No Zune phone as MSFT goes aggro v iPhone

Microsoft has moved to cease speculation it intends releasing its own Zune
phone to compete with the Apple iPhone, and presumably the iPod touch.

The company pooh-poohed the notion during its financial results announcement this week, saying its strategy will be to improve Windows Mobile and continue working with its existing hardware partners.

CEO Steve Ballmer and entertainment and devices business chief Robbie Bach said Microsoft intends pursuing a software strategy and will work more closely with partners in future.

“You will see dramatic improvements between the integration on software and hardware,” said Bach.

The company is clearly looking to support standards which aren’t supported on the iPhone – we presume Silverlight is part of this plan. We suspect we touched on this strategy yesterday when we noted that a new MSN video-streaming service owned by Microsoft in the UK does not support current iterations of OS X.

Bach promises the next version of Windows Mobile will offer a, “very rich browsing experience with the ability to get to more sites than you can get on an iPhone.”

We’re old enough to remember just a few years back when the lack of support for open standards in Internet Explorer and Microsoft’s web-building tools effectively created areas of the internet which could be accessed by Windows only. We welcomed the point at which the internet became more freely available despite platform or OS.

We’re saddened that Microsoft, in an attempt to shore up sales of its mobile software now seems prepared to create and then profit from a repeat of that experience. It may have helped the company maintain its monolithic market share, but it was terrible for those of us who don’t buy into Redmond’s logic. And Bach’s statements suggest such a plan is on the cards.

Bach also said that Microsoft has made significant investments in top quality talent to boost development of its mobile and entertainment products.

So that’s alright, then…

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8 thoughts on “No Zune phone as MSFT goes aggro v iPhone

  1. MT

    Sigh. They just don’t learn, do they? I suspect that only a serious financial beatdown will ever convince Redmond to do the right thing. I’m doing my part to make that happen, though!

  2. jjj

    Since when is Silverlight a “standard?” That is, what international body has acknowledged Silverlight as a standard?

  3. Jocca

    Me too. There are alternatives out there to replace Microsoft Office Suite (which is suffering from serious bloat anyway) which are free to all platforms. NeoOffice version 3.0 is fast and very competent. I can open most excel and word files with it, even power point files. For Power Poinf files I prefer to use Keynote.

  4. Michael Linehan

    “…effectively created areas of the internet which could be accessed by Windows only.”

    The reason it worked back then was a combination of massive dominance and the blinkers on most people’s eyes. The dominance has taken huge hits, and for huge numbers of people, the blinkers are gone. Individuals and businesses are not going to submit to a similar attempt to control the Internet, this time.

    Microsoft reeeally need to get over this pathological need to dominate everything in sight. It’s not going to happen, Steve. Maybe you could even shift to “producing actual quality products” as your primary goal.

  5. Mr. Reeee

    Microsoft lives in it’s own little bubble where it believes that ANYthing they support is a “standard”. If the products they released were any good, that would be one thing, but when nearly everything is third rate at best, eventually people figure it out and look for alternatives.

    The rest of the world knows better than to back supposed “standards” from Redmond. They screw their “partners” every chance they get. How many online music “standards” squirting from MS have come, failed and been abandoned by Microsoft, with their “partners” left holding the bag, losing millions of dollars, pissing off and alienating their customers?

    When you have a monopoly like Microsoft, why care about customers or partners?

    Why do you think HD DVD failed? Aside from being clearly inferior to Blu-ray, the media and entertainment industries… actually EVERY industry that had ever been reamed repeatedly by Microsoft… simply said NO. Even when MS tried paying off Hollywood studios to support HD DVD, they failed.

    No one wants to see Microsoft ever monopolize any technology again.

    Earth to Redmond, give it up.

  6. Tom B

    Pundits: Apple MUST get Flash on the iPhone.

    User: We HATE CPU-sucking Flash. It’ll kill battery life. We wish Flash (and Silverlight) would disappear from the web! All hail HTML5, and STANDARDS!

    MSFT: You’ll eat our fracking Silverlight and like it whether it drains your battery or not! We are MSFT, the all powerful. BTW: that iPhone thingy is just a fad!

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