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Origami, an iPod-like device from Microsoft and comparing some notes

Microsoft confirms here that they are going to release an iPod-Like device, which will allow users to listen to music, browse internet, play video games and jot handwritten notes. It all started when a cryptic presentation at this domnain started creating some buzz. Let me look into my crystal ball :)

So we will all have to wait and see. Mircosoft defeated Apple in OS wars. Couple of days back i started reading a book on Apple and without a shadow of doubt Apple used to be one of the most promising and innovative companies and still is. One of the many dilemmas they faced back then, was the question their Managers used to ask each other ' Are we a hardware company or a Software company ?'

Now Apple was into hardware and software,both. They even started developing a tablet PC, yes, even before it was called Table PC. Steve Jobs was kicked out and a non-techy was put in charge of the company , by the way, later he also held the title of CTO alongwith his other titles. So all in all lot was happening at Apple in those days. They were all charged up. Lots of projects were floating around, they were innovating. Awful lot of competent and smart people were leaving the company at the same time.


But Microsoft is different. Deep pockets, smart people, small teams and non-contemporary software and management practises working on not-so-innovative tools and products. Yea, i mean over some time they are doing ordinary things extra ordinarly. Now coming back to the previous point, the point that caused me to write all this is 'Is Microsoft a software company or a hardware/game company ?'  They already are a software company since inception. Then they were into XBOX and now some iPod-like device. Microsoft will soon produce hardwares, ICs, start manufacturing desktop PC and laptops, atleast this is not beyond my comprehension. Now if my memory is serving me right, it was Compaq or someother company that faced that dilemma i.e. Hardware company Vs Software company. So what they did was that they got divided into divisions. A software division and a hardware division. Basic theme was to let division focus on their own entire product lines rather than stepping into other divions as it happened at Apple.

However, Microsoft has different mindset. They have small focussed teams and biggest advantage they get is that they own the most widely used OS in the world. So you say Internet is the next big giant. They have already won browser war; though they have been having tough time lately, just so you know. So it implicitly becomes very easy for them to pitch and test their ideas. Again it becomes very difficult to come up with a rational and sane answer to questions like 'What was intial focus, are you staying away from it ? ' and 'What is your focus, games,software,hardware or what? '  Microsoft was late in anticipating technological changes, at times, changes that occured in last decade. But when they did they took everything with a storm. But question remains, Microsoft is no more a company whose profits comes only from selling software. However, its true that their primary business is software. At times this is as simple as anything and at times it becomes difficult to comprehend.

Published Thursday, March 2, 2006 10:42 AM by fakeGeek

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# re: Origami, an iPod-like device from Microsoft and comparing some notes @ Friday, March 3, 2006 12:29 PM

Seems impressive; but if they keep this thing open and only focus themselves on OS/APIs side, it will attract everyone, similar to Tablet PCs and Pocket PCs (They even managed to attract Palm!


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