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Microsoft To Construct iPod/DS/PSP Killer 318

Posted by Hemos
from the only-a-matter-of-time dept.
Karsten writes "According to The Mercury News Microsoft is developing a PSP/DS/GBA/iPod-killer. J. Allard is leading the project." J. Allard is the man behind the Xbox, and from looking at the article it sounds like it's at least a year before this device, if it hits daylight, would be coming.
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Microsoft To Construct iPod/DS/PSP Killer

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  • killers (Score:5, Funny)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Monday March 20, 2006 @10:23AM (#14956409)
    Dammit, can't they make a Windows killer?
  • killer... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Hold your breath while waiting, and it will be a people killer too!
    • Re:killer... (Score:3, Interesting)

      In a bid to capture the huge audience for handheld entertainment gadgets, Microsoft is designing a product that combines video games, music and video in one handheld device, according to sources familiar with the project.

      I'm confused. I thought that's what Origami--er, sorry, "Ultra Mobile Personal Computers"-- were supposed to be? So Microsoft is now going to invalidate UMPCs with another handheld gadget. That is, if it ever sees the light of day. Microsoft has been promising digital media competition
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Monday March 20, 2006 @10:24AM (#14956415) Journal
    Microsoft To Construct iPod/DS/PSP Killer
    Please! This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let's not bicker and argue over who killed who ...

    I've said it before [slashdot.org] and I'll say it again--for the love of god, please stop printing mindless headlines of the form "[insert company name here] is [planning/making] a [insert industry-wide leading product name here] killer."
    • Yeah, seriously. Can we (the Slashdot community) officially retire the term 'killer' and replace it with 'competitor'? It is possible for multiple manufacturers and products to exist in a market space simultaneously. Competition is good! We don't need or want new products to kill anything.
    • by cowscows (103644) on Monday March 20, 2006 @11:09AM (#14956713) Journal
      Actually, I thought that the PSP was supposed to be the iPod/DS killer. So if MS kills the PSP before it gets a chance to kill the iPod and the DS, then it's just wasting energy, cause it'll have to go kill them itself. It'd be much more efficient and cheaper for MS to wait until Sony finishes killing the iPod and the DS, and then just go whack the PSP. And then wait for Google to release a small electronic device, and then go kill that too.

      I think that the "* killer" tag has pretty much become one of those laughable buzzwords; where when a PR guy says it, you know he's got no idea about what's really going on, and when someone knowledgeable uses it, it's in a sort of sarcastic mocking tone. Basically, any time I see a slashdot headline talking about a "killer", I can be confident that the comments will 95% be people stating lots of reasons why it obviously won't work that way. Let the marketing people have their cute little terms, no one besides themselves is fooled.
      • The PSP isn't killing anything other than itself. Its too big and bulky and only accepts proprietary memory sticks and UMDs.... I see whay more people with an iPod than ith a PSP. And you can watch movies on an iPod without buying limited usefullness UMDs which are anything but "Universal" Movie Discs.
        • You can also watch movies on the PSP without buying a UMD, assuming you've got a big enough Memory Stick and a DVD ripper. The PSP screen is (IMO) infinitely better than the iPod for watching movies - I've tried both on long trips, and wouldn't even consider using the iPod for this again.
    • I stull can't get live.com, their google-killer to work. At least I get to wait a year until I can't get their iPod killer to work.

      Oh well. Back to trying to get windoze to work.

      Why do I get the impression that if Microsoft invented sex then your genitals would simply exlode if you became aroused?

