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Microsoft's Plan to Be King of All Media 131

Posted by Zonk
from the it's-good-to-be-the-king dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Saul Hansell from the New York Times spoke with Microsoft's J. Allard, formerly of the Xbox games division and now in charge of their push on Apple's captive audience with the Zune. Allard lays out Microsoft's media battle plan, highlighting their longterm goals for expanding beyond games and software. 'This service will at some point add more options for video and mobile phones, Mr. Allard said, without offering details. Actually, Microsoft has been quite successful selling video downloads and online movie rentals through the Xbox Live service already. This seems a bit too much like the initial plan for MSN. This new network would be the switchboard through which all entertainment content and communication flows. Pretty much everything else in the technology world now is revolving around open systems where the Internet, and some simple standards, are in the middle.'"
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Microsoft's Plan to Be King of All Media

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Didn't Howard Stern already take that title?
  • by Merls the Sneaky (1031058) on Saturday November 17, 2007 @07:24AM (#21388781)
    They better hurry up and pull their finger out of their asses and get Divx/Xvid support for the 360 then.
    • by bl8n8r (649187)
      > They better hurry up and pull their finger out of their asses and get Divx/Xvid support for the 360 then.

      This is Microsoft. That's not a finger. It's *your* ass.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      "DivX followed up Tuesday night's earnings report with a presentation at the JP Morgan SmMid cap conference. JP Morgan analyst Paul Coster coyly probed Kevin Hell about whether or not we were about to see DivX support on the Xbox 360. The question seemed to catch Hell off guard, and while his initial reaction was enthusiasm, there was something about his tone that suggested that Coster might be onto something. Here is the exchange verbatim, but in order to appreciate the awkwardness of the exchange, you sh
  • All media? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Uusilehto (1114317) on Saturday November 17, 2007 @07:43AM (#21388869)

    longterm goals for expanding beyond games and software.
    How about focusing on being the king of software before going for the whole pie? And since when have games not been software anyway?
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by bigstrat2003 (1058574)
      They're already there. They have the #1 OS, the #1 office suite, and other apps (Visual Studio, for example) which do quite well, although they aren't the undisputed #1 like Windows and Office are. What more do you want from them before they qualify as "king of software"? Games is another story, of course. The 360 isn't king yet.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by paleo2002 (1079697)
        Windows XP is the #1 OS in the country. And Microsoft Office X on the Mac was one of the best-reviewed versions of Office ever. Internet Explorer and Outlook have been popular among "computer security hobbyists" for years. Yup, Microsoft is definitely the master of their craft.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by bigstrat2003 (1058574)
          First of all, "king of software" goes to the company with the most sales, not whoever has the best software. For that matter, I happen to think Microsoft makes the best software, but that's not what makes them king, it's their indisputable dominance with how much their software is used. Also:

          And Microsoft Office X on the Mac was one of the best-reviewed versions of Office ever.

          WTF is so wrong with that? If anything, that's a good thing, because it means Microsoft isn't deliberately fucking up their Mac version. Are you sure you aren't just letting MS-hate get in the way of logic here?

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by CSMatt (1175471)

            First of all, "king of software" goes to the company with the most sales, not whoever has the best software. For that matter, I happen to think Microsoft makes the best software, but that's not what makes them king, it's their indisputable dominance with how much their software is used.
            To quote Jon Stewart: Whaaaaa?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Microsoft has already been declared to have an illegal monopoly in Software. The more they increase this, the more pressure for them to be broken up. It may not be likely in the current political climate, but you can never tell when things change. E.g. if Microsoft is blamed when the first serious and destructive trojan attack takes place, there could be real pressure on politicians who failed to act beforehand. It's better for them to focus elsewhere.

      The second thing is that MS has always had a style o
    • How about focusing on being the king of software before going for the whole pie? And since when have games not been software anyway?

