Microsoft is apparently preparing to battle the iPod. Not satisfied with decimating the Macintosh with undercut pricing (and, admittedly, a more sound distribution model) Microsoft wants the iPod to have a more Apple-like 5 percent market-share.
But will it work? Yes, and no.
Yes, because there is a significant percentage of people out there who simply don’t appreciate the stunning combination of design, technology, and usability that is Apple. These people appreciate a cheap price, languish in the familiarity of all things Microsoft, and don’t appreciate good design.
No, because this percentage of people is not 5 percent! The only reason Apple currently has such a low percentage of market share is because of the corporate market. Fueled by cost savings (helped along by Microsoft’s more sound distribution model as above) corporations flocked to Windows. Yes, they have suffered with buggy systems, viruses, and more but that is beside the point. To the bulk of working America a PC is, well a PC. This has led to parents demanding more and more that their children have a “real-world” experience with computers in schools which leads to less and less Macs in the school. It is a downward spiral that leads to 5 percent and until the Mac conquers the corporate domain I’m afraid it’s going to stay that way.
Where does that leave the iPod? Glad you asked! Because most consumers won’t have PC’s forced upon them by their bosses they will have a choice. And because Apple (wisely) released the iPod for both Mac and Windows everyone can use an iPod.
Yes, there will still be those who chose mediocrity over Apple. But something tells me that more than 5 percent of the population get it. And no matter what monopolistic cannons Microsoft aims at Apple this is a battle it can’t win.
Do you think Microsoft can beat the iPod in the marketplace?