claim that the "device will change the world"...

Anna
May 28, 2004, 08:15 AM
Microsoft: Dont tell anyone, were just using an old school tape deck, none of our customers will know

OutThere
May 28, 2004, 08:24 AM
It's very much like Microsoft to aim at something that they can shoot down instead of making something completely innovative that they could beat the iPod with. Instead of, "It's power and beauty will move you," it's, "It will look and feel like the iPod."

Horrortaxi
May 28, 2004, 09:02 AM
Microsoft: Dont tell anyone, were just using an old school tape deck, none of our customers will know
You just hit the reason that this device might not fail--the customers don't know the difference between good stuff and junk. They just see a $50 price tag and want to buy it. It's all about marketing.

The thing I find really scary is that Microsoft is using the C word again--choice. Every time they say they're giving customers a choice, it means they're forcing their own propriatary (and usually inferior) standards on the customers. Whenever they complain about another product taking away choice, they just mean that the other product competes with theirs. In this case, they say they'll give more "choices" than Apple. I'll bet $100 that just means it supports WMA.

They can afford to sell their products at a loss just to get them into people's houses. They view multi-billion dollar lawsuits as "the cost of doing business" just to get you to use their standards. You have to wonder what their ultimate goal is. Control of everybody on the planet?

sethwerkheiser
May 28, 2004, 09:23 AM
I don't know. I know four friends around me that have switched in the last year. These four people were do disgusted with Microsoft and everything else associated with buying a PC (listening to idiot stock boys at office supply stores, for one thing) that I'm 100% positive they'll never buy another MS product again.

I also know maybe 10 people who, while "poor" college students, starving artists, musicans etc., still found a way to get a $300+ iPod.

I only speak of friends around me. I'm not saying "NO ONE WILL BUY M$ CRAP!!" - most likely they'll be sold at Walmart and Office Max and they'd sell millions of units. I'm just saying a lot of my friends are tired of MS products and would probably never buy a $50 music player.

FuzzyBallz
May 28, 2004, 09:39 AM
You hope they fail, yet you have so supporting comment. So typical of fan...

Anyway, if the MS iPod killer succeeds, say hello to cheaper iPods. Bring on the $50 playa!!! When MS set their mind on a goal, they'll most likely will achieve it, no matter how much money they'll lose, eg, XBox.

jxyama
May 28, 2004, 09:46 AM
When MS set their mind on a goal, they'll most likely will achieve it, no matter how much money they'll lose, eg, XBox.

and what goal have they achieved with XBox? they are a corporation - they want to turn profit. therefore, they've achieved absolutely nothing with XBox yet.

Village
May 28, 2004, 10:14 AM
and what goal have they achieved with XBox? they are a corporation - they want to turn profit. therefore, they've achieved absolutely nothing with XBox yet.

They've sold the XBox at a loss, only to make it all back and then some with lucrative game licensing. That's how the console industry works.

If this MS iPod killer ever gets off the ground it will sell at a profit loss, but could advance WMA as the de facto audio standard. Apple's iPod may be hot right now but they will have a hard time competing with a $50 alternative available at Walmart.

jxyama
May 28, 2004, 10:17 AM
They've sold the XBox at a loss, only to make it all back and then some with lucrative game licensing. That's how the console industry works.

no they haven't. they aren't anywhere near the point where they are making money overall, even counting game sales. i'll try and look for a source. it's also a common myth that consoles always take a loss but make up on games. that was the case with dreamcast. but not so with playstation or playstation 2. including R&D costs, PS and PS2 sold at a "loss," but the unit itself wasn't made of parts that cost more than the price charged. XBox, such is not the case. XBox as a whole charges less than the costs of parts in it.

micvog
May 28, 2004, 10:47 AM
If Microsoft could really copy the look and feel of an Apple product I wouldn't have needed to switch. Although this ought to be good for a few laughs when it comes out.

Mord
May 28, 2004, 10:53 AM
I don't know. I know four friends around me that have switched in the last year. These four people were do disgusted with Microsoft and everything else associated with buying a PC (listening to idiot stock boys at office supply stores, for one thing) that I'm 100% positive they'll never buy another MS product again.