      If they decide to make media in the same way the make the software, then we are looking at a very dark future.
      • by jamstar7 (694492)

        If they decide to make media in the same way the make the software, then we are looking at a very dark future.

        Oh, great. More Pauly Shore movies.

        Shoot me now, please.

    • by houghi (78078)

      And since when have games not been software anyway?

      Since ever, or do you think people did not play games before Zork or Pong?
      • by N3Roaster (888781)
        Even the earliest Pong games might not really be considered software. I know that in the case of Computer Space (which predates the arcade version of Pong by a little bit, but perhaps doesn't predate an early oscilloscope based implementation, not sure on my history here) the game logic is implemented entirely in hardware. A Pong implementation certainly doesn't require the use of software as we know it.
    • They'll never be King of all media simply because the people don't want them to be. And I doubt they ever will.
      • by Ghubi (1102775)
        Which people don't want them to be? Are these the same people who don't want them to dominate the OS market?
        • by jedidiah (1196)
          I would imagine that the current media Kingpins would have something to
          say on the matter of Microsoft becoming the new media Kingpin. Those
          old moguls are already whining quite loudly over Apple's early successes.
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Saturday November 17, 2007 @07:44AM (#21388873) Homepage

    The eye of Ballmermon sweeps across the media landscape while orks cut down forests to make more chair weapons to hurl at their enemies. Ballmermon must have the media ring to keep it out of the hands of teh suck Google.

    Precioussssssssssss.

  • Duh! Xbox. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Datamonstar (845886) on Saturday November 17, 2007 @07:55AM (#21388899)
    This is what I've been telling people all along: that's the reason for the Xbox in the first place. I was so scared for gaming when I first saw that thing because I knew that even though Microsoft's first foray into console gaming would be a complete and utter failure (I was wrong, it wasn't a failure unless you consider the substantial financial loses) their subsequent attempts would be much better because Microsoft had enough money to throw at whatever problem arose the first time. I also make it my point to reason with people that once the consoles market has been thoroughly cornered, and all gaming devices are inextricably mated to the Internet and PC peripherals there will be very little difference between them and the one that serves up everything all at once will be king. Microsoft is doing this, albeit slowly. I give Playstation and Nintendo consoles 20 years more, maximum. Soon we'll have HD movies, and gaming and internet all wrapped up in one device (more or less) and probably under one subscription service that will be hosted by Microsoft. It's not even console wars anymore, it's content wars and there is no way that Sony and especially Nintendo will be able to compete in a long battle because Microsoft has already gotten so deeply involved in the surrounding factors, namely the internet and subscription-based services.
    • Re:Duh! Xbox. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rtb61 (674572) on Saturday November 17, 2007 @08:16AM (#21388979) Homepage
      As data delivery technology matures it becomes minor upgrades. Why would any content producer or publisher want to pay a M$ or google tax on all their content, amounting to billions of dollars every year.

      Bascialy cheap hardware and open standards will mean it will be far simpler and cheaper for producers or publishers to deliver direct. Ballmer has always had delusions of charging an M$ tax on all internet transactions, media, financial, software even browsing, but it is just that a delusion.

      The consumer products companies will win over the long run, as it won't cost much extra to incorporate the additional hardware, in big screen TVs or high resolution virtual reality headsets. Combine those two items with an open source operating system, upon which you can run multiple content delivery systems, and unless M$ starts building a big content library they have nowhere to go.

      • As I read your consumer products point I thought about the fact the Sony and Toshiba both plan on incorporating cell processors directly into the TV's they sell. I think you're right that it's going to be pretty easy for them to include content delivery systems and they are already well on their way with these types of plans.
    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by LaughingCoder (914424)

      Soon we'll have HD movies, and gaming and internet all wrapped up in one device

      This doesn't sound like a bad thing to me, nor does it sound bad for the consumer. Kudos to Microsoft for considering the big picture. They actually have a longterm strategy that they are executing (quite well, apparently). It's funny, but we often complain about companies that only focus on the next quarter's results, forgoing all longterm planning and strategies. And yet, in the same breath we complain about Microsoft for its

      • This doesn't sound like a bad thing to me, nor does it sound bad for the consumer.
        Agreed. While I'm uneasy about what Microsoft might do with such a platform in their hands (see: my gripes about Xbox Live), having a combination gaming and media box is a very nice step forward.
        • While I'm uneasy about what Microsoft might do with such a platform in their hands (see: my gripes about Xbox Live), having a combination gaming and media box is a very nice step forward.

