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Microsoft preparing launch of iPod rival

well, i can honestly say i don’t know anything about these plans…but i can say i *hope* microsoft gets it right…and by that i mean:

  • don’t just have wmv/wma as the only supported formats: if this is the case, it will fail.  it will fail for me immediately.  mp3 is a decent format.  okay, okay, stand back drm hounds…but seriously…would you buy any music media device that doesn’t support mp3?  and video…let’s make sure it plays mpeg, avi, wmv, mov, etc.
  • size: seriously…with the lessons learned from ipod, it should be clear that size matters ;-) — i hope it is relatively small enough so that i don’t feel like i’m carrying a huge device, but also big enough for a decent screen
  • capacity: let’s not make the same mistake that the other ipod rivals did — yeah, 64MB mp3 players…NOT!  if this is a music/video media device than IMO 5GB is the *minimum*
  • wifi?! — sweet…that would be really cool for podcast subscriptions…now you don’t have to sync/copy/whatever — you subscribe…and when you are in-range, it downloads — great idea
  • partner with 3rd party integrators: i have an older car (2000) and i hate that there are no integrated hookups.  i mean, i have all the other features: navigation, cd changer, etc. — just nobody is making them for older cars (that integrate with the headunit — i don’t want to see my ipod in my car)

i really hope design-wise they take a lesson from apple (and from past designs).  i have an ipod.  i like my ipod.  why?  because it serves a single purpose for me…play audio.  it is lightweight and small enough that i make sure i bring it with me to places.

well, i hope we get it right…i really do — i’d love to see a cool microsoft device.  but my fear is that we are a software company, not a hardware one…it always concerns me when we enter these arenas, as a user, technologist, and a shareholder (how much are we losing on each xbox sold?).  sometimes it isn’t enough just to enter the market…we have to be smart about it.

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