Just as a follow on to that last post, it’s interesting to compare the marketing strategies of Microsoft and Apple, especially when it comes to the release of new products.
Microsoft takes the hype-it-up-early approach – witness such products as Origami, Vista and Zune. Apple on the other hand are very tight-lipped about new products and essentially say nothing until a new product is announced by His Steveness at an event like MacWorld or WWDC. This latter approach by Apple always seems to cause the rumour mills to work overtime with speculation and guessing at just what might emerge, but the actual product releases often exceed consumer expectation, or at least are still full of surprises. On the other hand, Microsoft’s hype-in-advance approach seems to build enormous consumer expectation around their products but it is often dissapointingly not met when the crunch comes.
With both Vista and Zune still out on the horizon somewhere, it will be interesting to watch and see just how they manage to meet the expectation they have created for themselves. It appears that in Vista’s case the only way they will be meeting their long-overdue launch date will be to water down or eliminate features… and many of those features are ones that OS X Tiger already has.
Zune is still a ways off and is being touted as an iPod killer, but with over 75% of the portable music player market it will have a lot of catching up to do. And now Sandisk is talking about having an 8Gb flash memory based player, filled to the brim with features at a competitive price.
I can’t help but think that the key differentiator is not just about features but rather usability, and the others have a long way to go to catch the iPod in that regard. Not only that, but it’s only a matter of time before Apple (and others) have access to 8Gb flash memory, and with the profit Apple makes on iPods, they can still afford to compete.
Bring it on…