Coffeehouse Thread

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Why Microsoft can't compete with Apple

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  • User profile image
    Bobinho

    Cringely has more of his mutterings as to what Apple is up to with their iTV initiative. For him, it is video conferencing on an Apple HD TV (with built-in iSight). He further speculates that Apple will remotely integrate iLife to the TV in your living room.

    But it is this paragraph jumped out at me (as both a Mac and media center/Xbox 360 user).

    "What has to be especially satisfying about this plan for Apple is that there is literally no response even possible from its greatest competitor -- Microsoft. The level of technical sophistication and application integration required to make this work is beyond Microsoft within the next year or five years from now. So where Windows Vista will bring a variety of older Apple OS features to the PC desktop, Apple's Leopard will go far past the desktop metaphor altogether and introduce friggin' TELEPORTATION."

    We know Cringely hates Microsoft. But is this a reasonable summation of the relative positions of the two companies or evidence of Cringely's unwitting self-parody? I'm not quite sure what to think. I suppose he could be right.

    What do niners think?

    http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20060922.html

  • User profile image
    alwaysmc2

    Well, as for Apple hardware competing with Microsoft hardware, there really is no battle.  Microsoft doesn't make computers.

    As for the 10' experiance: Media Center Vista is the best product out there.  Media Center PCs and Media Center extenders have been out for years.

  • User profile image
    Harlequin

    "When you download movies from iTunes, you get near DVD-quality, 640-by-480-pixel video"

    If Apple is serious about the "future" and getting a foothold on things, then why are their movies not HDTV ready?

  • User profile image
    brian.​shapiro

     well i wonder if i cringely even really fully knows about or understands microsofts media center strategy

  • User profile image
    Bobinho

    brian.shapiro wrote:
     well i wonder if i cringely even really fully knows about or understands microsofts media center strategy


    I'm not fully sure I do Brian. I mean I absolutely love the products, and they work beautifully together but remain unsure as to Microsoft's strategy in light of the You Tube and iTunes phenomena.

  • User profile image
    Jason Cox

    Bobinho wrote:
    
    brian.shapiro wrote:  well i wonder if i cringely even really fully knows about or understands microsofts media center strategy


    I'm not fully sure I do Brian. I mean I absolutely love the products, and they work beautifully together but remain unsure as to Microsoft's strategy in light of the You Tube and iTunes phenomena.
    What iTunes phenomena? Everyone I know uses YouTube but only one person I know even owns an iPod and uses iTunes.

  • User profile image
    Rossj

    Harlequin wrote:
    "When you download movies from iTunes, you get near DVD-quality, 640-by-480-pixel video"

    If Apple is serious about the "future" and getting a foothold on things, then why are their movies not HDTV ready?


    I suspect they will be in time, HDTV is more widespread, probably when they drop in price to make them (even)  more affordable.

    Did you hear that the latest iMacs have 802.11n chips in? Not to activate soon I'd guess, but to turn on at a later time, probably when iTV ships.  Contrary to what may be apparent Apple does plan ahead and does pay attention to detail when it does so ...


  • User profile image
    Minh

    alwaysmc2 wrote:
    Microsoft doesn't make computers.

    Don't tell Bill Gates that, as he'll be p!ssed that the billions he spent didn't get him into the living room.

    Xbox 360 console

  • User profile image
    GrandpaPC

    I remember making cider with apples as a kid.

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    Bobinho wrote:
    
    brian.shapiro wrote:  well i wonder if i cringely even really fully knows about or understands microsofts media center strategy


    I'm not fully sure I do Brian. I mean I absolutely love the products, and they work beautifully together but remain unsure as to Microsoft's strategy in light of the You Tube and iTunes phenomena.


    I do think MCE functions need more coverage.

    so what are we talking about here....

    take an MCE PC add a web-cam and some software to manage the cam and the video from the MCE box ...  sounds like a weekend project to hack up a "test case" to me Smiley

  • User profile image
    alwaysmc2

    Bobinho wrote:
    
    brian.shapiro wrote:  well i wonder if i cringely even really fully knows about or understands microsofts media center strategy


    I'm not fully sure I do Brian. I mean I absolutely love the products, and they work beautifully together but remain unsure as to Microsoft's strategy in light of the You Tube and iTunes phenomena.


    iTunes:
    WMP11 + Plays For Sure device + URGE (It's here!)

    OR

    WMP11 + Zune+ Zune Store (to come)

    YouTube:
    MSN Soapbox. (to come)

  • User profile image
    alwaysmc2

    Minh wrote:
    
    alwaysmc2 wrote: Microsoft doesn't make computers.

    Don't tell Bill Gates that, as he'll be p!ssed that the billions he spent didn't get him into the living room.

    Xbox 360 console


    You know, in the back of my mind I was thinking that as I typed.  How about this: Microsoft doesn't make desktop or laptop computers.

  • User profile image
    PerfectPhase

    figuerres wrote:
    
    Bobinho wrote: 
    brian.shapiro wrote:  well i wonder if i cringely even really fully knows about or understands microsofts media center strategy


    I'm not fully sure I do Brian. I mean I absolutely love the products, and they work beautifully together but remain unsure as to Microsoft's strategy in light of the You Tube and iTunes phenomena.


