I couldn’t pass this up. Sorry. Accept my apology right up front. The only way Microsoft can compete with Apple’s iPod and iTunes Music Store dominance is if they make their own MP3 player for Windows PC.
Microsoft’s player should be called the “AntiPod.”
I can see the headlines already. “The AntiPod Is Coming.” The iPod Is Dead.” Or, something like, “All Hail The AntiPod. Bow Before Your Music God!”
Adnauseum. So, what got this started? It’s been brewing for awhile. First, Apple raced to the lead in portable music players and now commands a 70-percent or so marketshare.
Second, Apple also raced forward with an online music store that works. Simple. Elegant. Click, click, buy, download, transfer, listen, happy.
During the past few years, everyone and his brother has launched an iPod killer or an iTunes Music Store killer. So far, the only casualties are the killers, as the iPod, iTunes, iTMS ecosystem has crushed all comers.
Microsoft is embarassed. Again. It’s a trend with no end. Despite hooking up with every known manufacturer on the planet to introduce a growing pile of portable music players, Apple dominates, and moves faster than the competition combined.
New content, new players, Apple does it all better than all the others. Even putting the Windows Media Player on every new Windows PC hasn’t put a dent in Apple’s juggernaut.
So, what should Microsoft do? Build their own music player. Microsoft could be building and ready to launch their own iPod killer—the AntiPod.
Don’t misunderstand. This isn’t my idea. It’s not even an original idea. Many industry pundits expected Microsoft to enter the portable music player market in a big way long ago. They have not.
Why? Maybe they don’t care. Microsoft is nearing $40-billion in annual revenue, over twice that of Apple, and a few extra billion in music player revenue, and the small margins of hardware vs. software, may not be sufficiently attractive to their cash machine.
Maybe. Apple CEO Steve Jobs seems to think that Microsoft will produce their own iPod killer. From a recent Newsweek article, Steve said so:
“The problem is, the PC model doesn’t work in the consumer electronics industry, where you’ve got all these companies and some does one thing and another does another thing. It just doesn’t work. What’s going to happen is that Microsoft is going to have to get into the hardware business of making MP3 players. This year. X-player, or whatever.”
See? I think it should be called the AntiPod. If Bill Gates is the AntiChrist of business, it’s only fitting that his music player, delivered to the masses, should be called an AntiPod. Cool, huh?
Wait. There’s more. For now, Microsoft has buddied up to all the other portable music player manufacturers and set up a system (“Plays For Sure,” dude!) to allow people to buy nearly any player and buy music from nearly any store. Except Apple’s iTunes and iPod.
How would you feel if you were a Microsoft “buddy” trying, unsuccessfully, to sell an iPod knock-off portable player, and Microsoft suddenly comes out with their own player?
See? That’s why it’s the AntiPod. Soon, everyone would be against Microsoft, including other player manufactuers. Microsoft is big enough and has sufficient money that they could easily get a player on the market to compete with the iPod.
Will they? Steve seems to think they will. I’m willing to get they’ll think twice. Why? Steve admission that Microsoft could or should or is thinking about an AntiPod (he called it an “Xplayer”) was a shot across the bow, warning Microsoft to think carefully.
Why? As soon as Microsoft launches their AntiPod, Apple could begin to license Fairplay to other manufacturers (those who used to be Microsoft’s buddies-in-arms against the iPod) so their players would player music from the iTunes Music Store.
Apple would have new friends. Microsoft would have fewer friends.
This drama is more exciting than the King of the North vs. the King of the South. iPod. AntiPod. How exciting.
Even more exciting are the events of the past few months and the landscape that’s set for the future. Think about. Microsoft is on the ropes, beaten up, embarassed, tired, behind the times. Apple is resurgent. Steve Jobs is now the largest shareholder at Disney. Macs are running Intel chips. IBM is making chips for game consoles. iLife is free with every new Mac.
We live in exciting times, don’t we?
Tera’s been off her meds too long. Missy T., I don’t think “AntiPod” is going to catch on, but I’ll give you credit for dreaming it up.
Jack D. Miller
Wouldn’t Microsoft contract with some of their manufacturer “buddies” to produce their Microsoft branded music player?
Even coming out with their own player still makes Microsoft look anything but innovative and creative. Can you say, “Dell Diddy?”