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MS Portable Not A Game Player?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the conflicting-reports dept.

81

Though Microsoft's 'Argo' (now known to be bearing the name 'Zune') is most assuredly a shot at the iPod, it may not be going after the handheld gaming market. Gamespot explores rumours stating that the 'Zune' is simply a first step on Microsoft's road into that particular sector of the games industry. From the article: "The Zune could also just be the first step towards something bigger. People are already speculating about Xbox 360 integration with the device, beginning with streaming audio, like the iPod currently does. But add a few buttons, a thumbstick, and a little more horsepower, and the Zune could soon be singing gamers' tunes." I'd imagine we'll see some simple Xbox Live Arcade style games, which will impact your Xbox gamertag via Live Anywhere. With Vista pushed out to January, they've got to have something to show this Christmas.

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81 comments

Something wrong with the priorities (4, Funny)

SchwarzeReiter (894411) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714207)

They have spare engineers for this, but they can not finish Vista?

Re:Something wrong with the priorities (2, Insightful)

VikingThunder (924574) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714251)

More people != more efficiency.

Re:Something wrong with the priorities (1)

SchwarzeReiter (894411) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714361)

Efficiency = Getting things done in the same time with less people

More People + Less Efficiency > Less People + Less Efficiency

Re:Something wrong with the priorities (2, Funny)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714484)

There's some mythical man-months that would like a word with you.

Brooks' Law (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714488)

If you have "Less Efficiency" on both sides of the equation, that beg's the question, "less than what?" The way it often works after a certain point is, the more people you add, the less the efficiency you get. Therefore we have Brooks' Law [wikipedia.org] (which as the wikipedia article itself admits is rather generalized.)

Re:Brooks' Law (1)

SchwarzeReiter (894411) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714528)

What I mean is that efficiency is the measure of how much your man can produce during a period of time, and it has theoretically nothing to do how much people are working on the project. If you say after a point you can't manage them, I say you are right.

Re:Brooks' Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15719721)

Next time you're on Wikipedia, why not stop over at the "begs the question" section? I think you'll find it enlightening.

Re:Something wrong with the priorities (5, Insightful)

Osty (16825) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714266)

They have spare engineers for this, but they can not finish Vista?

Do you really think that everyone at Microsoft works on Windows? What would you expect a bunch of hardware guys to be able to do with a software project, anyway? This argument is silly. Adding more people to Vista won't necessarily make it ship any sooner (and more likely would cause even more delays), and that's assuming Microsoft would move the developers anyway. They have many projects in many markets, and they're not going to sacrifice that just because the bread-winner OS is struggling (there's still Office to bring in the cash).

Should everybody at Sun work on Java? Should everybody at IBM work on WebSphere? Should everybody at Google work on search? Should everybody at Sony work on PS3? So why should everybody at Microsoft work on Windows?

Re:Something wrong with the priorities (1)

SchwarzeReiter (894411) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714438)

No, I dont think everyone at Microsoft is working on Vista. What I know it is the main cash cow of M$, and history showed that if you diversify the company profile, the result will be a few millions thrown out the window, and spinning of the unit, and selling it to the people, whose main profile is that, what the unit does. That is exactly what Intel has done with the embedded units recently, but embedded is a market which is actually growing. Me thinks that this market where M$ wants to go now, is full, and some of the players are real hevyweights.

I agree that adding more people to the Vista project now won't really help any more, but if they would have done it in time, maybe it could have.

I dont think M$ actually design hardware for this, not a lot of companies do it any more. I think they bought the design from people with main competence on that market.

The other companies you mentioned, the real question is if they dont do it, in a few years time are they still around or they second priority projects sink the whole company. For Sun things do not run very well at the moment.

Re:Something wrong with the priorities (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714499)

actually, the main cash cow for microsoft is office.

Re:Something wrong with the priorities (1)

SchwarzeReiter (894411) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714539)

I wish you good nitpicking. It is definitely not making I-Pods.

Re:Something wrong with the priorities (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714556)

It's hard to say. Clearly it's not now, but who knows what the future will bring? Halo effect, etc. Just saying "not my core business" and ignoring it is a great way to obsolete yourself.

Re:Something wrong with the priorities (1)

SchwarzeReiter (894411) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714586)

Apropo Halo effect, did the XBox division ever made profits except the quarter they released Halo?
I think the best way to make yourself obsolete, is to throw a lot of effor other than your core business. Fine, do it if you can do it early, to build a market, but in that market M$ is not even second.

Re:Something wrong with the priorities (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714683)

Dunno. Don't really think it matters.

As for MS being late to the market - MS has enough cash on hand to simply buy both Sony and Nintendo. It doesn't matter if they're late to market. They can afford to sit back and learn from everyone elses mistakes, which is what they generally do.

