Scoble writes a letter to Bill Gates on what Microsoft should do to compete with the iPod, and gets the Most Insulting Blog Entry Of The Year award. I agree he’s getting it all wrong, in typical big corporate thinking (I work for a huge company, and know a bit about corporate hype, and reverence to those in power, myself).
The irony is that Microsoft already has all the ingredients for the iPod killer. Windows Media Player on the PocketPC is the best portable audio application around, and PocketPC hardware has become cheap. Would you prefer to buy an expensive iPod that forces you to use iTUNES (at least officially), is plagued by Apple’s firmware updates, and only allows you to listen to music? Or would you prefer a sub-100$ handheld, powered by two AA batteries, with a monochrome touch screen to fast forward through a song easily and read ebooks, a CF card slot, and a bundled CF card reader? I would prefer the second, in fact I’m using a retrocomputing version of the same minus the AA batteries, and it’s the perfect audio device. Powerful audio output to be able to listen to anything in noisy subway cars, audio playing that remembers what you were listening and where when you power down the device, swappable storage, easy connectivity with any operating system via a minuscule CF card reader.
Scoble, you’re a blogger and you should know this, you don’t need big names, you need users. No need to “Pay whatever big money it’ll take to get stars like Elton John, Ludacris, Eminem, Shania Twain to work on designing an entirely new player from the ground up.”, just hire me and a couple other audio-ebook obsessed geeks, who know their way through the IT maze.