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Monday, May 03, 2010

MooPig Site Reviews :: "John C. Dvorak, PC Magazine"

Read the Entire Article HERE, our Favorite Opinion-ator .. John C. Dvorak
retrieved by Pat Darnell

Where is My Zune Phone?
By: John C. Dvorak

EXCERPT  |  "Microsoft can deliver an iPhone competitor, so long as it does what it does best: copy and improve.
I want my Zune Phone. Bad. It would be the coolest phone to own, period. People would want to see what kind of phone Microsoft could create when left up to its own devices. Fact is, the Zune was never a crummy MP3 player. It just had a funny name and came in brown. They've since dropped the brown one, which is too bad.
"The problem with Microsoft is the fact that it is the world's largest company with no real VP of marketing. Although I would never call Microsoft an engineering company, it sure is run like one. The company has no marketing skills. That's fine when you are a monopoly. It's not so good when you have to compete with Apple. And as far as I can tell, Apple has nothing but marketing people.
Because of this, Microsoft is unable to develop and market a Zune Phone as a "have to own" device. Instead, the company keeps plodding along with Windows Mobile and never quite understands how it would benefit from making the un-iPhone. Yes, the company recently introduced the Kin, but that's just an updated Sidekick. It's no iPhone.
[ ... ]
"Microsoft's key to success with a Zune Phone would be the addition of all sorts of screwball features. An easy way to do this is to do what Microsoft has always done: copy other people's work. In this case, the handset should come preloaded with 100 apps. It wouldn't take a lot of time to find out the top 100 iPhone apps. Clone them and pre-install them on the Zune Phone—or make them a part of the phone's basic functionality.

I'm baffled by what has happened to Microsoft over the years. The company was notorious for copying and extending other people's ideas, as long as there were no patent restrictions. Heck, in some cases that didn't even matter. But now the company seems dead in the water. Why hasn't Microsoft copied the iTunes App Store? It can copy and then improve it. I'm still baffled by the fact that Microsoft hasn't deconstructed and cloned Facebook. How hard can it be? It's a Website, not machine code for a lunar lander.

"Microsoft can start its road to recovery by rolling out a Zune Phone packed with weird features. Hire the top designers in the world to make it fold into a cube. Do something interesting, boys. You can do it, if you want to. And keep the Zune name. It's not bad if it gets associated with the words "zoom" (as in fast) and "tunes" (as in music). Or how about just sticking with the "Z?" The Zune can be the music player only. The phone can be the zPhone. The zPad will be next on the agenda. Okay, you'll have to play with the words, but it could work.

Also, make the thing out of tungsten. Drop it, and it would break the floor. Tungsten has a great finish. People will ask, "wow, it's actually made from tungsten?" These ideas are out there, Microsoft, just put on your thinking cap.

The company has to realize that, unless it gets a buzz going soon, all of that money it's spending on Windows Phone 7 will fall by the wayside, as more and more people associate the smartphone with the iPhone and Android OSes.

"There is an irony here. Microsoft actually invented the smartphone—but its vision was myopic and remains so to this day. When the company asked itself what someone would use a smartphone for, the answer it came up with was to store .doc files and do Powerpoint from the phone. Microsoft didn't come up with the idea of scanning in bar codes for price comparisons over the Net.

It's simple. Admit that you have no vision and incorporate the vision of others into a device that is simultaneously derivative and unique. I know I'm asking the impossible from today's Microsoft, but it's worth a shot. And repeat after me: tungsten, tungsten, tungsten."

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