With respect to iPhone, Microsoft rolls over and plays dead

With respect to iPhone, Microsoft rolls over and plays dead

Summary: You'd have to be hiding under a rock to not know by now that June 29 might as well be called "iDay": the day that Apple's iPhone (provisioned by Cingular) will officially be available for purchase. At $600 each, it's inconceivable to me that there will be lines of sleeping bag and Hibachi toting digerati camped out in front of Cingular stores like the parents that nearly killed each other for Cabbage Patch dolls.

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You'd have to be hiding under a rock to not know by now that June 29 might as well be called "iDay": the day that Apple's iPhone (provisioned by Cingular) will officially be available for purchase. At $600 each, it's inconceivable to me that there will be lines of sleeping bag and Hibachi toting digerati camped out in front of Cingular stores like the parents that nearly killed each other for Cabbage Patch dolls. The buzz is in no small part due to Apple's advertising blitz -- a large part of which is a television campaign that makes the iPhone look so compelling that even I feel like I want one. Thankfully, I can't have everything I want. But the many discouraging apsects of the iPhone is not really what this blog post is about, or is it? (continued below)

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Where the heck is Microsoft? Earlier this year, Microsoft launched the newest version of Windows Mobile (version 6) and there's a slew of devices built on the new mobile OS (we have video of them here) with more coming (like the new HTC touchscreen handset). But even with the new software and gear, the "if we build it, they will come" strategy is not a good one in the face of a foe like Apple. I was equally stymied by Microsoft's inability to grasp the importance of image marketing with its Zune (see: To Win, Zune will need a Bono).

Granted, Windows Mobile still has its fair share of problems. More and more, when I pull out the Motorola Q that I have, I am asked how I like it as they pull out their own Windows Mobile-based device and then the gripes and groans start. But, the iPhone is no picnic either. To me, its public enemy #1 (after its $600 price tag) isn't just the prediction of its horrendous battery life, it's the fact that you can't replace a dead battery with a freshly charged one. So lesson #1 to Microsoft. Maybe the product isn't as polished as you'd like it to be. But that's no reason not to be in the game. Or maybe it is. Maybe Microsoft sees the iPhone as being such a dud that it won't have to do any marketing to offset the potential damage to its Windows Mobile business. But something tells me that's not going to happen.

Topics: Microsoft, iPhone, Mobile OS, Mobility, Windows

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52 comments
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  • Put a lid on it

    The Nokia engineers have done it again! The all new [url=http://www.nseries.com/products/n95/index.html#l=products,n95]N95 [/url]has a feature called:

    'The Lid'

    You can open it whenever you want to peer inside and, if you want, can replace the SIM or even the battery (included)!

    It's fingtastik.

    BTW, N95's come 'unlocked'.

    Thank youz.
    D T Schmitz
    • No offence

      ...but Nokia's are useless as are Samsung's and pretty much every other phone I
      have owned apart from my Sony Ericsson.

      If these phones did their job well of playing music then people would have no
      need to buy iPod Nano's. The fact is that the software on these phones is poorly
      designed and they are not very functional at all so most people don't even bother
      with the features. Enter the iPhone, made by Apple, a company who actually
      knows how to write software and how to make devices more useable.

      I think people have just come to accept the crap that existing phone
      manufacturers churn out. The industry desperately needs something such as the
      iPhone to really shake up the phone market. Even if the iPhone isn't a huge
      success then I hope it does change mobile phones for the better.
      kyussmondo
      • Rock on

        I'll stick with 'on demand' streaming Rhapsody on my N800 WiFi or tethered to the N95 over MEdiaNet.

        Flat rate $9.99/month all you can eat.

        Or, I'll just listen on the N95 FM Radio with 'Visual Radio'.

        You can be sure iPhone won't be a huge success--more like just a niche market 'oddity'.
        D T Schmitz
  • Look for Windows Mobile 6 (Touch 'Surface' Edition)....

    In a few months......well you know the pattern! Or maybe just some of us do.

    Oh and by the way, the $500 (4 gig) iPhone will outsell the $600 (8 gig) iPhone, so why everyone here keep mentioning the $600 price tag?
    dave95.
    • I dunno.

      If I was going to shell out 500 dollars, I might as well shell out another 100 for double the storage.
      SniperCT
      • Yup

        People tend to buy the least expensive of an already 'expensive' product. The 30 GB iPod is the best selling hard-disk iPod, though the 80 GB (arguable a better deal) is $100 more.
        dave95.
    • Blogging on ZDNet 101

      " When talking 'bout the iPhone:
      Never mention the 499 dollar pricetag. Always quote a figure of 600 dollars"

      Didn't you see the memo
      Piot
    • Why?

      I thought Windows Mobile phones are already awesome. And besides the iPhone is
      going to be dud.
      YinToYourYang-22527499
    • Hehe, Apple is copying MS here

      Sorry dave but Windows Mobile has been touchscreen since before the iDumbPhone was a twinkle in Jobs' horn. It is Jobs that saw how great Windows Mobile was and decided to copy it although in typical Apple style, he couldn't copy anything that makes the Windows Mobile platform so great.
      NonZealot
      • A touchscreen is nothing

        It's what you do with it. Surely your not claiming MS invented the touchscreen.

