Space Ramblings

Microsoft’s Zune Strategy

If Microsoft has a single strategy when it’s behind, that strategy is stay in the game, wait for the other guy to make a mistake and then crush him with all the power and brute strength that Microsoft’s huge cash reserves can buy. It’s not a promising strategy, it’s not an innovative strategy and it’s not a strategy that will win many admirers, but it has worked for Microsoft with the XBox 360, at least out of the gate. Shockingly enough the XBox even has a passionate fanbase, probably the only Microsoft product geared to the general public that does. But it wouldn’t have happened if Sony hadn’t thoroughly screwed up and Nintendo hadn’t ceded the serious gaming market in favor of the casual player. And as Microsoft prepares to release a new generation of Zune players, waiting for Apple to slip and fall might take a while. The latest iPod touch isn’t a competitor for the Zune, which has only a few percent of the market, but is edging out even the PSP in gaming features. Despite Microsoft’s more extensive mobile experience and gaming industry connections, Apple is taking the iPod deeper into territory Microsoft should have been exploiting, but failed to. And Microsoft’s money burning wait and see strategy has yet to pay off.

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