When it comes to long-term bidness strategy, I think it's a safe bet that MS knows what they're doing.

Re:Something wrong with the priorities (1)

SchwarzeReiter (894411) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714742)

No, they cant. Maybe they could buy Nintendo, but market value is not cash in your pocket, SCEI is too big for them to swallow. I think the market would tolerate them buying Ninetendo, but if they buy Sony Entertainment, Wall Street kicks them in ass.

So no, they can't afford it. If they screw up with Vista, their shareprice will fall, and then they will kill those adventures.

Re:Something wrong with the priorities (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714787)

Last time I checked (eep, I guess that was two years ago) MS had more cash reserves than Sonys market cap.

I was shocked too.

Not that it'd ever be a good idea - they can defeat Sony much more cost-effectively. I'm just sayin'.

Re:Something wrong with the priorities (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#15718493)

They would have to off Yamauchi in order to buy Nintendo. I imagine that'd be rather hard, their agents would suffer "unfortunate accidents".

Re:Something wrong with the priorities (1)

Molt (116343) | more than 7 years ago | (#15719258)

When the iPod was first released making music players wasn't Apple's core business either, it seems to have worked out for them. Sometimes diversification works.. now, diversification into a saturated market may be more difficult.

I do suspect MS'll find a spin on this so it appears 'more' than the iPod.

Re:Something wrong with the priorities (1)

SchwarzeReiter (894411) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714686)

This is modded insightful? No wonder everybody is reading digg nowadays.

Sony, they had once the walkmans. Where are the walkmans now? IBM actually made this thing we call PC, they are now a consulting company, mostly working on billing more hours to their customers. Should everyone at Google work on search? They are the ones really trying hard to diversify, but they are not nearly as successful with the other projects. Anyway search is in there in every piece of their projects.

Re:Something wrong with the priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15715018)

I think your humor chip is broken, or you were too much of a cheapskate to get one installed in the first place.

Re:Something wrong with the priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15717303)

Do you really think

Yes.
Next!

Re:Something wrong with the priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15724398)

"Should everybody at Sun work on Java? Should everybody at IBM work on WebSphere? Should everybody at Google work on search? Should everybody at Sony work on PS3?"

Hmm. I suppose the point of this sentence wasn't to make me think "hell yeah", but still :P

Re:Something wrong with the priorities (1)

Morgahastu (522162) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714451)

Large companies act like several smaller companies. The XBox team has ntohing to do with the Windows team. The Xbox team has it's own budget and it it decides to spend that on having spare engineers, then that's their decision.

Re:Something wrong with the priorities (4, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714685)

As the old saying goes, hire one boy to mow they lawn, you get one boy. Hire two boys, and you get half a boy. Hire three boys and you get none.

Why: because it's work dealing with colleagues. Or maybe play, but either way your get less productive time per person because of interaction overhead.

Similarly, if ten engineers can finish a project in a year, it's almost certainly the case that 120 engineers won't be able to finish the project in a month. Some problems can't be cleanly decomposed, which means the limiting factor is going to be a sequence of such prblems that require a irreducible quantity of time on a lead engineer's brain. In fact, in a less than perfectly administered project, 120 engineers might take longer than a year, as your most experienced engineers find more and more of their time eaten up with supervisory issues and meetings. A perfectly managed project that could be done in a year by ten engineers, but had 120 at its disposal, might take a hundred of the surplus engineers and put them in a different building, occasionally sending them a problem to work on but not seeing them on a day to day basis. Or maybe it would break the 120 enginers up into six or more teams and let them work independently, and see who succeeds first.

Re:Something wrong with the priorities (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 7 years ago | (#15718853)

There is likely such a thing as too many engineers working on one project, like the old adage "too many cooks in the kitchen..." and however that one ends

Okay, zeriouzly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15714210)

"Zune"? That zoundz even worze than "Wii".

How nice iz zat? (2, Funny)

Kesch (943326) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714218)

I can zee zat Microsoft iz actually tryink to push zis player out ze door. Just look at ze new name.

Coming zune iz ze new Zune!

Yeah, right (5, Insightful)

WedgeTalon (823522) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714231)

But add a few buttons, a thumbstick, and a little more horsepower, and the Zune could soon be singing gamers' tunes

Probably would also require some ergonomic reworking of its case and such.

So in other words, if you completely change the Zune, it would be perfect for video games! Woohoo! PSP and DS killer, HERE WE COME!

Re:Yeah, right (1)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714264)

It's not that hard, really. All you have to do is make a completely new device that has nothing whatsoever to do with the Zune, and it could possibly play some form of game!

