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MS isn’t Apple (good)

February 13, 2006

Behind the Times?:

Podcasting is hot. Everyone is into it. I wonder how long it will be until Microsoft comes up with tools to let PC users join in. Microsoft is trying to shed it’s slow-as-molasses big company image with advertising campaigns. It’s not working. Now Apple has introduced Photocasting, and where is Microsoft on that? Vodcasts, podcasts, and photocasts are now swirling around the globe and Microsoft doesn’t seem to notice. I don’t understand how they can still be in the game if they don’t pay attention to trends.
[continues…]

[Via The Unofficial Microsoft Weblog]

Okay, so even I don’t know WTF “photocasting” is.  Is this author referring to something like Flickr, or Smugmug (the service Alicea and I use)?  That’s what I’m gonig to assume this guy is talking about.

In which case … SO WHAT?  Does Microsoft have to play in every space that Apple does just to be vindicated?  Who says?  Where’s the business value in competing with a specialized online community portal that’s already doing a great job?  MS (traditionally – you can debate with MSN) isn’t about community, it’s about tools.  Besides, I’d rather see MS leverage existing portals/communities rather than build them.  Why do you think Google and Yahoo have been gobbling up Blogger, Flickr, etc.?

“Don’t pay attention to the trends?”  I’d say MS made the best play ever in acquiring, nurturing, and growing a service/community: Hotmail.

Here are some numbers: over 200 million Hotmail users versus perhaps 1 million Mac.com users.  [Note: MS makes Hotmail usage numbers available on their press page, where as Apple pretty much hides that kind of info].  Here’s an interesting excerpt from the article where I finally found the mac.com numbers:

“The other .Mac components … work nicely together, but don’t offer a rich online experience compared to what Yahoo is doing with social media and tagging or companies like 37signals are doing with Web applications.  Of course, software not somehow tied into the Macintosh platform isn’t of great interest to Apple.”

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Categories: Uncategorized
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