  • Obligatory (Score:4, Funny)

    by gentimjs (930934) on Monday March 20, 2006 @10:25AM (#14956418) Journal
    Not to troll but .. I'm sorry, its from Microsoft .. its surely going to have an Intel chip (Mobile EXTREEEEEEEEME Hunger Eddition) and run WindowsCE(meNT) loaded with more DRM than you thought possible from a mobile .. the only thing this is going to "kill" is batteries ...
    • Re:Obligatory (Score:2, Interesting)

      by releppes (829336)
      Unfortunately, I can see Microsoft killing just about anything they set their minds to. All they have to do is throw money at it. Just look at the xbox. When I first heard about microsoft breaking into the game console buisness, I laughed and thought they wouldn't stand a chance. Well, sure enough there it is. And they were able to pour so much money into it that they even made good games. On top of all that, people actually went out and bought the product. Now the thought of owning an xbox is like a
      • by Catbeller (118204) on Monday March 20, 2006 @11:33AM (#14956902) Homepage
        Monopolies are legal, but they used to be controlled, when the law was actually enforced and "conservative" judges weren't appointed to short-circuit it.

        Monopolies are damaging because they can leverage their overwhelming advantage (=money) into new markets, conquering one product segment after another, erecting barriers to entry to new competitors, and most importantly, monopolies can prevent new technologies from dislodging their old tech by using extortion in all sorts of ways (in the classic case, "put Linux in your boxen, in any way, and say good-bye to your Windows discount, hell, good-bye to your Windows boxen).

        Microsoft is building "killer" after "killer", using their infinite cash from their Office and Windows monopolies to simply underprice their products in new businesses like game machines and portable media players until their competitors, who don't have monopoly cash, fold. Then, classically, they raise their prices in their new monopoly, then use the cash to move into a new monopoly. This is why we busted the trusts after the Guilded Age. Inevitably, one company will own everything. Microsoft wants a media tax worldwide, wants a piece of every media streamed and stored. Then they'll inevitably move into media creation; hell, that's what they're doing in video games. Vertical lock.
      • Re:Obligatory (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Ucklak (755284)
        Their stuff is too expensive and complicated.

        I'm a little older and not really in the gaming community anymore (yet) but I don't see how the xbox is a status symbol. Maybe it is but I don't see it.
        In my day, Intellivision was a status symbol just because it was more expensive, new, and had better graphics but the controller and games sucked. At the end of the day, if you had an Intellivision, everyone opted to play Atari instead and your console collected dust.

        What Palm vs WinCE proved is that people want
    • Re:Obligatory (Score:2, Informative)

      by nomadic (141991)
      The article mentions that Transmeta will be providing the chip, not Intel.
      • Right, infact it says Transmeta has assigned 20 or so engineers to the project.

        But this is /., so the actual facts stated in the article are irrelevant to any discussion of the article.

  • hmm... no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by joe 155 (937621) on Monday March 20, 2006 @10:26AM (#14956422) Journal
    This won't work, but we should all know that already know that. You can't just stick all the available technology into something and hope it all works out, this will end up being as big as origami with about 2 hours of battery life. I like things to be seperate, which is why I have an MP3 player, and a DS (and a camera and phone and whatever else they'll probably try and throw in it) I like things to be excellent at the one thing that they do, not just "acceptable" at everything under the sun
    • This is not a convergence device as you seem to believe, it's just a portable game system with enough onboard storage to act as an MP3 and video player. Really nothing new, except that Microsoft will have another platform to launch exclusive titles, and get a finger in the music-store pie. The size doesn't have to be any larger than Nintendo's offerings, since the storage required for a useful MP3 player amounts to a couple of chips smaller than postage stamps.
    • by cowscows (103644) on Monday March 20, 2006 @10:40AM (#14956508) Journal
      Pfft, Quiet you naysayer! I don't think they're being ambitious enough! This is Microsoft we're talking about! The greatest of all great companies in the greatest of all great nations! Not only will this device accomplish all that has been listed, but following in the usual Microsoft tradition, incredible new features will likely be added between now and the eventual, ontime release of this device. Don't be surprised if this device solves our fossil fuel dependence problems. It may very well cure AIDS. And then we can give copies of the device to everyone in the middle east, so they'll stop being angry towards the USA.

      Come on, we're not talking about a tiny hardware company like Apple, or a rowdy upstart like Google. We're talking about Microsoft, a hard working bunch of people who have, through sheer innovation and stringent quality standards, created the technological paradise which most of us live in every day. Show a little respect to the company that gave us marvels such as text editors, web browsers, and beautiful graphical interfaces.