          Yep.

          Truly innovative...
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Pippin [wikipedia.org]
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amiga_CD32 [wikipedia.org]
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3DO_Console [wikipedia.org]

          • Something doesn't have to be completely new and original to be a good idea, you know. Whether the concept has been tried in the past is irrelevant, we didn't really have any mainstream device which did this until now, so the fact that the PS3 and 360 both try to combine a game console with a media center is a good thing, even if it's not original. Hopefully one of them sticks, but even if neither does, it will still be a good idea, and should be something all console manufacturers seriously think about inco
    • Wrong. (Score:1, Interesting)

      Xbox was and is a total failure so is Zune and everything else microsoft tries to force into peoples face. Xbox 360 is a huge risk, the 33% (or more) failure rate is not helping them either with World Domination(tm) in the living room. Not to mention, they make people pay _monthly_ to play games online.
      • Xbox was and is a total failure
        Only if you consider the short term (see my post above).

        they make people pay _monthly_ to play games online.
        This is not "evil"; nor is it unusual. WOW and Everquest and many others are also pay-to-play.

        Oh, and Microsoft doesn't make people do any such thing. People choose to.
        • Re:Wrong. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by bigstrat2003 (1058574) on Saturday November 17, 2007 @09:47AM (#21389313)

          they make people pay _monthly_ to play games online.
          This is not "evil"; nor is it unusual.
          Actually, it is highly unusual, as typically games which don't have a persistent state don't charge for online play. Call of Duty 4, for example, is free to play online on every platform except the 360. That's bullshit, in my opinion. More infuriatingly, I'm led to believe that Microsoft doesn't even provide dedicated servers for the games, leaving it up to the developer to do so, or else having peer-hosted matches. If they're not providing servers for us to play on, what the fuck are we paying for? We're paying because Microsoft is in a position to make us. I use many Microsoft products, and am very happy with their quality, and am glad to be a Microsoft customer... but Xbox Live is a ridiculous situation. They will never get a dime from me to play games online which are free everywhere else.

          Worse still, this greedy approach is now entering PC gaming too. With a silver Live account, you can join games of Halo 2, but you need a gold account to host them. They're testing the waters, and I wager it's only a matter of time before Microsoft tries to shove paying-to-play down the throats of PC gamers too.

          • Right. It's exactly what I'm in fear of. Once the balance is tipped far enough in favor of Microsoft's platform then everything will require going through their pay portal. There are a few developers who (mostly in japan) host their own pay servers. The SNK servers for King of Fighters games come to mind. If you change your Playstation ID to a Japanese one you can get signed up if you can understand Japanese. Playstation has hosted a few games with free online services, but they weren't very well implemente
          • I actually hadn't considered the difference between "persistent state" online games and XBox Live. I am not really a gamer and have thus far not allowed my kids to use any pay-for online game, so I was not aware of that distinction. That said, I can only assume that, as long as the competition provides free online gaming, they will continue to remain viable for people who cannot afford to pay monthly. And since a large component of online gamers are kids with no income to speak of, it seems like this situat
          • you're forgetting one thing to add in on this pile of wrong.

            Ads.

            ADS.