I also know maybe 10 people who, while "poor" college students, starving artists, musicans etc., still found a way to get a $300+ iPod.

I only speak of friends around me. I'm not saying "NO ONE WILL BUY M$ CRAP!!" - most likely they'll be sold at Walmart and Office Max and they'd sell millions of units. I'm just saying a lot of my friends are tired of MS products and would probably never buy a $50 music player.

You hit it on the head I am the poorest cheapest bugger of them all and i have a 20 gig ipod :D hahaha stupid freinds with there walkmans

abhishekit
May 28, 2004, 11:20 AM
The Microsoft-branded devices will "look and feel" as good as the iPod for as little as $50, said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of MSN at Microsoft Corp.
That look and feel is very relative. I bet Microsoft says thet windows xp looks and feels great too..

rueyeet
May 28, 2004, 11:40 AM
The thing I find really scary is that Microsoft is using the C word again--choice. Every time they say they're giving customers a choice, it means they're forcing their own propriatary (and usually inferior) standards on the customers. Whenever they complain about another product taking away choice, they just mean that the other product competes with theirs. In this case, they say they'll give more "choices" than Apple. I'll bet $100 that just means it supports WMA.Exactly. The only real choice happening is between formats. If you buy into the iTunes-iPod combination, you've bought an end-to-end integrated solution based on AAC. If you buy anything else, you have your "choice" of a bunch of mediocre-to-halfway decent music players and a bunch of mediocre-to-barely decent music stores, but in the end you're still stuck with Microsoft's WMA. So where's the choice, really? I always think of it as being offered a choice between 100 varieties of ketchup, or one sauce handmade by a real chef.

I for one think that if it was really that cheap to make players with features and functionality equivalent to the iPod, another company would have done it by now. A $50 player is too cheap to have much flash memory, or be hard-drive based, so what do they think they're competing with? Other flash players, maybe, but certainly not the iPod.

Really, Microsoft just comes out with crap like this as if they think "If we say it, it will be true." Waiter, I'll have what they're smoking, please. :rolleyes:

Westside guy
May 28, 2004, 11:52 AM
The article is pretty vague, but I don't see any reference to capacity at all. I doubt they're planning to lose $200 per unit - I bet it's just another 64/128/256 MB "flash" player with an improved (by MS definition anyway) interface.

I know MS has sold things at a loss before, and does so now - but even the current DoJ would have a hard time overlooking MS selling a truly iPod-equivalent device for $50, given its court convictions/settlements.

(Note to truly rabid political types: PLEASE try to show some restraint when responding to this - keep the thread at least somewhat on topic!) :D

shyataroo
May 28, 2004, 11:57 AM
they should trademark the look and feel of the iPod and re-release the 1st generation iPods for cheap. next they should sue microsoft for trying to create a monopoly in the digital music player industry. or M$ could be really stupid and say it looks like a iPod it feels like a iPod it plays music like an iPod but, only 20MB worth. Also apple should somehow find a way to copyright the idea for a online music store built into the mp3 software. (again keeping microsoft from breaking into the scene) and last but not least apple should upgrade the music store so that you can also download and keep music videos and damnit give iTunes video playback not in store! and than when the G5 version 2 comes out (mid-late june) Apple is rolling in the money and microsoft is pissed because apple once again beat out the competition with sheer ingenuity as it always had. some people want video playback for the iPod but, I say who needs it? it's just going to be a distraction for people who are trying to get work done where as music isn't a distraction for some people as it helps them focus.



one of the longest posts EVER!....(these claims have not been evaulated by anyone on macrumors nor is it in anyway related to the post)

3-22
May 28, 2004, 12:00 PM
I'd imagine the player might be cheap, but they will lock you into some kind of monthly music service. Making the real money there....

But looking at history... It won't take long before someone hacks the low cost music player making it no longer tied to there music service. Then making it just a money looser...

