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  #121  
Old 07-04-2009, 02:18 PM
Olley Olley is offline
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What's your problem with (frankly) minorities? We have a few towns in Colorado where the minorities are the new majority. And why do you feel the majority customer wouldn't appreciate roxbox features if they had them?
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  #122  
Old 07-04-2009, 02:31 PM
DaveMac-MS DaveMac-MS is offline
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So Dave, What do you use to put music on players you've owned that aren't zunes?
<snip>
Is it intentional to limit the Zune App to Zunes? Think how much more music you might sell if every Sansa, Sony, Samsung, Cowon, Archos, and cheap under $50 player could be seen and synced by it.
I use ZMP, WMP and iTunes. Having all those devices support the Zune Marketplace means we'd be going back to being a platform - like PlaysForSure. There hasn't yet been a platform that has been financially successful. Verticals have proven themselves successful over and over. The nice thing about ZMP is that it is a vertical that lets you bring in content from elsewhere - as you say, CDs, radio, Amazon MP3s, etc...

My personal opinion is that a platform could work on a licensing basis (not on music sales) but that it would require a MASSIVE investment in resources and technology to oversee and implement. I don't see that happening in the immediate future.

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What's your problem with (frankly) minorities? We have a few towns in Colorado where the minorities are the new majority. And why do you feel the majority customer wouldn't appreciate roxbox features if they had them?
Whoa - I have no problem with minorities. _I'm_ a minority in this country. Don't take my comments out of context. As for Rockbox features - nobody is suggesting the feature set offered by the OS isn't interesting, or that people wouldn't appreciate them, I'm suggesting that the ability to change the OS on the device would be something very, VERY few people would do and I posit it would have an inconsequential impact on sales. I could be wrong, but that's my very strong hunch.

Cheers, Dave.
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  #123  
Old 07-04-2009, 02:31 PM
DaveMac-MS DaveMac-MS is offline
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BTW everyone - Happy Fourth of July for those in the US!

(heading out to a parade now, followed by hot dogs and hamburgers. Back online later!).

Cheers, Dave.
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  #124  
Old 07-04-2009, 02:33 PM
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Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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What's your problem with (frankly) minorities? We have a few towns in Colorado where the minorities are the new majority. And why do you feel the majority customer wouldn't appreciate roxbox features if they had them?
I don't think he was referring to racial minorities.... I think he was referring to advanced users that want to be able to tweak their gadgets ad infinitum as the minority of overall buyers of DAP's.

Edit: Dave-Mac beat me to it.
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  #125  
Old 07-04-2009, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveMac-MS View Post
FYI - that is very old data. Zune is not (not since gen1) hardware-related to the Toshiba gigabeat.

Cheers, Dave.
Hey Dave, we are talking about the first Gen units...
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  #126  
Old 07-04-2009, 04:22 PM
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CW, yea ... I knew I was barking up the wrong tree Happy 4th Mon!
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  #127  
Old 07-04-2009, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveMac-MS View Post
Hmm, well - it is alternative firmware for MP3 players, right? Not sure of the connection between my being a musician and your assumption I'd heard of it. Nonetheless, thanks for the link - I took a look and am up to speed.



Sorry, my other "pet peeve" (gosh I now realize I have a few of them - does that make me a grump?!?) - I think you meant "Microsoft couldn't care less, right?

Anyhow, on with the conversation...



This gets back to my original point in either this or a similar thread. Supporting a third party wanting to port a new OS to the device is a pretty major work item (forgetting for a moment that - as I've stated previously - we're selling an ecosystem, not just a device). I can say with very high confidence that the additional sales recognized would be more than countered by the additional costs incurred in supporting the port - both at development and through the lifecycle of the hardware.

You have to think all the way through. What happens when 2 years later you sell your device on eBay and the new buyer can't figure out why your Rockbox'd Zune doesn't work with Marketplace. Who are they going to call for help? Microsoft.

What about the movie studios and record labels? How will our support for the OS impact our relationships with them? Will they be less inclined to work with us? What impact will that have on Xbox? Windows? Media Center? These are all hypotheticals, but you have to understand that Microsoft is a large company and decisions made by one group in the company can have significant impact on other groups.



