The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

Mr. Jobs finally plays his hand

Wednesday 13 September 2006 at 2:37 am

I was going to resist, but the nerd in me just has to post about this.

Steve Job’s big “Showtime” media event has just finished, and aside from some major (but hardly earth-shattering) software upgrades to iTunes and the iPod, he announced two very significant new bits of hardware. If there was any doubt that Apple were going after Sony’s turf and transforming into a consumer electronics company, it is put to rest as of right now.

[Tiny new iPod Shuffle; note that Creative Commons licence does not apply to this image] Announcement one is the ridiculously tiny, and very aggressively priced, new iPod shuffle. Expect to see buses and trains near you absolutely littered with these things in a month or two.

[Apple media centre, code name iTV; note that Creative Commons licence does not apply to this image] Number two: the “iTV” is so new it lacks a real name, but it’s basically a device that plugs into your TV and runs an upgraded version of Front Row. In other words, it’s an Apple media centre.

It’s due for release early next year, looks like a Mac Mini, and has Ethernet, HDMI, and wireless. The networked home-theatre PC world has so far solely been the preserve of geeks with homebrew setups; for Apple to move into this space is a very big deal.

If it takes off, I dare say this thing is going to be big, like iPod big. And even if it doesn’t, Steve has now played enough of his hand that we know his new plan for world domination, summarised nicely in this slide from the talk.

[Apple is in your den, Apple is in your living room, Apple is in your car, Apple is in your pocket; note that Creative Commons licence does not apply to this image]


Zune-er or later, will MS trump iPod?

Saturday 22 July 2006 at 3:05 pm

So what’s Zune? It’s Microsoft’s new, holistic approach to music and entertainment.

Wow, Microsoft (finally) confirmed the existence of their ‘iPod killer’ today.

Few details about the device(s) beyond what’s already known, but there’s some vague info on the semi-official blogs of Cesar Menendez (source of the quote) and Richard Winn, two of Zune’s marketeers. Said blogs feature videos from YouTube, have a very Scoble-esque personal touch, and even link to various unofficial Zune blogs. This is definitely not the Microsoft of old.

The only other official announcements are a teaser ad and a slightly disturbing Flash animation.

It’s obviously far too early to pass any serious judgement on this thing, but the early signs are that Microsoft (or at least this product group) actually get it. They’re talking about moves straight out of the playbooks of MySpace,, and perhaps also Pandora. If that’s the case, I’d be worried for the iPod — I dare say that even Apple’s mindshare monopoly over the word ‘cool’ is no match for the power of properly-executed social media services.

(via TechCrunch, et al.)

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