[LINK] iclod

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Tue Jul 25 21:54:49 AEST 2006

Lovely article about Microsoft's up coming ipod killer:
Microsoft IPod 'Killer' Is Doomed

Some choice selections:

> Prior to Friday's announcement, some were calling the new device  
> the "mPod" (Microsoft + iPod) killer. But given Microsoft's  
> typically tone deaf approach to usability and Apple's market lead  
> it will be a miracle if its next nickname isn't the "iClod" (iPod +  
> clone + awful).

> And the situation appears to be similar when it comes to digital  
> rights management. Updates to Microsoft's complicated DRM schemes  
> can cause serious compatibility problems, because the chain between  
> Microsoft and supported MP3 hardware is so long. Changes to its  
> online music stores can cause files not to transfer to  
> "PlaysForSure" MP3 players, and so on.
> In the PC market, it may have worked to sell software to hardware  
> manufacturers, but the inclusion of DRM in today's MP3 players  
> makes them a different animal. Managing complicated, evolving DRM  
> technologies requires the sort of complete control Apple has over  
> the iPod ecosystem -- software, hardware, DRM and music store.
> The best alternative would be to dump DRM altogether and go with  
> unencrypted MP3s -- a position advocated recently by Yahoo. Record  
> labels aren't likely to support that, however, and their resistance  
> effectively forces Microsoft to compete with a copy-restricted  
> alternative.
> This a rich irony, given how badly the record labels would love to  
> see someone -- anyone -- create real competition for the iPod and  
> iTunes.
> Microsoft seems to have belatedly realized it can only hope to  
> surmount the DRM obstacle by copying Apple's unified approach. This  
> may be Microsoft's only remaining move, but that doesn't make it a  
> winning one.

Kim Holburn
Network Consultant
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