      If the Xbox has taught us anything, it's that Microsoft's hardware will be at least as slick as their software, and all of their products share an impressive efficiency in terms of resource usage. The future truly is now, and you're lucky to be alive during these exciting times.
      • I'd buy one if, in addition, it were at least a "Sunbeam killer" and could toast English muffins and bagels.
        But without that extra functionality, I don't see enough value in a device that "kills" only three industry-leading gadgets.
        Adding a SureShot-killing 8 MP camera with integrated 20x optical zoon and a Fender-killing electric guitar would also be nice. The AIDS drug killer function mentioned in the parent could be nice too.
        It slices! It dices! It juliennes! It plays MP3s! It has integrated
    • Re:hmm... no (Score:4, Informative)

      by Lumpy (12016) on Monday March 20, 2006 @10:55AM (#14956615) Homepage
      I beg to differ.

      You CAN do that. but only if you add one more thing.

      Make it 100% open and remove DRM.

      People will flock to it like insane rabbits. If you can play ANY of your music on it, allow Wifi share-playing (music that other can listen to on your device but they cant copy) and all the other goodies without all the useless and worthless DRM and secrecy that simply limit a device as well as annoy users.

      Then it will kill everything in it's path.

      The chances of it existing? -12.4% Center of this planet must solidify first.
    • by SnarfQuest (469614)
      Don't worry about the battery life. It comes with it's own transformer, but you have to be carful not to put it on carpet because that will block the fan ports.
  • ok, why is everything an ipod killer these days? I've seen everything from cell phones to game consoles labelled an ipod killer.
    • Meh.

      That's why the iPod's dead.

      No... wait. That can't be right.
    • The killers? hmm...

      Somebody told me, that you had a handheld, that looked like a Newton, that I had in february of last year...

      I'm sorry, it's early and wouldn't leave my head. Will it be stoning, or am I to be drawn and quartered?
    • ok, why is everything an ipod killer these days? I've seen everything from cell phones to game consoles labelled an ipod killer.

      Maybe it's just wishful thinking from people who actually enjoy music. Let's face it, the iPod has done for digital audio players what the eight track did for hi-fi. Would it have killed them to spend a little extra development time to deliver gapless playback, a real equalizer, and Ogg Vorbis support?

      Help me, Rockbox [rockbox.org], you're my only hope.

  • Look at xbox 360, mainly in japan. I don't see it killing even PS2, even more Revolution or PS3. I don't see MSN search killing google. I don't see windows security better than Linux/Mac. Or I am blind, or microsoft hype machine is a lot of dry icq giving somke to press.
  • by Timo_UK (762705) on Monday March 20, 2006 @10:29AM (#14956438) Homepage
    in the tools section. It's called sledgehammer and is guaranteed to kill all of those devices in one shot.
  • Time to... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MaestroSartori (146297) on Monday March 20, 2006 @10:29AM (#14956439) Homepage
    ...dust off all your jokes about how big the Xbox is!

    Seriously though, with Xbox and Xbox Live MS has shown that they are capable of doing interesting, cool things with both consoles and gaming generally. I'll be interested to see what they come up with.
  • by creimer (824291) on Monday March 20, 2006 @10:29AM (#14956441) Homepage
    I don't think I want an X-shaped console with a glowing green screen. I got enough objects in my pants that glow green in the dark.
  • by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Monday March 20, 2006 @10:29AM (#14956443) Homepage Journal
    I'm not a MS fanboy, but I do have very good experiences with Microsoft over my lifetime. I've had some terrible problems, too, but nothing that has affected me in a bad way. I believe Microsoft's Windows has been a big reason why PCs are so cheap -- a common operating system that was easy to use has helped to bring more people to computers. I think we'd be in the 80s still if it wasn't for Windows 3.0 -- Apple had no chance given their closed hardware.