            In the goddamn dashboard. No way in hell I'm paying 50 bucks for a year's worth of ads when I'm trying to play HDDVDs or games I've downloaded. I do not need to see T-mobile, Axe, or other ads(even if game related) when i'm gaming.
            • I don't really mind them. They are large but don't get in the way of what I'm doing. At all. It's not like you have to wait for the ad to run its course before you play your ad-ridden HD-DVDs or you have to close some popup.
              • Point on the fact that HDDVDs themselves are also advertisement laden.

                But I spent an evening with a friend and her husband playing some games on their xbox360 and I was shocked that Need for Speed Carbon had ads anywhere they could've stuck them. It was most disturbing. Ads in the games, ads in the movies, ads in the consoles. What exactly are we, as consumers, paying for?
          • You are attempting a online data transaction which amounts to a $10 automatic deposit, Cancel or Allow? -- Allow
            You are attempting a online chat conversation which amounts to a $30 automatic deposit, Cancel or Allow? -- Allow
            You are attempting to shut down chat conversation which amounts to a $30 automatic deposit, Cancel or Allow? -- ...

            You are attempting to turn off your PC... I cannot allow you to do that Dave.
            You are asphyxiated and dying, Cancel or Allow? -- Allow ALLOW ALLOW

            Please deposit $20.
          • You are paying for a "matchmaking service". Yes, you can find those for free as well, but Microsoft has the advantage of "console lock-in", so you can't use XFire or something else.

            Personally, I don't have a huge beef over it. $50 a year is a small price when you're buying 1-2 games every month (at $50-$65). But I also think there may be another monopoly lawsuit down the road for Microsoft when somebody at one of those other matchmaking services gets enough money to hire some good lawyers.

      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by aplusjimages (939458)

        Xbox was and is a total failure so is Zune and everything else microsoft tries to force into peoples face.

        What is failure to you? The fact that over 70% of the world uses Windows OS? That Xbox live is the best online gaming system there is as of right now and they are only on their second generation console? How long has Nintendo been in the business and they didn't get online until the GameCube and that was with one game. I'd say they are succeeding if they have customers paying for a service that the other two consoles are giving away for free and still can't touch the Xbox Live userbase. As for the failure

      • by DaveCBio (659840)
        Total failure? That's funny it sold incredibly well last generation considering it was their first console product and the 360 is selling very well too despite the RROD problems. Also, I love how people always fall back on bitching about Live. Well my friend if you ever decide to stop being ignorant and actually comparing the console online offerings you'd see how much better Live is than the other 2 combined. Also, you can't compare this to the PC world where everyone expects things for free. Even if you d
    • I've been saying this for a long time - consoles, PCs, media centers, they're all going to be the same box. It's cheap enough and standardized enough that you can make one device do everything, and do it well (as long as it's big enough - and people just won't use the badly implemented functions if they're "duh, this is a stupid thing to do" like video on a 2" screen).

      Gaming, internet, movies (disc or from file), file storage, homebrew applications, music, streaming video like YouTube, camera functionality,
      • One of HD-DVD's marketig slogan's is The look and sound of perfect [thelookand...erfect.com]. Not only does HD-DVD offer a spectacular 1080p image, it also offers lossless Dolby TrueHD soundtracks that sound as good as a CD-- except that they're multichannel.

        Now, let's consider the XBox 360. According to people who have it, it's loud, and it downs samples all the TrueHD soundtracks into ordinary dts or dolby digital. It may look and sound just fine to you, but it's not for the perfectionist-- the person who wants to listen to the so
    • by hhawk (26580)
      Microsoft wants' to be the gate-keeper on every electronic device; phone, game console, computer, media player, etc. They have always coveted that and in some ways that has always been their master plan.

      That Apple is doing well in phones and MP3 player surely bothers them, but it can't bother them as much a Google who seem to have enough smart people that they can launch a new product or service without huge bugs and have very fast to market updates.