Should be interesting... I hope it doesn't hurt Apple, but on the other hand I wouldn't mind seeing them get a little competition. Competition may result in a push for new functionality and/or lower cost of hardware.

elskeptico
May 28, 2004, 03:30 PM
forget the speculation on whether it will work or not. what about the fact that it's another case of Microsoft blatantly copying what Apple does? that's what bothers me every time this happens. they're always playing catch-up with Apple. real inovation is usually coming from Apple. Microsoft and Sony both deserve metaphoric slaps in the face in my opinion for lack of originality and unabashed intellectual theft.

have you ever been with a group of people, and you make a good joke, and then someone else in the group takes that joke and runs with it, applies it to all kinds of things, changes it and wears it out? so that in the end everyone is sick of hearing the joke? it's embarassing. i guess so is market competition.

dopefiend
May 28, 2004, 03:38 PM
forget the speculation on whether it will work or not. what about the fact that it's another case of Microsoft blatantly copying what Apple does?

Yes, because Microsoft copies everything that Apple does :rolleyes:

Chip NoVaMac
May 28, 2004, 05:08 PM
And after two years they will drop the product line, just as they did with their Wi-Fi offerings....

aswitcher
May 28, 2004, 05:38 PM
I guess this might be a huge loss leader on M$ part to tip the market away from Apple but its going to have to cost them a fortune to bring back market share because it they must be prepared to loose hundreds on each unit...

wide
May 28, 2004, 05:42 PM
You could have just hit the back button. As I could have before posting this superflous rubbish.

1. You mean "superfluous"
2. I had already posted the message (I accidentally pressed "Submit")

I remember before the iPod mini was released. Everyone said it was stupid and a ripoff. Now people just can't seem to get enough of them. On the bright side, I got my blue iPod mini (with static) replaced at the Apple Store in SoHo. I had a really hard time with the Genius Bar people. I first had to argue so that I wouldn't have to wait the 1 hour and 45 minutes (which I shouldn't have to wait though, Apple made the mistake in the first place and my device was completely useless with the static).

I'm writing a letter to Apple about this. Their support is really a problem. You can't even reserve a time at the Genius Bar unless you pay $99 a year! Don't they realize that they will be more efficient and less crowded if people could reserve a place for free?

BTW why do you all hate microsoft so much? what did they ever do, besides not being the best software engineers around? if their player succeeded, it would make those people who are unable to afford an iPod happy, it cause their stock to rise, and it would offer more jobs for people (which is very important in a "recession" such as this). their player would reach a different market--people would still buy iPods.

And what if their product is actually better than the iPod? what if you try it out in compusa or circuit city and find that it is better than the iPod? i guess microsoft isn't all that bad anyway.

(i'm not saying that i think it will be better; but i don't think it will be worse either. i have no reason to think that it will be either better or worse.)

Horrortaxi
May 28, 2004, 07:16 PM
BTW why do you all hate microsoft so much? what did they ever do, besides not being the best software engineers around?

What has Microsoft ever done? Man, making bad products is the least of it! Here's a quick "stream of consciousness" type summary of Microsoft's evil--see if any of it rings a bell: Netscape, Java, MSNBC, X Box, Steve Bartko, anti-trust, collusion, invasion of privacy, bullying. It would take too long to go into here, but hit microsuck.com (http://microsuck.com/) for a good summary of their major problems.

JOD8FY
May 28, 2004, 07:40 PM
Ah, knowing Monopolysoft, they'll screw up something. It'll probably be called the BeefCattle XP and will have its own built in blue screen of death so that Windows users won't feel out of place. :D :D :D

Cheers fellow mac lovers!
JOD8FY

wide
May 28, 2004, 09:46 PM
Ah, knowing Monopolysoft, they'll screw up something.

Microsoft includes Windows Media Player on their operating systems, and Apple has QuickTime. Apple has DVD Player. I'm really tired right now so I'm too lazy to get into detail, but Apple has a monopoly too. They make software for their own computers, and they don't allow other companies (Intel, anyone?) to make processors compatible with their computers. If it weren't for the fact that Apple is a much, much smaller company than Microsoft, they would be getting sued from all kinds of people and companies too.

Why bother hating Microsoft? There's no point, you're not going to get anywhere with it. I don't care if you think it, but to me it seems like the whole Anti Bush thing going on in this city (NYC). (Don't get me started in that debate, not a good idea, but for the record: I do not support Bush, nor do I support Kerry. They are both douchebags.)

And Horrortaxi: has Microsoft ever forced you to buy their software? If you don't like them, you don't have to buy from them.

