04:31 AM

The emperor still has no clothes

by Doug Millison for SiliconValleyWatcher.com

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 SiliconValleyWatcher.com


'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 OnlineJournalist.org, "on a need-to-know basis"