      That's the two things MS has never been able to do; a) get
    • The problem with MS's plan for world media domination is that it requires people to buy their hardware. In the past (and present) people bought computers that came with Windows, and MS leveraged that into controlling part of the software market. Zunes aren't free. Xboxes aren't free. I know Windows was never free either, but it was just there when you bought your computer and was included in the cost. Last I checked the large majority of adults that I know don't buy game consoles, but they do buy DVD
    • by Anonymous Coward
      No way Sony can compete? Sony owns a quarter of the content!
    • I give Playstation and Nintendo consoles 20 years more, maximum.

      Twenty years ago the Macintosh was only two years old and Microsoft was selling far more copies of DOS than of Windows. Linux wasn't even a twinkle in Linus Torvalds' eye, and the FSF had just been constituted. The Nintendo Entertainment System ruled the console gaming roost, the Atari 7800 had just been released, and Sega was about to roll out Sega Genesis. Sony hadn't entered the market, nor had Microsoft.

      Now Atari is gone. Sega is gone

    • by vimh42 (981236)
      So who's fighting the battle? Nintendo has never tried to being a media mogul and continues to thrive making games. I hope they don't change their game plan. Microsoft on the other hand is trying to be a jack of all trades and at this point has only managed to get one thing right. Yes, the Xbox is a great console to play games on. It's more than a tad lackluster in the media department. I have a 360 elite. Do you really think a 120 gig drive is going to get me very far with downloadable HD content? Not rea
  • by oDDmON oUT (231200) on Saturday November 17, 2007 @08:05AM (#21388951)
    wait 'til you see what M$ does with media.

    Can't wait for my first BSOD on a 42 inch plasma.
    • by hey! (33014)
      It ain't just Microsoft my friend. Why do you think wireless companies hate net neutrality, and want to tie you into applications that only run on their network? I'm much more concerned about Verizon; to date their wireless services are utter baloney, but fios is the thin end of a seriously dangerous wedge. If cable manages to fight Verizon to a stalemate, the consumer will actually be better off.

      Microsoft's efforts at becoming the gatekeeper of media are inherently more clumsy, because the natural pl
    • by Tablizer (95088)
      Can't wait for my first BSOD on a 42 inch plasma.

      I've seen BSOD's on cable in the early morning because the station put up some automated listing service, but the PC it was running on BSOD'd.
         
  • MS doesn't get it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MLCT (1148749)
    We aren't interested in letting you become gatekeepers for our entire lives. Since you so very stupidly jettisoned playforsure neither are any media companies interested in you either, as that little case proved, your words and assurances are worthless - MS, you are a busted flush, now sod off and let some creative people on the stage who can actually make a difference.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The BBC bought into their DRM infested crap.
      • by init100 (915886)

        Because the managers that made the decision previously worked for Microsoft. Once Microsoft, always Microsoft.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      We aren't interested in letting you become gatekeepers for our entire lives.

      No, it's you who doesn't get it.

      Who cares if MS delivers crap? All they need to do is find a way to shut down your access to anything else. They eat creative people for lunch. This isn't going to be decided by who's "best" but by who's the last man standing. Because you are a Windows / Office customer, MS can afford BILLIONS to wipe out everyone else.
    • Since you so very stupidly jettisoned playforsure neither are any media companies interested in you either, as that little case proved, your words and assurances are worthless

      Hahaha! Do you seriously believe that? I mean, the PlaysIfYou'reLucky debacle was an example of the kind of business practice that has been standard operating procedure at Microsoft for two decades, and yet the device manufacturers still fell for it. If they were going to learn, don't you think they'd have done it by now?

  • by AHuxley (892839) on Saturday November 17, 2007 @08:48AM (#21389093) Homepage Journal
    We wouldn't want anything to happen to it.
    'Cos things memory leak, don't they?
    How many videos you got here, colonel?
    My chief technology officer and I have got a little proposition for you colonel.
    I mean you're doing all right here aren't you, colonel.
    The colonel doesn't think we're nice people, Nathan.
    We're your buddies, colonel.
    We can guarantee you that not a single movie will get peered over for fifteen K a week.
  • by downix (84795) on Saturday November 17, 2007 @09:23AM (#21389213) Homepage
    For years the self-titled King of all Media has been Howard Stern. Does this mean Microsoft has decided on going after Howard?