Chip NoVaMac
May 28, 2004, 09:53 PM
And Horrortaxi: has Microsoft ever forced you to buy their software? If you don't like them, you don't have to buy from them.



Easier said than done. I tried Appleworks as a replacement for the M$ Office. It was a no go from a business standpoint.

MisterMe
May 28, 2004, 10:32 PM
Microsoft includes Windows Media Player on their operating systems, and Apple has QuickTime. Apple has DVD Player. I'm really tired right now so I'm too lazy to get into detail, but Apple has a monopoly too. They make software for their own computers, and they don't allow other companies (Intel, anyone?) to make processors compatible with their computers. If it weren't for the fact that Apple is a much, much smaller company than Microsoft, they would be getting sued from all kinds of people and companies too.

Why bother hating Microsoft? There's no point, you're not going to get anywhere with it. I don't care if you think it, but to me it seems like the whole Anti Bush thing going on in this city (NYC). (Don't get me started in that debate, not a good idea, but for the record: I do not support Bush, nor do I support Kerry. They are both douchebags.)

And Horrortaxi: has Microsoft ever forced you to buy their software? If you don't like them, you don't have to buy from them.You have no clue as to the meaning of monopoly. By your logic, Hewlett-Packard has a monopoly on HP printers. This is not what monopoly means.

For the vast majority of businesses that use computers, they either use operating systems made by Microsoft or they don't do business. For the vast majority of computer-related businesses, they either do business with Microsoft or they don't do business. For the vast majority of businesses and consumers, they either do business the way that Microsoft wants them to do business, or they don't do business. Whether you like Apple or hate, Apple has no such leverage. Virtually anything that you can do using Apple products can be done using an alternative. The fact that you may not be able to do it as well not withstanding.

Horrortaxi
May 28, 2004, 11:40 PM
And Horrortaxi: has Microsoft ever forced you to buy their software? If you don't like them, you don't have to buy from them.
Yes, as a matter of fact they have forced me to buy their software--many times.

Even on a Mac it's difficult to live a Microsoft-free life.

MisterMe is right--you don't seem to understand what a monopoly is. Apple makes a product, that's very different from having a monopoly. It's legal to make a product. Sony makes the Playstation, but you wouldn't say they have a monopoly on Playstations (at least you wouldn't if you were using the word appropriately). Look up monopoly in the dictionary and then grab a US history book and read about railroads in the 1800's for an example.

I fear the day when my MS alarm clock goes off late, then reports me to my boss for sleeping late and I get fired via Windows Messanger while I'm driving to work in my MS car that doesn't go fast enough (should have bought Car Professional instead of Car Home) to get me to work on time. Alternately I might call in sick and spend the day playing Halo on my X Box--suddenly my boss calls me and fires me--telling me that no truly sick person could achieve such a high score. It's not good when such a big company gets into so many areas of technology--especially when that company seems hell bent on controlling everything. Sony is big and Sony is everywhere, but they don't seem to want to control anybody's life. These are the dangers of a monopoly.

MorganX
May 28, 2004, 11:47 PM
Because if you don't care about losing money and sell products way below M$ production cost and really their goal is to drive somebody else (in this case Apple) out of business and not making money.

I don't think this is true at all.

1) 96% of America doesn't own an iPod. That's a big market no one is reaching.

2) MS needs to reduce cost of Xbox 2. By making this dockable, they will increase profitability of Xbox 2 helping offset the loss on the HD player.

3) Janus, their enhanced DRM Server supports subscription expiration. Sell the player cheap, make money on the media (content). A very popular and old business model. Just ask Gillette.

Apple aims at small markets. They never go after the masses. Microsoft does. No conspiracy here. Why do you think Microsoft hasn't made going after iPod a priority. I'm sure they're more worried about the Sony PSP than the iPod.

MorganX
May 28, 2004, 11:52 PM
and what goal have they achieved with XBox? they are a corporation - they want to turn profit. therefore, they've achieved absolutely nothing with XBox yet.

They've established a new brand with a bright future. Even outsold PS2 in April. They have the game devlopment community's attention and arguably some of the best games.

I think the business plan is working out better than they expected. I don't think they expected the price drops. Getting the cost of Xbox 2 down is their biggest challenge at this point.

