By Alex Mandossian
Microsoft isn′t into hardware; they have always focused on software. I don′t believe they are going to try to join the podcasting game by developing another media player.
What about another podcatching software product? Again, we already have great podcatching software.
For our computer desktop, Apple′s iTunes is sexy, gorgeous, and the number one podcatching product on Windows. If Microsoft tries to compete with iTunes, they’re going to lose pathetically.
ITunes owns the iPods. And iPods own the portable media player market since 80% of media players sold are iPods.
For online podcasting, Yahoo! owns that part with www.Podcasts.Yahoo.com. They′ve got the web interface that not only allows for subscriptions to the iPods â€“ they know where the market share is â€“ but also allows subscription through their own music engine. This allows you to put your podcasts on your Zen Micros, your Gmini Archos, and all the other different devices available on the market.
Apple owns the desktop software of choice and Yahoo! owns the web software of choice. I don′t think Microsoft can do anything in any of these arenas if they try to be just another option.
The only thing worse than having the bus go in the wrong direction is having the bus go the wrong direction enthusiastically. I think that′s what Microsoft is afraid of, whether they do it intentionally or not.
Could they create a podcast directory that is the godmother of all directories? There are some challenges with iTunes′ and Yahoo!′s podcast directories. However, iTunes has tens of thousands of podcasts in their directory and it would be hard to come up with something much better.
My opinion is that Microsoft needs to look at their strengths and develop something that is needed in the podcasting market that no one else is delivering or doing.
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