    Now that would be a cage fight worth watching, Ballmer vs Stern! Let the Monkey Boy fights, begin!
    • by fafaforza (248976)
      It's funy that "King of All Media" as relating to Stern is always prepositioned with "self-titled".

      Stern's use of "King of All Media" was a commentary on Michael Jackson's self-annointed "King of Pop" monicker, where no one in the media ever pointed out that it was a term that Jackson gave to himself. Double standard? Dislike of Stern? I dunno. Maybe Stern should have paid a PR company to popularize the label, instead of using it on the air one day as a response to Jackson using "King of Pop" in one of
    • by Tablizer (95088)
      Does this mean Microsoft has decided on going after Howard? Let the Monkey Boy fights begin!

      If you get the fans in on it, instead of BSOD's you'll start to see the Ba Ba Booey of Death on your screen.
           
  • ho ho ho (Score:5, Funny)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday November 17, 2007 @09:28AM (#21389237) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft has been quite successful selling video downloads and online movie rentals through the Xbox Live service already. This seems a bit too much like the initial plan for MSN.

    I don't think Apple is worried yet. Nor is anyone else really.

    Too much like the initial plan for MSN? If this is as successful as MSN, then in five years we'll all be saying "Microsoft who?" I'm praying that it achieves fully MSN-like levels of success.

  • They want to either be or control everything on the planet.
  • by troll -1 (956834) on Saturday November 17, 2007 @09:42AM (#21389289)
    Allard sounds like Ballmer. Microsoft is still clinging the old media establishment ideology of 'content providers' who only get paid because you've DRMed their stuff.

    They still don't get the concept of an Internet.

    Anyone who's been following trends since Napster was shut down back in 2001 will understand we're undergoing a natural progression from centralized, controlled delivery systems to those where content is everywhere all at once.

    An obvious revenue model for this is one where advertising is embedded in content freely distributed over the Internet. After all, that's what worked for free broadcast TV and radio. It's the easiest and least restrictive method of raising revenue to pay for content. I doubt folks will be flocking to buy xboxes and zunes AND giving money to Microsoft so they can watch their favorite shows. Nothing to see here, move on.

    • by Dunbal (464142)
      Allard sounds like Ballmer.

            Only without the chairs.
    • as always (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      C'mon. This is the same crowd whose icon uttered gems like these?
      • "The Internet? We are not interested in it"
        -- Bill Gates, 1993
      • The Internet is a passing fad and unimportant
        --Bill Gates, 1996
    • by Mex (191941)
      Indeed.

      The only reason movies became a big thing is because we couldn't reproduce them at home (Talking about the golden era of cinema). Same with music and Vinyl records.

      Most people won't pay for what they can get for free. Old media cannot control the content now.

      The only way we're going to pay for entertainment in the future is if we can't get it at home for whatever reason (It's a holographic display and it's too expensive, something like that). But the golden era of Vinyl Records, gigantic CD sales and
  • by vrmlguy (120854) <samwyse&gmail,com> on Saturday November 17, 2007 @09:47AM (#21389309) Homepage Journal
    A related article [nytimes.com] based on the same interview turned up this gem:

    When I spoke to Mr. Allard, he was up front about Microsoft's slow start. But he defended the approach of "fail fast" and learn. And in typical Microsoft fashion, he talked about the first generations of Zune as early moves in a long-term strategy.
    Yeah, the older Zune's can have their firmware upgraded, but try asking the people and companies who invested in 'plays for sure' what *they* think about fail-fast strategies. Fail-fast is just another word for moving R&D out of your budget and onto the shoulders of your customers. The bad news for you is, eventually they will wise up to their actual costs and migrate to new suppliers.
    • I move to identify this movement as the "Ballmer cries playsforsure" movement.

