Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Microsoft to join the drama?

Maybe Microsoft will discover the "crazy world of iPod developers" as I have. I'm sure this "contacting 3rd party iPod developers" means the top players, like Griffin, DLO, and Belkin.

Be prepared for a lawsuit or two over exclusive contracts. It will be interesting to see if Griffin, in particular, will choose to develop for Microsoft because of their loyalty to the iPod. If they make this "Zune" popular, wouldn't it affect iPod sales and reduce their bread and butter market? If Microsoft gets all the same cool peripherals as the iPod ... doesn't it make the iPod less unique? It will also be interesting in Griffin's case to see if they will develop for Microsoft based on the fact they also produce peripherals for the Sony PSP.

As reported by ENgadget:

Microsoft approaches iPod accessory makers for Zune

It was inevitable: we get confirmation that the Zune is for real, and now Microsoft is already tapping into the device accessories market. They don't have to go far to find a slew of companies ready and willing to pop out goodies for their new DAP; it's presumably as simple as calling up the folks who make accessories for that other portable music player. iLounge has it that apparently the Zune will feature a proprietary expansion port not so different in function from the iPod's dock connector, and Microsoft is reportedly offering contracts which would allow partners to officially accessorize at a lower rate than Apple's "Made for iPod" program. It was fairly obvious that Zune's release would spark another Mac vs. PC embroilment, so it's no surprise Microsoft is likely covering their bases and making sure their own accessory lineup is ready.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure that many of the cheap rip-off Chinese companies will be only too happy to jump onto the "Made For Zune" wagon to expand their marketshare of DAP accessories....

Middle-agedman said...

I would really be disappointed in companies like Griffin and DLO if they jumped on the Zune bandwagon and developed for Microsoft. I understand that companies are in business to make money, but this will show which company has character. If DLO and Griffin have been successful it is largely due to the success of the iPod itself and I hope that they do not dilute their appeal by doing anything other than generic products for companies like Microsoft.
I don't expect the Asian companies to have "character" in this regard because they have always developed for anyone and everyone; same goes for companies like Belkin and other mass market companies. DLO and Griffin are markedly different in this regard.
That said, I hope that Apple demonstrates a degree of loyalty to these companies by perhaps dropping their fee for the "Made for iPod" program and by carrying DLO products in their retail stores. I don't know what happened to make Apple see fit not to carry DLO's products at retail, but its time to let bygones be bygones for crying out loud.
Creative tried to flew their muscles and failed. Microsoft has a chance because they are (as usual) copying everything Apple has done and throwing more features and money behind it.
Is it just me or does the "Zune" look like the 2nd generation iPod and 4th generation iPod collided? Nice innovation, Microsoft. Why not just change the logo to a backwards apple while you're at it?