September will go down as the month when technology writers were beamed to earth from a parallel universe.
It’s still English, but what they write doesn’t make sense. Apple scared to the core?
That makes for a great headline, a contentious premise but falls short on reason, support, and less opinion than headline baiting.
The Jackass of the Weekend appears to be Mike Elgan writing in Computerworld:
“Opinion: Why Microsoft’s Zune scares Apple to the core.” Isn’t that a compelling headline? Or rubbish?
Unfortunately, tech writers these days just make up articles with catchy headlines, rather than do a little research, and present a topic of value to readers.
Have you ever wondered why the 24-hour news networks, and major TV networks report so much on government activites?
It’s just easier to do. There’s no need to travel around the country looking for real news. It’s all right there in the government buildings.
So it has become with technology writing these days. No need to do homework, just make it all up.
Apparently, Apple is scared of Microsoft’s Zune, says the parallel universe writer Elgan.
Again, the same route is traveled. Start of with obvious facts, to bring the article’s premise into your confidence.
See? Everyone who follows this part of Apple’s business knows that all the iPod Killers have been killed.
This holiday season it’s Microsoft’s turn.
The big, bad wolf is at the door, huffing and puffing, and about to cave in the iPod mansion of straw.
Now, once your confidence has been gained with real world facts, it’s time for parallel universe tech writer to appeal to your eclectic Apple sense of pride.
That’s the setup. It’s just a matter of time before you believe anything written about Microsoft’s forthcoming iPod Killer.
More facts about Zune; it’s size, configuration, pricing of music, and so on. These are all story pieces we’ve heard before.
Come on, get with it. What? I have to click to a Page 2 just to get this—“So why is Apple so scared? Five reasons:
Before clicking on to Page 3 of what’s becoming four slices of digital baloney, how about telling me why you know Apple is scared?
The #1 reason Microsoft’s iPod Killer will work is because, well, Microsoft XP, Vista, Xbox. A perfect storm of imperfect marketing might.
Strangely, Microsoft’s been pushing and helping iPod competitors for five years with zip success.
The second big reason Apple is scared is because Zune is social and viral—you know, like MySpace.com. They’re cool, Zune is social, Zune is cool.
The third big reason for Apple fear is “Zune may have more programming.” Or not. Apple already has more programming; music, TV shows, movies.
Microsoft’s Zune has, oh, um, how much programming? None. How deep is the embedded player market? Uh, zero. Apple’s? 60-million.
The fourth big reason is Zune’s screen is better for movies. I love this one:
When did Mike get his free Zune to review?
OK, quickly to the #5 reason iPod Killer #87b will scare Apple and topple iPod:
“Zune is actually pretty cool.”
I have to keep reminding myself that this is an opinion piece that Mike wrote. Still, a premise requires some supporting evidence.
The premise is that Apple is scared. IS scared. But there’s not any supporting evidence; just a lot of conjecture and speculation and supposition.
Where’s the quotes from Apple insiders about Zune’s potential to disrupt the media player market? Where are the quotes from industry pundits saying Zune is cool, iPod will fall in 10?
Finally, and just so you see where Mike is coming from:
When I first read that, I thought, “so?” Microsoft’s had five years to do something about iPod and in that time they haven’t even been able to ship
Who is this Mike Elgan and why is he saying such bad things about Apple and such good things about Microsoft, when the former is undeserved and the latter is undeserved?
He’s a technology writer and a former editor of Windows Magazine. What else can I say? Oh, those pesky facts keep getting in the way.
Uh, actually, there’ve been about 60-million iPods sold in the past five years, about 75-million before Zune ever hits the streets. 92%? No, sorry. In the US that’s Apple’s share of the hard drive portable music player market. Combine hard drive iPods and flash iPods, and it’s about 75%.
You get the idea. Adnauseum, of course.