        The touchscreen interface of the iPhone is what is so ground-breaking. Nothing like
        it existed before - nothing!
        Richard Flude
        • So I guess you've used it extensively?

          How much hands on time did you get to come to the conclusion that this interface is so revolutionary and that NOTHING existed like it ANYWHERE EVER?

          Just curious because I vividly remember Mac drones yammering on and on about the exact same thing in 1984 when the original Mac 128 launched and I just shook my head having had already seen the Xerox PARC in a technical publication.

          I know, I know... ZFS, NetBSD, MP3, sure all of these core technologies EXISTED, but they hadnt been sold with that "special Apple sumthin" so they didnt really matter. MAN its amazing how the cult of Apple wins converts! I think their TRUE innovation may just be some sort of electron based mind control!
          mlambert890@...
          • Xerox did have the PARC

            But what did they do with it? They couldn't even make a profit of selling
            Xerox PCs. Probably made more money from the deal with Apple that
            eventually led to the Lisa and Macs than they ever did in the PC
            business.

            The area where Apple is revolutionary is in their ability to take an idea,
            develop it into a product of both hardware and software with simple
            and elegant design and make it successful in the market place.
            Ken_z
          • Lisa was the biggest flop apple every put out

            Lisa was the biggest flop apple every put out. but that was back when jobs was still playing hippie with Wozniak

            " on a side note i think Wozniak is still stuck back in the 60s some where probably still on an asid trip he never came down off of."


            but back on topic Job's was a real Ass back then but he was not smart enough to hide it.

            he was running apple into the ground no one wanted to work with him.

            and Lisa was the biggest flop that apple ever released into the wild.
            SO.CAL Guy
          • RUH ROH, you talked about the WOZ, man...

            ...and SpotBoy didn't come to chew you out.

            Anyway, you're totally wrong about Apple's biggest flop. It wasn't the LISA, since
            there were some customers for the machine. It also wasn't the Apple III (Job's first
            bad design decision because the engineers wanted a "loud" fan and he didn't).

            It was the TAM (20th Anniversary Macintosh). When these beheamoths were
            released, they were the first true desktop computer to come standard with high-
            end speakers (Bose), an integrated LCD monitor (12.1" LCD), and a bunch of other
            crap designed to make it way effin expensive. Apple asked a mere $9995 each.
            They did sell a few of them.

            (It did come with one sweet feature, however - for that 10 grand you dropped on
            the cost of the computer, it would be delivered in a limo by a guy wearing a tux,
            who would then set it up for you...to my knowledge, even Mike Cox's MCSE's have
            never worn tuxes while installing Longhorn Beta on brand-spanking new Dell
            PowerEdge servers after picking them up in stretch Hummers, Navigators,
            Escalades, and Rovers.)
            nix_hed
        • Richard, How 'bout

          Windows Tablet?
          Nokia N800?
          D T Schmitz
          • How 'bout Newton (aka MessagePad) (nt)

            ;-)
            dave95.
      • Without Newton

        We probably wouldn't have the smart phone market that was conceived within the PDA
        market which Apple didn't invent, but made into what it is today. Palm, Windows
        Mobile...both are copies of Newton OS.

        That's ok though, I would expect anyone blinded by the glory of Vista (AKA
        Microsoft's copy of Mac OS 10.3 with Yahoo Widgets or pretty much any *nix
        windowing environment of the era) to remember that odd machine.
        nix_hed
    • Because

      It fits the paradigm of overpriced Apple flops.
      frgough
  • Why do I keep thinking PS3 when hearing about the iPhone

    Maybe Apple knows how to handle over-priced products better overall. They did
    quite well with the iPod and that was never cheap.

    I bet we will find out after June 29th.
    nucrash
  • Why does every blogger here miss the iPod apsect

    Yes, it costs $499 or $599. What never seems to be taken into account is the person who wants a wireless phone AND also wants/needs an iPod!?

    From the itunes store, 4Gig = $199, 8 gig = $249. That's for the nano, with a much smaller screen, but let's just ignore that.

    So, I can purchase an iPod for $199 and then have $300 to blow (staying under the $500 total). OK, that seems a little more reasonable for a wireless phone with big screen, surf the web, etc. Actually stacks up with many others at that point. Anyone got examples or comparable phones for $300.

    It doesn't seem to be that bad a deal if you want wireless service, want the big screen, want the easy-interface AND you NEED AN IPOD!

    So how much more could Apple charge for the 4 or 8 gig nano with the same size screen as the iPhone. Seems to be reducing the "bad deal" aspect even more.

    TripleII

    P.S. I don't own any Apple anything, probably never will until Jobs ports to Linux (so never), but I gotta call this omission, especially as rampant as it is.
    TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827