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It's never too late for a company the size and quality of msft to break into the phone market
I guess I have less faith. The XBox (360 that is) is the last thing MS that I can remember breaking into a market...and that was largely in spite of themselves (as proven so far by the One). I just don't see MS as an innovator. Maybe new leadership will change this.
It's also impossible for a software platform vendor to ignore mobile
Doesn't mean they are very good at it, or go about it very intelligently. Anyone can say "Hey we should get into this market". Its the execution that matters.
Zune, on the other hand, was bound to be eclipsed by more inclusive devices (think about the long dead ipod).
Again: Execution. Apple saw this, and basically took its existing iphone and ripped out the wireless radio. Bam, there's your iPod and at negligible manufacturing and R&D cost. MS on the other hand developed Zune and Phone completely separately. Not only is this a massive waste, it is a huge reflection of MS's silo'd corporate culture in general.
Finally, I can't think of one competitive advantage Apple or Google has that would constitute a moat protecting their current lock on the market
I think prior purchases (apps, vids, music, hardware) and apples vertical integration of their products are a couple significant obstacles. You have to come up with something special for users to ditch all of these ancillary purchases that "just work" and start fresh on a new platform. Maybe a more innovative and agile company can acheive this, but I don't think MS has it in them
If this thing came out in a parallel universe where the iPod didn’t exist, it would be hailed as a god. No, the problem is the iPod’s head start — its catalog of music, movies, apps and accessories are ridiculously superior to the Zune’s
The Zune was cancelled shortly thereafter. The product finally became good, but it was too late. I smell the same fate for windows phone.
So maybe they are taking an Apple approach and de-fragmenting their own walled garden, reducing products, cutting costs, and hopefully providing a more uniform experience for its customers.
But really I am just dreaming of the day I can stop developing for IE6 compatibility in websites
Better later than never, I guess.
Right now it is prohibitively difficult to watch live sports online, especially local teams. I feel are in the "Napster" age of watching sports online. It takes a semi-techie to pull it off and it is of questionable legality and quality. The league or network produced online services like NBA or MLB Pass are poorly executed. They black out in-market local games (this is pretty easy to bypass with DNS or VPN). Playoffs and national games aren't included. They don't even bother to draw advertising revenue, as you often see one commercial over and over or a blank screen during breaks.
Sooner or later Content providers (like sports leagues) will just sell their broadcasting direct to consumer, a la carte. I think they have to do this or they will lose their audience. But for now, they will take the Cable Co's Titanic full of money.