      One day Ballmer was out hitting penguins with hammers and cutting down fruit trees, and he cried "playsforsure, playsforsure!"

      --
      WARNING!! ^^^^^ contains unfunny humor!
  • Fat Chance (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17, 2007 @09:48AM (#21389329)
    Microsoft has failed miserably when it comes to mobile media. i.e. My MP3 player (which can also do other things)
    Where is the Zune marketed? AFAIK, it is only in North America. It is certainly not sold on this side of the Pond.
    Even if (and thats highly unlikely) the XBOX became the 'defacto' HD viewing machine then it would be so riddled with DRM and 'Are you sure' stupidity then the hackers would have a field day 'making it work'.

    The notion that you MUST be connected to some Server on Planet Microsoft just to view a Film or episode of Heroes/insert fav TV series name here, is just plane crazy and totally idiotic.
    There are enough companies in this business who cold easily get together to thwart their plans. Then there are the regulators and governments who (despite receiving lots of dosh in brown paper envelopes) will get in their way.

    I'm moving soon to a place where even dial-up is impossible and if they think I'm going to run a satellite phone just so my kids can watch some HD TV programs then I would like some of what their marketing dept is smoking.
    (We will be using Radio to talk to our neighbours(on the next island). The nearest telephone exchange is over 100km away.)

  • Once Microsoft hooks X-Box into their IPTV software, and gives special treatment to X-Box users, then it is all over. Microsoft has taken control of the TV service coming into your house.
  • MS will fail (Score:4, Insightful)

    by webmaster404 (1148909) on Saturday November 17, 2007 @10:29AM (#21389563)
    Five years ago, this would have worked. Now though with Vista failing more people are starting to see beyond MS, and 90% of people who use MS products (XBOX, Windows) don't switch to alternitives not for what MS has done, but third parties. Very few people when they see Office 2007 use that as their reason for keeping Windows, it is almost always a third-party app or game or second party in the case of Halo 3 (which was the reason most people I know bought a 360) but with many third parties now having applications on Linux and OS-X or via good support through WINE or similar programs, Microsoft is no longer needed, in 5-10 years I doubt that very many people will even use Windows unless NT 7 is much much much better then XP. Microsoft is losing the monopoly very fast with the relese of Vista, if the new "MS Media" doesn't work on Linux or Mac, it won't be used. The age of the MS monopoly is coming to an end finally, MS is just blind to it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bigstrat2003 (1058574)

      second party in the case of Halo 3
      Bungie is second-party now, they weren't at the time they made Halo 3.
    • by DaveCBio (659840)
      Awesome, more made up internet statistics. Got some data to back up your assertions or is this just your "experience"? And FYI you are full of it when you say most people bought a 360 for Halo 3. Right now the 360 has the largest and best selection of games this generation. There are a lot of reasons to buy a 360 beyond Halo 3, but don't let your mindless Microsoft bashing get in the way of looking at what is actually happening in the market.
  • Sorry, Howard Stern proclaimed himself the 'King of All Media' almost a decade ago. I hope he sues.
  • by Lexor (724874)
    Baba Booey !
  • The article linked was one of three interviews. I suggest looking at this article [nytimes.com] and this one [nytimes.com] before drawing yet a complete conclusion.

    The guy has Xbox Live working pretty well. I think they did a great job integrating the achievements, friends and everything else in.
    FTFA's not linked:

    People are unhappy with DRM download-to-own. If I buy a track with DRM and it has fewer rights than the CD, that is where people get their nose out of joint. There is no art, no track information, no liner notes. I can't sell it for four bucks to buy a burrito if I'm hungry.

    The music industry is very healthy. The record industry is the problem.

    The guy isn't this Ballmerite that he appears to be. He might actually have a tight bolt on that chair launching arm. Then again, he works for Microsoft, so how long till he leaves for Google?

