- Bill Gates: Cellphone will beat iPod
Gates tells newspaper that Apple's nifty little gizmo can't sustain itself.
CNN is running an article featuring Gates' prediction that the iPod is on the way out. From the article: 'As good as Apple may be, I don't believe the success of the iPod is sustainable in the long run.' His prediction for a successor? Mobile phones-- powered by none other than Windows Mobile 5.0, of course."
From the article:
Microsoft founder Bill Gates sees mobile phones overtaking MP3s as the top choice of portable music players, and views the raging popularity of Apple's iPod player as unsustainable, he told a German newspaper.
"You can make parallels with computers: Apple was very strong in this field before, with its Macintosh and its graphics user interface -- like the iPod today -- and then lost its position," Gates said.
Bill may be right on the first point, maybe, but if he is, I'm looking forward to seeing the product that actually upstages the iPod. The iPod is far from perfect but it's also (IMHO) #1 for a good number of reasons, it's styling, funcionality, integration, ease of use and quite honestly, the one thing that I see as a huge advantage over devices using Windows Media Player - It lets me do what I want with my music - without getting in the way.
The majority of the content on my iPod is either CDs that I've digitized myself (which are in mp3 format) or podcasts (also in mp3 format) - with a few dozen songs purchased through the iTunes Music store. In this format, I can use them however I see fit, use them on multiple devices - send them to friends, etc.
"If you were to ask me which mobile device will take top place for listening to music, I'd bet on the mobile phone for sure," Gates told the newspaper.
I totally disagree with Gates on this point. I've got several devices capable of playing mp3 files - my Palm Tungsten T3, my cell phone, a non-iPod music player, etc.. yet I spend nearly no time using any of those devices to listen to music. I think it's quite cool that we're going to have iTunes integration in the rumored iTunes Motorola phone but depending on how smoothly the integration goes - I don't see myself using it in that capacity all that much. I don't want to take my phone into the gym so I can listen to music on it.
Especially considering these higher end MS phones are not going to be cheap (at least initially) so having a phone that cost several hundred dollars bang around on your hip while you are on the stair master just isn't all that appealing to me (especially when a $99 iPod Shuffle works perfectly for that environment). I honestly expected to completlely hate the shuffle as I sat in the Moscone Center back in January watching Steve Jobs unveil it. Why would I want one of these slimmed down iPods when I've got the real deal already? Ok, I was wrong on that one and I completely love my shuffle for everything from mowing the lawn to running, it's a perfect fit. Somehow can't see the phone taking those spots.
In the United States, however, Microsoft smartphones have been overshadowed by Research In Motion's BlackBerry wireless e-mail device, which has sold 3 million so far. Gates said that Microsoft's rival Windows Mobile 5.0 -- which will let e-mails pop up on a user's phone as soon as they arrive, and which is expected to be running phones on the market in the next few months -- would be cheaper. "The BlackBerry is great but we're bringing a new approach," he said. "With BlackBerry you need to link to a separate server, and that costs extra. With us, the e-mail function will already be part of the server software."
Research In Motion has really beaten Microsoft to the punch on this one - for years! Talk to anyone who depends on complete remote connectivity while they are away from the office (Lawyers, I'm looking at you) - and RIM is the only real game in town. Can Microsoft change that? Remains to be seen. I laugh at Gate's comment about the Blackberry needing a separate server while with 'us', you already have the server software. (Big assumption here Bill, so as long as you've already paid Microsoft thousands of dollars for the backend servers, you have everything you'll ever need!)
"Therefore I'd venture the prediction that Microsoft will make wireless e-mail ubiquitous."
Sorry Bill, That's already here - it's called WiFi --- As someone who is really interested in mobile computing, I am quite interested to see what MS has in the works for this new version. However, I've also been following Microsoft for nearly 23+ years now and have been through enough hype roller-coasters to know that their software so seldomly lives up to expectations. Personally, I'm much more interested in what might someday come of this. I love the idea of a tablet PC and if Apple ever decides to throw down in that market, I'll be the first in line.
- 1:42:31 PM