    My experience with MS in handhelds is terrible. I've owned about 30 PDAs in my life (I tend to use them for 3-4 months and then sell them to friends or family or give them away). All my Newtons were my favorite (from the original MessagePad through the 2100). I feel terrible that I sold all my Newtons years ago -- I think I'd still be using the beasts today.

    Microsoft doesn't know how to downsize anything. The big complaints about Windows from the geek crowd is more appropriate for Microsoft in the small-PC crowd. I had a Microsoft car radio once -- Worst. Thing. Ever. My current PDA is Microsoft based and it works very well wirelessly -- yet I have to reboot it about 10 times a day to get it to run fast.

    I have no faith in Microsoft in terms of an iPod killer. The X-Box is mostly a fluke to me -- a lot of money spent, very little profit made -- which means the item is NOT a success in terms of market viability. For me, the best products are those that make a profit, giving the manufacturer real reason to keep upgrading and supporting it.

    If the Microsoft 'iPod' killer is another spend-a-ton-and-earn-none fluke, it won't last. Microsoft needs a happy customer, and a happy customer pays a happy profit. Without that incentive, Microsoft will be fighting battles on too many fronts, and we know what happens to the imperialists that have done that in the past.
    • I don't think Windows 3.0 is what 'dragged us out of the 80s' - someone would have done it on open hardware sooner or later. OS/2 2.0 wasn't that far behind (and was arguably better than Windows 3.1, which was its contemporary). Even if OS/2 didn't exist, then the X Window System was already around under an open license - and would have given the PC a GUI under Linux. Linux wasn't predicated on anything Microsoft were doing at the time. There are others - how long would it have been until DesqView had a GUI
      • Go easy on him; it's a common rhetorical tactic to preface an important criticism with an irrelevant compliment. This shows everyone that you are not a zealot.

        It's even better if the compliment has no possible association with facts; speculation on a world without Microsoft might be fun, but it's certainly impossible to prove anything.
      • I ran OS/2 and DesqView -- in fact I ran DesqView for years longer than Windows 3.x (BBS days required a DOS-style multitasker). Both systems were amazing, but none ran as worthy as Windows 3.x did. In my first years using a scanner, the Windows OS was nearly flawless (I remember my old HP ScanJet Plus). The Windows OS gave me a solid X.25 connection that I could never get working properly under OS/2 or DOS. Windows also gave me that "standard" hardware interface that let me juggle my work better than u
  • If you'd bother to RTFA you'd know that the device in question is in fact a full-spectrum multi-wavelength high-energy data scrambler that will actually melt the circuits of any iPod/DS/GBA/PSP or Pacemaker within 100 meters. Can't wait to hear about the military applications.
  • by SirCyn (694031)
    Yet Another Killer. Does anybody believe these guys anymore?
  • So, they gonna construct a Steve Ballmer replica?
  • Microsoft jumped into the console wars at the right time to grab a foothold. I'm not sure they'll pull off the same coup with handheld entertainment. iPods are so entrenched that the mainstream media doesn't seem to be aware that any other players exist. The PSP has had moderate success, but then we're talking about the handheld product from the console juggernaut.

    MS making an attempt at the handheld market was inevitable, though. Sooner or later they had to do it.
  • *YAWN* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Karyyk (910994) on Monday March 20, 2006 @10:37AM (#14956488) Homepage
    For all intents and purposes, the PSP should have killed the DS from a technical viewpoint. Fortunately, ingenuity in the gaming industry can still make up for somewhat lesser tech. Nintendo has rules the handheld market since 1989, and I don't really see that changing anytime soon. Besides, Microsoft, at best, will come up with a Windows-running, $400 handheld with a 3-hour battery lift. I'll pass.
    • Re:*YAWN* (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lumpy (12016)
      If you want to know why the DS is killing the PSP then you need to look at economics.

      the DS is less t han 1/2 the price of a PSP and the games as well are near 1/2 the price as well.

