Skip to comments.Microsoft's iPod users
Posted on 02/03/2005 7:13:47 AM PST by N3WBI3
Microsoft's iPod users
Wired News reports that many Microsoft employees are choosing iPods over competing portable music players that use the Windows Media format. Drawing on an anonymous Microsoft manager as its source, the story reports that the trend concerns company executives to the point that employees are "hiding their iPods by swapping the telltale white headphones for a less conspicuous pair."
The idea that the iPod is popular among Microsoft employees isn't exactly new or earthshaking. But the Wired News story has caused a minor stir, complete with a Slashdot post. Excerpts from some of the commentary thus far:
* Ed Bott: "I have no doubt that lots of Microsoft employees own iPods. But taking an offhand remark from an unknown source (who may or may not have a hidden agenda and who may or may not know what hes talking about) and extrapolating it to the entire campus is just silly."
* Doug Thews: "Do Microsoft employees own iPods?? My answer is, WHO CARES! ... It's this kind of tactic (both sides) that really irritate me about "technology camps". Why is it that when you work for one "camp", you MUST NOT OWN any other product that can be considered to infringe on any of their product lines?"
* Jupiter Research's Michael Gartenberg: "Geez, I doubt it's policy, but it's a little tacky to be walking around campus with an iPod, wouldn't you think? You don't have to be scolded about something to know it might not be a career enhancing move. Sort of like working at Coke and ordering a Pepsi for lunch ... "
* Jupiter Research's Joe Wilcox: "I assume iPod usage has got to frustrate, maybe even irk, some of the folks over at the Windows Digital Media division. But I see more of an opportunity than a problem. In fact, I would argue that Microsoft would make even better products if more employees used other vendors' goods. Microsoft developers and their hardware partners could learn lots from the iPodders and use that knowledge to improve PlaysForSure-logo products."
* Microsoft's Robert Scoble: "I think it's a positive thing to study your competitors and figure out what they've done well and look at what you aren't doing well and improve it. Does it do Microsoft any justice to stick our heads in the sand and pretend that Apple doesn't have a better product? No. The market has spoken. ... That all said, if there's a product that comes out that's arguably better than the iPod in end-to-end experience you'll be first to know it. Why? I'll be the first to jump up and down and say it."
* Engadget:"We can understand the people charged with killing the iPod feeling put out, but for as much smack as people talk on Microsoft, we have a hard time believing that the boys at the long rosewood table are troubling themselves over something as silly as this."
I agree. A smart company is one that knows their competitors products.
1) MP3 is the global standard. WMA is widely supported, but really of no use to anyone. What's an MS employee to do? Convert his/her whole collection?
2) If employees are "hiding their iPods by swapping the telltale white headphones for a less conspicuous pair," it only goes to show that the listeners actually enjoy listening to their music. The iPod earbuds are more a fashion statement than an audio accessory.
My kid is researching this and wants to buy one (birthday and Christmas $ saved up). I have been encouraging him to consider one of the less expensive alternatives (he's 13).
Read the WIRED report. If a Microsoft executive has to send out memos to stop them, if the MS managers trash their other players to go iPod, there's something there.
Personally, I wouldn't get anything else. My only suggestion would be that you get a carrying case, especially if you go for the traditional iPod and not the iPod Mini, since they are scratch magnets.
I think its more usable, My wife still uses her 3 year old iPod and we have no plans to replace it any time soon. I bought a neuros and it lasted me a year..
I bought one a couple of weeks ago (iPod photo-60Gb), and am very pleased with it.
I'd been using Archos players since 2001. The iPod is very light, the sound quality is good, and the user interface is really nice. Can't compare it to the others, since I've not owned them.
I wasn't very pleased at having to use iTunes to upload tunes to it, but once you learn its ins and outs, it's a decent way to keep your collection synchronised. Also, I do miss the open-source nature of the OS I used on the Archos. The user interface is extremely responsive (no boot-up time to speak of). I love having album art displayed on its screen as I play.
The battery life is decent, not spectacular (I can get 13-15 hours on mine). For long haul flights etc., there's a gadget addon that gives 50hrs playtime which I intend to buy. Other things that irritate me is that there was no remote included with it.
I reckon I'd be almost as happy with one of the others: iRiver for example. Actually, I think that the Cowon M3 seems like a great one (but I couldn't find one where I'm living). I think many buy the iPod for the fashion appeal thing (I'm not fashionable, and the reason I'm listening to music on the street is to escape society!). When I was 13, I'd have insisted on having the iPod....
This and several other comments imply that MS gosh, golly, gee whiz, has never even thought about looking at other vendors and taking ideas from them. While everything comes from something, MS has built their entire corporation on lifting ideas, modifying them slightly, incorporating them into an efficient structure and squeezing out the original innovator. In this respect, they are very much like Coke and Pepsi, who seldom create a new soft drink concept, but use superior marketing to take over markets as soon as they become slightly mature. I'm not saying this to knock MS. If they hadn't taken the PC-Dos and turned it into MS-Dos, Apple's graphical interface, Lotus 123's spreadsheet, Wordperfect's word processor, Netscape's web browser, etc., worked on them, improved them and tied them to Windows, they would be a largely irrelevent company. Those waves were coming, and MS could either adapt to them or get washed away by them.
It's just funny to see these MS employees acting like it's never occured to them to take other people's products, study them, and produce their own product to try to take over the market. Can you say XBox?
Or, perhaps, using their iPods effectively by swapping the bundled white headphones for a pair that doesn't suck.
Didn't Microsoft buy apple stock back in 97'.
If someone wants to take my iPod, they'll have to pry it from my cold, dead fingers. Greatest thing since sliced bread (well, almost.) ;-)
The Creative Labs Nomad plays both MP3 and WMA and is half the price (with twice the disk space) of the over-priced disposable iPod. Problem solved.
That was in 97'. Here's the article Stock purchase
That would be rather amazing being that the Mac was released in 1984.
Maybe but do you want to have your entire music library locked into a proprietary system when MS and the other vendors relegate iPods to 3% of the market?
BTW: Microsoft is the number one provider of Macintosh software so I image there are quite a few Macintosh's on the Microsoft campus.
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