Firmware upgrades, yes. Replacing the firmware with an entirely different OS to enable fairly advanced features that appeal to (frankly) a minority? I still believe this would be a very small number of folks who would be interested in this.

Don't forget - the "average Joe" as you call him, has fairly basic needs and the vast majority of MP3 player owners in the US are more than satisfied with the most basic features offered by Zune, iPod, Zen, Samsung devices, etc... Now, that isn't a reason not to innovate and extend the feature set, but it does give cause for consideration that making a mass market product requires a mass market implementation.

As we've said elsewhere, that may mean the device isn't for everyone - but no device is.



FYI - that is very old data. Zune is not (not since gen1) hardware-related to the Toshiba gigabeat.

Cheers, Dave.
Dave with many (if not all) devices, one can easily restore the original firmware. Rockbox has been known to give dual boot options (can boot into either custom OS or original Zune default OS) as well as the option of restoring to original firmware. Some ipod touch owners have their devices jailbroken, but Apple itunes software always give the option of restoring to the original firmware. Which is good just in case the ipod becomes corrupt due to something not of the user's fault.
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  #128  
Old 07-04-2009, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by h1a8 View Post
Dave with many (if not all) devices, one can easily restore the original firmware. Rockbox has been known to give dual boot options (can boot into either custom OS or original Zune default OS) as well as the option of restoring to original firmware. Some ipod touch owners have their devices jailbroken, but Apple itunes software always give the option of restoring to the original firmware. Which is good just in case the ipod becomes corrupt due to something not of the user's fault.
Again - ask the average user how to restore their device to previous versions of firmware - I think you're gonna get a lot of blank stares.

Let me ask the group this question. Why do you think Apple doesn't go out of their way to help folks jailbreak or otherwise re-configure their devices? I'm curious to gauge the group's responses...

Cheers, Dave.
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  #129  
Old 07-04-2009, 04:50 PM
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Why does Microsoft do the exact same thing as Apple? It's not like you have to emulate Apple 100%...
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  #130  
Old 07-04-2009, 07:23 PM
DaveMac-MS DaveMac-MS is offline
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Why does Microsoft do the exact same thing as Apple? It's not like you have to emulate Apple 100%...
We don't do exactly the same thing as Apple. We've embraced subscription music, which Apple doesn't do. We've embraced radio and now HD radio which Apple has stubbornly refused to add to their devices. We allow accessories vendors much greater freedoms when building accessories and even partner with them by giving them much greater access to our roadmap than Apple does. I'd argue there is much more innovation in our PC client than Apple's iTunes software, and I'd also argue we've embraced the music industry as a whole in a much greater fashion than Apple has.

There are a TON of differences between Microsoft's approach and Apple's approach.

However - ask Amazon, and in particular their Kindle division, about the business reasons behind building a vertical business versus a horizontal platform. Ask Sony and their PlayStation team. Remember, Apple didn't invent the MP3 player and they didn't invent this vertical model. They've used it very successfully, and but so have others before them, and so will others after them. You can't accuse anyone who adopts a vertical model of copying Apple.

Cheers, Dave.
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  #131  
Old 07-04-2009, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveMac-MS View Post
Again - ask the average user how to restore their device to previous versions of firmware - I think you're gonna get a lot of blank stares.

Let me ask the group this question. Why do you think Apple doesn't go out of their way to help folks jailbreak or otherwise re-configure their devices? I'm curious to gauge the group's responses...

Cheers, Dave.
From a product support standpoint, I can clearly see your point about supporting or even appearing to support a completely third party OS. I think you face a lot of inherent resistance on this forum though because the _one_ thing Apple sells above all else is an eco-system. Being a somewhat "anti-Apple" organization here, you have to expect a bit of that from us. In reality the iPod was always a run of the mill, if not sub-par mp3 player, but the one thing it had going for it was it's ubiqutiousness and the world of iTunes. In a sense, Apple wasn't selling a device as much as they were selling a Golden Ticket to the world of mp3 for the uninitiated. This is brilliant because it moves product to the masses as they've shown by the fact that the iPod moniker is now synonymous with "mp3 player".

