Microsofts Criteria For A (non-iPod) Portable Player

    March 29, 2006

Microsoft has released a guide for picking the right portable audio player, focusing on ten criteria:

  • Size and weight
  • Storage space
  • Durability
  • Screen
  • Battery life
  • File format
  • User interface
  • Music subscription services
  • Miscellaneous options
  • Shopping

Of course, while iTunes and AAC are listed as options, there is no mention of the market-dominating iPod, and most of the criteria are weighted against the iPod. For example: The durability section doesn’t favor the iPod, and in some ways it recommends bulkier players; The storage space section recommends four gigs for most people, knowing full well that Apple’s 4 gig Nano is their most poorly priced product; It recommends against paying more for fancy screens if all you want is music.

I also like this article, which has Apple and Microsoft user interface designers comparing notes and experiences.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention this: In a Fortune interview (via Digg), Steve Ballmer joked:

Question: Do you have an iPod?

No, I do not. Nor do my children. My children-in many dimensions they’re as poorly behaved as many other children, but at least on this dimension I’ve got my kids brainwashed: You don’t use Google, and you don’t use an iPod.

Ballmer also comments on the AOL/Google deal, and says that newspaper and TV advertising are becoming more irrelevant and useless.

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Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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