Westside guy
May 29, 2004, 05:32 PM
Hehe.

Microsoft's spokesman didn't say what the Denver Post said he did. Not even close...

http://www.engadget.com/entry/3463715371535682/

There will be no, repeat NO, $50 iPod clone from Microsoft.

kidA
May 29, 2004, 07:08 PM
thanks for posting that westside guy. microsoft won't likely be jumping in to any new hardware markets anytime soon. they just got out of the wi-fi hardware business for one thing. microsoft will probably make hardware guidelines for use of their software and let others make the hardware a la Pocket PC. Other than the xBox, the only hardware they sell is peripherals--and small cheap stuff at that. i can't imagine that they would get into any new hardware markets anytime soon. they're a software company and that's how they get into homes--their software on other people's hardware.

Horrortaxi
May 29, 2004, 08:14 PM
they're a software company and that's how they get into homes--their software on other people's hardware.
I read recently that they want to do the same thing with games. They'd create a standard and it would play on anybody's hardware--like DVD.

I may sound like a broken record, but why is it so important for Microsoft to get into everyone's houses so deeply? It's not about making money because they frequently give software away or sells at a loss. Their goal is to be inside your house. Bill Gates is so proud of his products that he wants to force everyone to use them? If you believe the theory that he has Asperger Syndrome then that might be true. Microsoft wants to eventualy rule the world and use the inhabitants as cheap labor? I'll believe either one but neither is good.

dopefiend
May 29, 2004, 08:18 PM
It's not about making money because they frequently give software away or sells at a loss.


Of course it is. If they take a loss in one part, they gain it back later on.

Abstract
May 29, 2004, 10:07 PM
I hope MS make a player with the same capacity as the iPods, but $50 to $100 cheaper. In the long term, I don't care who copies who. I want the best that I can get with my money, and if MS offers something that actually IS as good, or even if slightly worse, than an iPod for $50-100 cheaper, good for them. Good for me as well, as Apple will have more competition. Why wouldn't you want Apple to have decent competition? Is it because you're too loyal to Apple? Geez, they're a computer company. That's all they are. They're not your friend. Microsoft is just a company as well. I like anything that's good, and it really can be made by anyone.

If MS actually brings out something decent, then its good for everybody. If Longhorn is good, then good for all those people who use Windows.

CmdrLaForge
May 30, 2004, 02:08 AM
Hehe.

Microsoft's spokesman didn't say what the Denver Post said he did. Not even close...

http://www.engadget.com/entry/3463715371535682/

There will be no, repeat NO, $50 iPod clone from Microsoft.

Hey -thanks. That report changes things ! Today we already got $50 MP3 player you can go running with. E.g. the MuVo from Creative ( i have got that one)

Cheers

rainman::|:|
May 30, 2004, 04:00 AM
thank you westside guy. now, my thoughts notwithstanding. MS offering an iPod-device for $50 would not be monopolistic behavior, i don't think. BUT, apple does have a patent on their interface which they have enforced already. No scrollwheels for other players, and that holds a lot of the key right there. Now, it seems like the MS spokesman just listed a lot of products that are already on the market, but basically hinted that there would be Windows logos everywhere in the interface. Great. The iPod is already taking a huge stand against all of the other HD players, and it's simply not meant to compete with flash players. Granted 96% of the US may not own an iPod, but keep in mind, from a non-techie point of view, people that have digital music players now are still considered early-adopters. At work, for instance, we are giving away an iPod as a promotion. No one in our entire office knew what that was, they thought iPod was simply a thing that you listen to music on, like, that napster thing. They don't have a clue. One of them keeps calling it "The MP3". And even people who do understand them often don't have a digital music library, besides a few songs they may have downloaded here and there, and can't see the justification for ripping all of their CDs onto their hard drive. Anyway, this huge segment of the general population won't adopt digital music players for another 1-3 years, and saturation will start to climb rapidly. When that happens, whoever has the most-recognized player on the market will grow to dominate that market. At this point, it's the iPod. But if MS *did* come out with a $50 drive-based player (shareholders don't like selling things at a loss, by the way), and it caught on, it would wind up grabbing people the same way Windows did, and Apple's investment in the whole iPod concept will be lost.

paul