  • Any world where Microsoft achieves these goals is not a world you want to live in. But thankfully we have Apple. Quicktime crushed Microsoft's aspirations for locking users into their what-will-we-call-it-this-year video format. The iPod and iTunes maintained the supremacy of MP3s over Microsoft's you'll-play-it-when-and-where-and-how-we-tell-you WMA hopes. And now the iPhone exposes WinCE on mobile phones as the miserable also ran it always was.

    Neither of the DRMed to death replacements for the DVD are

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Neither of the DRMed to death replacements for the DVD are especially compelling. But if one has to win, it has to be anything but HDDVD.

      Riiiiight. Just because Microsoft backs HD DVD, let's all just ignore the fact that Blu-ray:

      1) *Requires* the use of AACS DRM on all pressed discs, thereby increasing the already-hefty license fees indie filmmakers need to pay to produce BDs, hampering (for example) Creative Commons-licensed video delivery via BD, etc. Oh, and also let's ignore the fact that "burned" BD

      • Riiiiight. Just because Microsoft backs HD DVD, let's all just ignore the fact that Blu-ray:

        Let's just ignore the fact that I said "Neither of the DRMed to death replacements for the DVD are especially compelling.". But please. Continue to prattle on.

        You're just anti-Microsoft because you're pro-Apple. Yes, yes. How insightful of you. We'll continue to avoid discussing the laundry list of real harm Microsoft has caused to consumers and computing so you can spin some horseshit about Apple being as bad

    • by DaveCBio (659840)
      And I would not want to live in a world dominated by Steve "I know best" Jobs.
  • Wasn't Allard the mighty brain behind the all-conquering Zune? I mean, you see them everywhere...
    --
    In Soviet Russia cowboys slow down you!
  • Why do I get the feeling that Lord Sauron of Washington State is like that bully kid in grade school who actually believes that he's inferior to everyone else, and therefore acts like a bully to make up for it? He has to steal everyone else's lunch money, not because he needs it but just because he's jealous that they have lunch money.

    In this example, Lord Sauron sees that Apple is successful with the iPod, so he needs to steal that away from them. Now he needs to be king of all media. Next thing you know,

  • REDMOND, Seattle, Wednesday (UnGadget) -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer today announced a new era at the Seattle software company, announcing their entry six nine twelve months hence into the cell phone market with the exciting new Zune Z-Phone, to finally get the company properly into the rapidly changing digital media landscape.

    Ballmer, speaking to a group of trained-monkey analysts and cynical bloggers at the company headquarters today, unveiled mockups prototypes of the Zune-Phone, which combines the

  • This is why I won't spend a dime on the XBox 360. I'd rather Sony to be in control than Microsoft. Sony doesn't have a monopoly nor does it stop innovating. Microsoft, on the other hand, is a marketing company that uses it's monopoly and it's aggressive marketing tactics to convince people to buy a inferior product.

    Not to mention that XBox 360s are notoriously unreliable, expecting costumers to pay to play online, and proprietary peripherals among other things.

    • by DaveCBio (659840)
      Sony innovates? Please. They are just as much about money and power as Microsoft is and talk about closed formats. Need we mention Beta, Minidisc, Memory Stick, etc? Sony also owns movie studios, so if you want to talk about any company having too much way I'd say Sony is right up there. Look at the PS3, it's a powerful machine, but once again Sony's arrogance bit them in the ass. Poor dev tools and a high price tag has relegated them to third place this generation and I don't see them catching up.
  • Microsoft's "vision" of personal media devices and "the computer as home media center" differ radically from consumers' vision, and this has contributed to their own failure, and the general failure of the promise of the computer as media center.

    They have steadfastly supported orwellian drm systems, systems which first reared their ugly head in XP "media center" edition, erasing or refusing to record certain shows against the will of the machine's owner.
    Their own greedy desire to be the only ones providing

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.

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