Microsoft Big Loser In Format War

Toshiba is not the only big loser in this battle for the future of HD media. Make no mistake, this was a stunning defeat for Microsoft.

Roughly Drafted has it all here. I found it via Digital Bits.

Microsoft has been posting some big profits the past year, but they really only come from their lock on enterprise. Because people have to use Windows at work, they buy a P.C. for the home because that’s what they are familiar with.

Every other business they have entered, other than Office or the OS they are followers; advertising, web portals, Zune and Windows Mobile (iPhone already has a larger market share than all Windows Mobile devices combined, and that’s after only one year!) For most Microsoft products, I can name a better version that someone else makes.

Some examples:

Hotmail – I use Google’s Gmail. Much better.

UPDATE…From Robert Scoble’s Twitter Feed

Scobleizer: I’m switching all my email over to Gmail. Gmail is so much faster than Hotmail it isn’t funny. about 3 hours ago from im

Robert’s full post on the big email switch is here.

Windows Mobile – I use BlackBerry because I don’t want my phone to crash. The iPhone is also a good choice.

XBox 360 – I bought a PS3, because of Blu-ray, the advanced processing power, the built-in features and long term, the games selection will get better.

Windows Vista – I use Leopard on the Mac. I don’t have to install drivers, edit the registry or scan for viruses and spyware (and use up 30% of my CPU cycles in the process).

Zune – Seriously, iPods are better in every way. The new Zunes are an improvement over the first gen, but come on, they are what the iPod was three years ago.

Windows Live – I use Google Reader, Docs, Calendar, iGoogle, Maps. All superior products.

Of course, that’s just my opinion. It’s what works best for me. Use whatever product works for you. I’m not saying that the hundreds of millions of people that use Microsoft products are wrong, or made a bad choice. I just prefer other solutions.

And a final thought on the XBox 360. As the RoughlyDrafted article points out, XBox is considered a success, but danger lies ahead.

360 shipments also fell 33% year over year as buyers shifted their attention to the newer Nintendo Wii and PS3. The Wii outsold the 360 in 2007 and the PS3 came within a stones throw of matching its sales [update: the PS3 has also eclipsed 360 unit sales as it enters its second year]. Going forward, there is no reason for thinking 360 sales will dramatically turn around, as sales growth fell this year despite the arrival of major hit new games.

I would add that the spectacular failure rate of the units and the fact that they use a DVD instead of Blu-ray drive means games are severely restricted due to the low storage capacity compared with an HD disc. This will become more pronounced in 2008 as games become larger and larger in size.

I have not purchased a Microsoft product since fall of 2002 when I bought a copy of Windows XP. I don’t see that changing in the near future.

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