      This alone will guarentee much higher market share.

      the PSP is a really nice device, it's pretty, elegant, and cool.

      but adults make up a small portion of the Handheld games sales. preteens make up the bulk and parents would rather have little Jimmy break a $139.00 device than a $270.00 or more device. Parents will shell out $19.
      • "The PSP could have edged in if sony quit being asshats and not only allowed the hacking community to continue but encouraged them."

        They're there, active, and successful nontheless.
      • What the PSP needs is a Writable UMD drive for a PC or a Sony DVR.
        Dishnetwork is selling a Video IPOD killer but it only work with certain DISH-DVRs. [pocketdish.com]
  • They can try... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Enselic (933809) on Monday March 20, 2006 @10:38AM (#14956496) Homepage
    I doubt they will be able to create an iPod killer because that would mean they had to change the behaviour of hundreds of thousands of people.

    A behaviour is exceptionally hard to change, especially if it is based on an already well working service.
  • Look. There are ALREADY portable digital players out there with more features for less price that work with Windows only. Killing the iPod involved creating a sleek, hip player with a simple, intuitive interface, and an integrated content provider which has all of the same characteristics. iPods look cool and work well; iTunes is easy to use and has the fairest DRM out there. And the way iTunes is blowing away everyone else shows we want to buy our music easily and own it, not rent it.

    Someday there might w

    • You almost got it, but what *really* takes to kill the ipod is quite simple:

      Hype

      Plain and simple, what the iPod has is a lot of marketing and hype. As you stated there already are portable digital players with hell more features than the iPod (personally I preffer the iRiver series since I got my frist cd-mp3 player imp-300 a long time ago).

      I can think of at least one reason [youtube.com] why Microsoft is not the /adequate/ company to come up with the killer. I believe it is more likely to come from a telephone company
  • by hcdejong (561314) <hobbes&xmsnet,nl> on Monday March 20, 2006 @10:42AM (#14956515)
    I don't want a brick that's large enough to play video/games on. I want a music player that's small enough to fit in a pocket and be generally unobtrusive.
  • Microsoft is developing a PSP/DS/GBA/iPod-killer

    I'd be tempted to get excited about this, if they would simply add "cell phone", "refrigerator", and "automobile" to the list of things this product kills.
    That's the kind of hype I could actually get behind!!!
  • 1 - Obtain list of most popular gadgets. 2 - Tout latest MS product as "[names of all said gadgets]-Killer." 3 - Ignore collective groan of entire human race. 4 - Profit..?
  • Well well MS "announce" a "product" to preemptively compete in a market without actually having to enter that market. Perhaps one of the PSP-killing features will be the ability to download games over the Avalanche file sharing protocol.

    Despite any pretences this thing is going to be 3 years late, the size of a shoebox, and it will be a slightly reconfigured WinVista PDA. It's primary function will be to "deliver" windows DRM. The ability to play some games will be secondary. MS will shore it up with an i

  • by mgblst (80109) on Monday March 20, 2006 @10:49AM (#14956565) Homepage
    So this is to go with Microsofts Linux/OSX/BSD/AIX killer and Microsofts PS3/Revolution Killer and Microsofts Oracle/MySQL/PostgreSQL/PeopleSoft/Dbase Killer?

    Sure a lot of killing going on.... supposedly.
  • by Mignon (34109) <satan@programmer.net> on Monday March 20, 2006 @10:53AM (#14956599)
    Great timing. I found this on Google last night:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3609953966 5548298 [google.com]

  • by tukkayoot (528280) on Monday March 20, 2006 @10:54AM (#14956603) Homepage
    Microsoft should just go the whole nine and make it a cell phone killer as well. Also, include some scanners in the hardware so it can function as a preemptive tricorder killer.

    Also, they should be sure to implement a fold-out cutting blade, screwdriver, corkscrew, can opener, toothpick and nail file so it can kill swiss army knives as well.

    This is the product the global marketplace has been waiting for.

  • My Sharp SL-C3000 Zaurus does whatever Microsoft wants to do in a handheld already, therefore whatever MS comes up with is all hype and bollocks.

