Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

The emperor still has no clothes

Posted by - December 6, 2004

by Doug Millison for

Microsoft's consumer electronics offerings continue to take hits from influential columnists.

Last week, Walter Mossberg slammed the Portable Media Center, a Microsoft design implemented by Samsung, Creative Labs and iRiver, in the Wall Street Journal.

Today, Mike Langberg focuses on the shortcomings of Microsoft's new MSN TV 2 Internet & Media Player in Silicon Valley's hometown newspaper, the San Jose Mercury News.

The new Microsoft system, Langberg observes, "tries to do two things at once, almost always a recipe for disaster in personal technology."

"The $199 box, introduced in October as an update to the fading WebTV line, wants to offer simplified computer-free Internet access to techno-phobes as well as fancy home networking to discriminating ultra-geeks," Langberg writes.

"MSN TV 2 makes it easy to find digital photos, video and music on your PC's hard drive for playback through a TV, as well as delivering of streaming Internet audio and video," he notes, but "broadband users won't want MSN TV 2 for much else, because Web browsing, e-mail and instant messaging would be so much faster on a PC."

His devastating conclusion (and one that you'd think the marketing specialists at Microsoft would have hit upon): "There's no reason, in other words, to pay $10 a month to Microsoft for the privilege of accessing your own media files."

by Doug Millison for


'Broadband enthusiasts' likely to turn up their noses at MSN TV 2 by Mike Langberg, San Jose Mercury News, 6 December 2004

Mossberg goes for the PMC jugular by Doug Millison, Silicon Valley Media Watch, 2 December 2004

What's the story? Doug Millison also edits, "on a need-to-know basis"

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