Space Ramblings

Is Microsoft Competing Against Itself?

Microsoft’s stated purpose for getting in the hardware game, both for the XBox and the Zune, was to protect its own software standards, from exploiting DirectX to the threat that the iPod would lead to a boost for the Apple OS’, Microsoft’s logic almost seemed to make sense. Now it’s doubtful that the XBox for all its limited success has made Microsoft any actual money over and above expenses. In fact it’s likelier that Microsoft is in the hole over it. Much the same goes for the Zune. If Google unveils a Gphone, I don’t see it making money off it either.

But the Zune hasn’t really been a Microsoft blow to Apple, so much as it’s been Microsoft’s blow to vendors that were actually producing MP3 players that partnered with Play For Sure. In practice Microsoft’s Zune has won less ground from Apple than it has from the alternatives to the iPod. Alternatives that themselves were needed by Microsoft and that were its former partners. In other words Microsoft is crushing the competition to Apple and losing money doing it. Way to go Steve.

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