    I'm drunk at the moment and even I could tell you that.
  • Exhibit no 2213 is housed in the west wing of the museum. This is a late (very late) 2007 Ipod Killer made by a now defunct company from Redmond that some people on the tour may remember. Like many of our other 3000 exhibits it suffered from being late to market, overhyped and having a battery life of approximately 27 seconds. The user interface also attracted severe criticism, based as it was on their then popular desktop operating system, that I believe was called "Panes XP" or something.

    Move along please
  • by oahazmatt (868057) on Monday March 20, 2006 @10:58AM (#14956636) Journal
    ...Microsoft bought the rights to Gizmondo, didn't they?
  • by ZombieRoboNinja (905329) on Monday March 20, 2006 @11:02AM (#14956659)
    Of course any portable game system MS makes would be hyped as a DS/GBA/PSP killer; those are the competing products in that category. The MS marketing department would have to be pretty braindead NOT to claim that their as-yet-unreleased system is better than the stuff that's currently on the market.

    That leaves "iPod killer" as the only questionable assertion. Well, here's how I read it: the system will have either a hard drive or a decent amount of flash memory. This would be great on a portable for all sorts of reasons (e.g., you could download the games to the system rather than carrying around 50 tiny cartridges). A WMA/MP3 player would only be one fairly simple app on such a system, so they may as well stick it in there and add another tick on the checklist.

    Will it be a better MP3 player than an iPod? No, but who cares? The PS2 is a pretty terrible DVD player (low quality, clunky controls, noisy as heck), but it was that feature that convinced me to buy it over a GameCube.
  • Sony already tried (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Guppy06 (410832) on Monday March 20, 2006 @11:02AM (#14956662)
    And about the only thing the PSP seems to be killing is... the PSP.

    If Microsoft wishes to do the same thing as Sony, making a "gaming" handheld that does everything but actually play games, they'll get the same results.

    Granted, they may make a better movie player than the PSP (depending on the specifics), but Microsoft is already losing the format wars with Apple over music formats (much like Sony) and if they aim for squeezing the "latest and greatest" in graphics and sound technology into the gaming function, it certainly isn't going to be as small as the iPod (like Sony). And, finally, like Sony, there'll be little more than "portable" (i. e. watered-down) versions of console games (read "Halo Lite").
  • http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3609953966 5548298&q=microsoft+ipod [google.com] (google video) This is one of the best parodies i've seen in a while.
  • If they pull it off in a way that the worldwide public will really like it, then it can be a good thing if it provides decent competition... (without monopolization, of course).

    But seriously, my only worry is how the portable's over-heating-giant-power-dongle-on-a-cord (borrowed from the 360) will fit in my iPod wristband...
  • Did MS forget the mobile phone?

    Or is MS stopping it's mobile phone activities?

  • Yanno (Score:2, Funny)

    by Odin_Tiger (585113)
    Yanno what? From now on, let's just keep a handy supply of large trout on hand, and use them to beat anyone who uses the phrase 'iPod killer' to death.
  • The iPod was a great idea. It was packaged well, marketed intelligently and coupled to a service people wanted. And it has survived every iPod killer to come along so far.

    If MSFT would focus on building quality software that lasted for years, instead of trying to push people into product activation forced upgrades they wouldn't need to try and intrude into the home entertainment market.

    MSFT reminds me of a manure spreader. Desperately flinging shit in the air every direction trying to find something

  • "Early Adopters Experiencing More Bugs?"

    Prophetic?
  • Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.
  • by guitaristx (791223) on Monday March 20, 2006 @11:31AM (#14956877) Journal
    This new thingy is going to kill the iPod just like Microsoft killed SPAM - they're going to redefine 'kill'. I suppose they'll put an EKG on an iPod and declare it dead.
  • More Innovation Through Impersonation. I think Microsoft's addiction to markets is the issue here. They want the search market, they want the MP3 player market, they want this they want that. They end up with a lot of products that are fair, some that are great, and all of this diversification siphons attention away from perfecting things like Windows. They want it all. I hope they persue it all, frankly. Maybe they'll start making cars, toilet paper, TV's. The more money they can waste the better. They wil
  • J. Allard, eh? So does this mean that this handheld will also fit his vision of an 'open chips and cards' console? I can see it now, the Microsoft X-Brick... Weighs twice as much as the original X-box controller, is half as ergonomic, and also doubles as a portable space heater. Why can't they hire someone who actually has an ounce of common sense when it comes to design when they do these things?
  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Monday March 20, 2006 @11:42AM (#14956974) Homepage Journal
    Oh, shit, Miscrosoft is releasing Windows for these platforms, aren't they?
  • Core competency (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Monday March 20, 2006 @11:48AM (#14957031) Homepage Journal

