Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Why can't Microsoft make it's own iPod Nano

Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger: "Byron thinks that Microsoft should buy all of its employees an iPod Nano and then have them report back a week later on why they can't make a product like that. "

Why can't Microsoft make a product like that? I was having a conversation with a co-worker the other day about how Apple is able to provide such a slick user experience and how Microsoft keeps struggling to provide the same experience.

I think it comes down to a limitation built into Microsoft's vision. Microsoft sees itself as a software company. Sure they dabble in hardware (mice and keyboards... boring) but they fundamentally see themself as a software company and that software is what makes computers useful. (paraphrasing from Bill Gates' channel 9 interview)

Apple doesn't see itself as only a software provider. Apple used to see itself as the provider for the digital hub, but they've gone beyond. Not only did they create a digital hub, they went ahead and developed the components that connect to the hub.

Microsoft should wake up and realize that nobody is making anything worth connecting to their hub (Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center Edition). If they want their hub to be the hub of choice for most users then they need to embrace the reality that nobody out there is going to make an iPod for them.

It could be this artificial focus on software software software that prevents Microsoft from realizing it's vision of becoming a digital hub....

or maybe they could just start supporting the iPod in Windows Media Player...


Anonymous said...

Hi Gary,

Looks like Microsoft just doesn't have a long term vision. My guess is they've become lazy collecting money off of Windows and Office, and now they don't really know how to create something new and interesting. Even the XBox project was fairly devoid of creativity. Think they'll get out of this slump or just waste away for a while?


Gary Owen said...

Perhaps if some of Mini-Microsoft's ideas are put in place.

It's hard to tell what's going on over there. Most say there is too much bureaucracy, which is interesting for a company like Microsoft.

It could be that the company has simply attracted too much fat and they need to trim back down and refocus.