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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Finally, A Real Beta-VHS Debate That's Accurate - Only the iPod

The media often miscategorizes the Beta vs. VHS debate between Apple & MS but finally in the case of the "non-ipod" dock connector, we have a winner! And the winner is, of course the iPod.

Apparently having run out of things to blame and or pass off as the reason WMA players are selling poorly (never mind the poor interfaces, bad design and not that really PLAYS4SURE thing), it's really been that power plug all along that made you pick the ipod - that is the reason you bought the ipod, right?

So, now the WMA & Microsoft minions are allegedly banding together to build a "universal" dock connector.

Never mind that Apple sold about 25 million of its 35 million ipods when the dock connector changed from model to model or that it's gone from Firewire to Firewire/USB to USB only ... that's GOT to be the ONLY reason for the success of the ipod. Nevermind that only a handful of accessories really require the plug connector (mostly speakers) though of course, the ultimate accessory is that car manufacturers are including it so you can see & control your ipod from the steering wheel or whatever so of course, MS is scared to concede that market since they've been throwing money at that market for years - also without any success ... but, here are MS's main problems:

So far, after a year of PLAYS4SURE - the "universal" software connection that's supposed to create a seamless sea to sea wall-to-wall WMA player extravaganza of consumer "choices" has produced - surprise - dozens of players that do not "play4sure."

So, how long will it take MS to gather & consolidate a couple hundred mp3 manufacturers, auto makers & MS' engineering group into agreeing on a decision/standard? What do you think? A year? Two years? Three? By then, there might be 100 MILLION+ iPods ... so what dock connector do you think car manufacturers will choose if they choose a dock?

The format used by perhaps 100 million devices or "the other one."

Guess which one is VHS and which is really, really Beta ... in the sense it's not really ready for prime time use?

And that's presuming that PLUGS4SURE actually works better than PLAYS4SURE ... Anyone holding their breath?

The other main problem for MS is that there is already a second choice - the 1/8" or 3.5mm output port so basically the first choice is iPod integration and control. The second choice is simply to provide a 1.8/3.5mm plug for external audio sources which would cover 99.98% of the market (I'm sure Sony uses their own proprietary 2.9mm plug :-)

Why would you spend money to put in a THIRD choice? It's one thing to offer a third engine choice, it's another to offer a third audio dock connector choice ... but I'm sure MS will throw $500 million down this hole anyway ... hope the stockholders don't mind ...


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