    Apple's core competency seems to be design. Their hardware and software products in general are aesthetically pleasing, easy to operate, and fun to use.

    Could it be that MS, in trying to be all things to all people, has lost sight of its core competency?

    Is leveraging their Windows/Office hegemony Microsoft's true core competency? If not that, what? It used to be marketing, but that's not true any more. What is the core competency of a company that has been riding on the dominance of its desktop OS and office software for over a decade?

  • by Tom (822)
    Yeah, I know /. is more a blog than a newspaper, but some more neutrality would be nice.

    Anything that's more than a year away from market simply can't be an anything killer, yet. At least a prototype should be ready before anyone judges whether it'll be a killer product or tank.
  • It's the MS Sledge-Hammer (XP?)

    It'll also kill cell phones, PDA's, and errant fingers and toes.
  • Sick of iPod-killer stories. Not gonna happen.
  • by xtal (49134) on Monday March 20, 2006 @01:08PM (#14957725) Homepage
    I should be a product consultant.

    Make what the mac people are crying for.

    The device must be the same, exact form factor as the current gen ipod.

    Make it out of aluminum or titanium with a matte or beadblasted finish.

    The screen should be the entire front of the device.

    It's only user input; the touchscreen and perhaps a single scroll wheel. NO MORE. Think about inertial input in a second release. MAYBE.

    Put a video and headphone jack on it.

    Put 802.11 on it and stop being a bitch to the media industries.

    Make it with open programmable interface and a real OS.

    The only user interface and application options should be just what the ipod has - a video player, audio player, and basic little apps like the ipod has.

    Let the market fill in the gaps.

    Sell millions. When you do, buy me a ferrari, ok thanks?

  • by Dhrakar (32366) on Monday March 20, 2006 @04:14PM (#14959378)
    are the ones that are NOT advertised that way. The iPod was never sold as a 'killer' of some other MP3 player. For that matter, the PC itself was not sold that way. Each of these things was promoted based on its own merits -- and not on how it compared to other things. What is it with our hyper-competitive culture now that always has to find 'The only one'?
  • Easy to do! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by crhylove (205956) <rhy@leperkhanz.com> on Monday March 20, 2006 @07:12PM (#14960720) Homepage Journal
    Now given MS doesn't have the greatest track record on their first offering into a new competitive area in the tech market, but dominating the DS and PSP and iPod and even Cell phone industry would be pretty damned easy if you ask me.

    Just do these 6 things:
    1. Make it out of real metal and indestructible. Brushed Aluminum, or even Titanium, or Stainless steel. Real Glass for a cover.
    2. Make the battery last and charge over a standard USB connection.
    3. Give it plenty of capacity. (hopefully with no moving parts).
    4. Make an interface that doesn't completely blow. I like the Sony Ericsson interface, kinda, but it's a tad slow.
    5. Avoid load times on anything. Lose all the crappy shortcuts to features people almost never use.
    6. Avoid all DRM. Just use mp3s (or even ogg!), and divx (or xvid!). Fuck aac, wmv, all those.

    If you do those 6 things, everyone will buy it and use it. I'll be first in line.

    Eventually somebody WILL make these, and sony/ms/apple/etc. can all kiss their non competing product lines completely good bye.

    Again though, I seriously doubt MS will do it, as they are so married to wmv, and all their other own crappy ideas that nobody but porn spammers really like to use ever.

    rhY

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