I suppose my objection to that marketing strategy is that it does alienate the user that wants more personalization, customization and features above setting wallpapers or themes. I bought an iPod exclusively for RockBox such that I could have a hard drive player with extensive codec support and scalability. I own an iPhone because (with a little work in JailBreaking) it is essentially a mobile UNIX platform and as such is easily the most versatile electronic device that has ever fit in my pocket. To call the subset of users that want that sort of control over their device a "minority" is truthful from the standpoint of sheer percentages. But I argue that only the extreme resistance of the companies marketing these products keeps this such a small minority. Think about my previous example, "JailBreaking" Apple iPhones and iPod Touch devices. Apple has released firmware updates that do little else then patch holes found by the ingenious and hard working people coming up with the code to jailbreak the devices. Apple has even petitioned the federal government to make JailBreaking illegal for the end user. Who owns the device, Apple or the Consumer?

I suppose what the minority wants is not support, but complicity. Maybe a nudge in the right direction. Maybe make the hardware open so the right ingenious people can make software for the minority who choose to do the work to make it happen. Your example about the average user who buys a RockBox'ed player from eBay then immediately calls Microsoft for support assumes that the Microsoft policy would be any different than for any other third party software issue. When I call the Windows helpline to complain about Adobe Photoshop not working, what do you think I hear? If the software were to exist, would that mean that Microsoft would be compelled to support it? Would they lose sales if someone bought a Zune second hand and didn't understand what OS the original customer had put on it? I don't know. I doubt it. As you said, the Zune is an eco-system. The device itself is less consequential to sales than what it allows the consumer to do. Making the hardware available for modification can only serve to capture that market that Apple inherently loses: Those that want a device with the ubiquity to be worthwhile, but one with the customization to actually do what they the consumer want with it.
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  #132  
Old 07-04-2009, 09:45 PM
artzm artzm is offline
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I just got back from four months in Australia and I have 3 difficult questions for you....

Tim Tam or Oreos?

Ketchup or Tomato Sauce?

Why don't we have delicious meat pie in America?
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  #133  
Old 07-04-2009, 11:22 PM
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sassafras: Hear, hear! Thank you for your thorough and eloquent post. I doubt any one of us is under the illusion that our opinions will prompt Microsoft to shift (even an iota) from their predetermined approach to the Zune and its functionality, but it's good to see an expression of our minority viewpoint all the same.

I would be interested to find out, if a Zune App service does end up becoming a reality, just how much flexibility it will afford the 3rd-party developer (whether it will allow access to the player's media library à la the iPhone/touch's OS 3.0, for example), and whether a Rockbox app might, in that case, be possible...
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  #134  
Old 07-05-2009, 03:32 AM
DaveMac-MS DaveMac-MS is offline
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Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
Being a somewhat "anti-Apple" organization here, you have to expect a bit of that from us. In reality the iPod was always a run of the mill, if not sub-par mp3 player, but the one thing it had going for it was it's ubiqutiousness and the world of iTunes.
This is true - thanks for underscoring the point that folks here are passionate against Apple's approach, and Microsoft shouldn't expect much sympathy with a similar business model. I get that. I don't get why people in here expect Microsoft to be the only vendor in the world to make a product for all people - but regardless, I'm enjoying the debate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
To call the subset of users that want that sort of control over their device a "minority" is truthful from the standpoint of sheer percentages. But I argue that only the extreme resistance of the companies marketing these products keeps this such a small minority. Think about my previous example, "JailBreaking" Apple iPhones and iPod Touch devices.
I have to disagree with you there. The only reason that 95% of iPhone jailbreakers hack their phones is to use the device on another carrier. If Apple allowed you to use your iPhone on any carrier, jailbreaking numbers would drop to niche levels. I'm sure of it. Only the most dedicated of advanced users will go to the effort to replace the firmware on their devices otherwise.

