An iPod Killer – Is It Possible?

Upset that Apple’s iPod dominates the mp3 market, Microsoft has joined a consortium of nine Japan-based companies who are colluding to create what they hope will be the the iPod killer.

The consortium includes the likes of NTT DoCoMo (a mobile handset manufacturer), Toshiba Cor, Napster Japan, and others.  The “iPod killer” software will be based off of Windows Media Player.  The software will thus be given to Toshiba who will develop a device this summer with audio and video playback. NTT DoCoMo is also expected to come up with a mobile phone device that will utilize the Microsoft software and audio/video playback capabilities.

It is believed that technology-hungry Japan is the perfect launching place for the new device.  If successful, Japan could serve as a launching pad to moving the device into other markets.  The iPod currently has more than half the share of the Japanese market.

I am going to disagree with the experts and analysts here.  Not everything Microsoft touches turns to gold.  If Microsoft wanted to compete, they should have done this, oh say, 2 YEARS ago.  At this point, they are like the old geezer in the room desperately trying to stay hip. 

In my opinion, its too little, too late. iPod has gained an intensely loyal following, and they clearly have some of the best marketing, ever.  The iPod store and its ease of use is another integral part of their success.  Unless Microsoft can create something that blows the iPod out of the water, they’re just wasting their time. The iPod is here to stay, at least for awhile.


1 Comment

  1. DarrenDarren06-03-2006

    Style – that’s what makes the iPod beat any competition, now or in the future. Before I bought my iPod (60gb video) I looked around what was around at the time, and for style and design the iPod beat all of the other competitors.

    My only grip about the iPod is how easy the screens can be scratched which kinda ruins the video experience.

    Microsoft are going to have to raise the level if they are going to try and beat the sales of the iPod, and I hope they do better than the “console to beat all others” ie. the horrible looking xbox, which in my opinion has gone no where near beating off the likes of Sony’s playstation.

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