    I do think MCE functions need more coverage.

    so what are we talking about here....

    take an MCE PC add a web-cam and some software to manage the cam and the video from the MCE box ...  sounds like a weekend project to hack up a "test case" to me Smiley



    Sounds like a pending update to the XBox360 to me.  I doubt there is anything that could be done on the iTV that can't be done on the XBox360, with some new software.

  • User profile image
    Jack Poison

    alwaysmc2 wrote:
    

    Well, as for Apple hardware competing with Microsoft hardware, there really is no battle.  Microsoft doesn't make computers.

    As for the 10' experiance: Media Center Vista is the best product out there.  Media Center PCs and Media Center extenders have been out for years.



    When a friend or family member asks me, "What is a Media Center? I'm thinking about getting one." --THEN--- I'll believe Microsoft has a viable strategy. Until then, I think we're seeing the very slow, but inevitable sink of Microsoft, similar to IBM's Desktop business...

    Another great example: I remember quote somewhere that Microsoft is planning a large media campaign, one of its biggests, for Windows Vista. This is a reasonable statement, considering how much Microsoft has invested in it.

    Has anyone seen a Vista ad on TV? Radio? The Internet, even? (and I don't mean, try the latest RC1 candidate). Computers are expensive. Operating systems are expensive as well, for many families. Christmas is coming. Is Microsoft just going to let the Mac vs. PC commercials by Apple play until November?

    I know some peple who are already going to ask for "an iPod" for Christmas. Guess how many people want a "Zune" ? Wink


  • User profile image
    Jason Cox

    alwaysmc2 wrote:
    
    Minh wrote: 
    alwaysmc2 wrote: Microsoft doesn't make computers.

    Don't tell Bill Gates that, as he'll be p!ssed that the billions he spent didn't get him into the living room.

    Xbox 360 console


    You know, in the back of my mind I was thinking that as I typed.  How about this: Microsoft doesn't make desktop or laptop computers.
    Because every single two, three or four letter regulatory organization in the world would have a field day if Microsoft did that.

  • User profile image
    Alex1537

    "If Apple is serious about the "future" and getting a foothold on things, then why are their movies not HDTV ready?"

    maybe it's because there isn't either the content mecanism to deliver it or the market to sell it into.

    I'm afraid you fall into the often laudable but typical Microsoftie approach which is to thrust technology (no matter how good) onto a public that does not care for it.

    "Pull not "push", remember. Apple does "Pull" and does it very well. While they no longer have to innovate (look where that got them), they have to execute.

    Apple has a clear strategy, executes it brillantly (it has to be said) and then markets it intelligently (target demographics are those with cash and little time to faff about with technology). While that may invite the ciriticism that they attract neophytes, those neophytes keep Apple's shareholder's happy and make Microsoft's feel antsy.

  • User profile image
    Alex1537

    "well i wonder if i cringely even really fully knows about or understands microsofts media center strategy"

    Do you? Does anyone? What's the target demographic? College kids or people living in one small room? Why would I want a PC in my living room? Why do I want to fuss with tuner cards, settings, drivers etc.?

    Assume for one minute that your ideal customer is in the market for a all-in-one media system. Does he expect to plug into the wall, plug it into a cable box and walk away or does he expect to sit down, sort out which driver CD he needs, whether his graphics card needs an update, figure out how to tune the cable card, downoad security patches every other day, run the AV program etc? He'd run a bloody mile.

    The media centre idea is good in theory (a better TV/audio experience which the user ultimately controls), but poorly executed and without a clue as to the what the market actually wants. Watch what Apple does and then watch MS adapting its strategy.

    As for the Zune strategy, let's not go there.

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    Jack Poison wrote:
    
    alwaysmc2 wrote: 

    Well, as for Apple hardware competing with Microsoft hardware, there really is no battle.  Microsoft doesn't make computers.

    As for the 10' experiance: Media Center Vista is the best product out there.  Media Center PCs and Media Center extenders have been out for years.



    When a friend or family member asks me, "What is a Media Center? I'm thinking about getting one." --THEN--- I'll believe Microsoft has a viable strategy. Until then, I think we're seeing the very slow, but inevitable sink of Microsoft, similar to IBM's Desktop business...

    Another great example: I remember quote somewhere that Microsoft is planning a large media campaign, one of its biggests, for Windows Vista. This is a reasonable statement, considering how much Microsoft has invested in it.

    Has anyone seen a Vista ad on TV? Radio? The Internet, even? (and I don't mean, try the latest RC1 candidate). Computers are expensive. Operating systems are expensive as well, for many families. Christmas is coming. Is Microsoft just going to let the Mac vs. PC commercials by Apple play until November?

    I know some peple who are already going to ask for "an iPod" for Christmas. Guess how many people want a "Zune" ?




    Yeah I have NO IDEA where they got that name from....

    Soon + Tune flip the "S" ???  WTF??

    lord I wish the "Name Police" or whatever they are would get fired and they could use some decent names.... Avalon,Indigo, they are some names to like....

    and media wise well perhaps someone at MSFT did learn one thing: make sure the darn OS is ready before you advertise it.

    I picture *IF* MSFT was running ads now that Apple could run a killer add ....

    Vista, look it might ship next year....
    OS X:  shipping now...


    and so on

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