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Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
Your example about the average user who buys a RockBox'ed player from eBay then immediately calls Microsoft for support assumes that the Microsoft policy would be any different than for any other third party software issue. When I call the Windows helpline to complain about Adobe Photoshop not working, what do you think I hear?
Well, this analogy doesn't quite hold - people are pretty well trained now that they don't call Microsoft when an application breaks, they call the app vendor. But, in your example the problem still exists because they still call Microsoft. The cost incurred in the user making the call to support is when the phone is answered, not in providing the answer. Whether the call response is "sorry we can't help", or "sure, here's what to do" - the cost to us has been made.

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Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
If the software were to exist, would that mean that Microsoft would be compelled to support it? Would they lose sales if someone bought a Zune second hand and didn't understand what OS the original customer had put on it?
I don't think you're thinking through the impact to the business across the lifecycle. Who is paying for the codecs on Rockbox? What happens to accessories that now don't work on RB enabled devices (and who pays for the support calls to those vendors)? Who submits the new device/OS combo for government regulation certification? Who is responsible for the device being uncertified following the installation of different firmware? Who from RB is working with the music and movie industries to ensure all technologies implemented are compliant, approved and any royalties paid? And so on...

Many of you will say I'm dreaming up problems or accuse me of pandering to Hollywood or content owners. My point is that these are real issues we have to deal with - and so being seen to support the removal of our own OS in favor of some open source code that we have no insight into could jeopardize the business in all kinds of ways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
Making the hardware available for modification can only serve to capture that market that Apple inherently loses: Those that want a device with the ubiquity to be worthwhile, but one with the customization to actually do what they the consumer want with it.
And therein lies the rub. At the end of the day, our extensive market research and product planners don't believe that this market is very big at all. They could be wrong - god knows I fight with our product planners on an almost daily basis - but I will admit that if they came to me and told me we should drop our plans and instead work to support RB, I'D be incredibly skeptical of their data and would challenge it immediately. That's just my hunch, and it seems my hunch is supported by data (and prior art for that matter).

But, to really drive this point home - this in NO WAY invalidates your argument for RB support on Zune. There are features I wish the Zune had which it doesn't, which I think would sell more devices. But, we have a full team of people whose job it is to figure out what will sell devices and they get to make those choices. I could go join that team if I felt strongly about it - but I don't because I think given our business goals, we get it mostly right.

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Originally Posted by artzm View Post
I just got back from four months in Australia and I have 3 difficult questions for you....

Tim Tam or Oreos?

Ketchup or Tomato Sauce?

Why don't we have delicious meat pie in America?
Haha, nice.

Tim Tam's FOR SURE. Tomato sauce (or dead 'orse actually). And there ARE delicious meat pies in America - visit the "Kangaroo and Kiwi" Pub in Seattle for the best meat pie and sausage rolls this side of the Pacific...

Cheers, Dave.
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  #135  
Old 07-05-2009, 03:59 AM
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Haha, nice.

Tim Tam's FOR SURE. Tomato sauce (or dead 'orse actually). And there ARE delicious meat pies in America - visit the "Kangaroo and Kiwi" Pub in Seattle for the best meat pie and sausage rolls this side of the Pacific...
MEAT PIE!!!! *slobbers on keyboard*

I buy 1 a day from the canteen at school . Glad to know your still getting the pie over there dave .
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  #136  
Old 07-05-2009, 12:26 PM
cubanresourceful cubanresourceful is offline
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What's a meat pie?
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  #137  
Old 07-05-2009, 04:42 PM
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What's a meat pie?
I'm wondering the same thing?

Also, have you ever tried a Jamaican Beef/Chicken Patty on Cocoa Bread? It's fantastic, and a full MEAL costing around $3.00USD.
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  #138  
Old 07-05-2009, 05:07 PM
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Hey Dave, have you ever seen the movie "Kenny"? -- about an Australian portable toilet professional. It's a laugh riot! Highly recommended to anyone.
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  #139  
Old 07-05-2009, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by cubanresourceful View Post
What's a meat pie?

OMG!!! lol. Meat Pie:
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  #140  
Old 07-05-2009, 08:38 PM
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OMG!!! lol. Meat Pie:
Looks like what we refer to as a "Beef Pot Pie", even though it's actually baked in an oven. Looks delish BTW.
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