Re:Yeah, right (1)

preppypoof (943414) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714326)

Woohoo! PSP and DS killer, HERE WE COME!
actually, the PSP has already been killed BY the DS...remember? and if the Zune's main purpose isn't going to be gaming, then microsoft obviously isn't trying to kill the DS. in fact, this is just more evidence that microsoft is trying to "team up" WITH nintendo to fight sony (a Zune for your music and PDA needs, a DS for your gaming needs).

Re:Yeah, right (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714375)

Probably would also require some ergonomic reworking of its case and such.

With one simple and affordable surgery, you, yes you, can have Microsoft's new Zune handheld permantely attached to your hand for easy access and ergonomic glory!

Re:Yeah, right (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714385)

Yes, with a new engine, transmission, and body, my 1979 Pinto could smoke any Formula One car.

Re:Yeah, right (3, Funny)

kalirion (728907) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714509)

A pinto can "smoke" just about any car as it is. All it has to do is stop suddenly when the other car is close behind it.

Re:Yeah, right (1)

screeble (664005) | more than 7 years ago | (#15725176)

A little known fact about Pintos... If you were lucky enough to have the 2.3 OHC then with a bit of mods you could actually have smoked people by hitting the gas instead of the brake. I've seen a 2.3 do very well in brackets and time trials. Even better is when ya drop a V8 into a 2000 pound car. Of course, that means serious tranny and front end mods and never starting up in first gear!

uhm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15714256)

..Why would they?? Makes more sense to sell two things.

i believe this gets article gets filed under "d" for "Duh"

Little rhyme to keep them straight (4, Funny)

Kesch (943326) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714261)

30 days hath September, Argo, Zune, and November.

All the rest might be released sometime in the next century.

(Except for DNForever, which will never make it).

Give me this (4, Insightful)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714262)

Dear Microsoft:

Make an MP3 player with a slick interface that plays Xbox Live Arcade games and has public development kits for homebrew. I'll buy 2.

Re:Give me this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15714335)

Dude, I think if Gates shit in a can, you'd buy that as well, hell maybe two. Nice job shill.

Re:Give me this (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714479)

If they do that... I'll do the same...

Re:Give me this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15715080)

Put me down for a couple as well.

Really though...a good way to see if Microsoft will never make a product is by how many slashdotters would purchase it.

All wrong, heres the dealio (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15714263)

Microsoft has decided to take on the PDA market, after it had died a peaceful death in the mid 90s. No comment from the Redmond based software developer on their plans to also tackle the Digital Pet market.

Didn't we do this already? (4, Insightful)

InfinityWpi (175421) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714282)

Weren't we all amazingly shocked that Origami wasn't a portable game player, even tho they never said it was? Now we're all shocked that this thing isn't a game player, even though they never said it was? Are we really waiting for their first game player -that- -much- that we keep jumping the gun on it?

Is it or isn't it? (2, Insightful)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714285)

it may not be going after the handheld gaming market. Gamespot explores rumours stating that the 'Zune' is simply a first step on Microsoft's road into that particular sector of the games industry.
If Microsoft is not going after the handheld market, then how is it venturing into the portable game sector at all? Just because they'll make something portable? My cellphone is portable and has really cheesy games, but that does not mean the company will venture into the handheld game market.


...my phone's a Nokia.

Re:Is it or isn't it? (3, Interesting)

powerlord (28156) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714495)

I think part of it might be the inherent connectivity between a Game System and a Handheld finally kicking in.

Until now, the only popular Game Systems that could interact with a handheld came from Nintendo (yes there were others but Nintendo has dominated the handheld market for a while now).

Fast forward to the 'new' generation.

The Wii can connect with the DS (and/or GBA?).
The PS3 can connect with the PSP.
The XBox 360 can connect with the?

I know a few Nintendo and Playstation titles have started exploring this in the generation thats ending (Gamecube/PS2), but this crossover play is something that really hasn't been explored much (although ironically, in Japan, cell phones are being hooked into the equation as well).

If you are expecting to see this sort of thing as a "wave of the future" then of course [sarcasm] MS must be developing their own handheld, or else be ready to give up that advantage to their competitors [/sarcasm]

I don't expect MS to tackle the handheld market just yet, competing with the iPod seems an easier target (the content already exists, you don't have to develop/publish it).

It also seems a harder target (most people love their iPod more than their handheld, of course a good device that did both would ROCK :D )

Re:Is it or isn't it? (1)

ScaryFroMan (901163) | more than 7 years ago | (#15715470)

The 360 can connect with PMC 2.0 devices, I believe. Although the only one that works with it now is the Toshiba Gigabeat S. And all that link does is allow you to just about any music-related task with the device.

At least, this shows that there is potential for connectivity with games.

Re:Is it or isn't it? (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 7 years ago | (#15717125)

Not to contradict you too much, but that "crossover play" has been around unsuccessfully for years. Not only can the Gamecube connect to the DS and the PS2 to the PSP (sort of), but others as well. The Playstation 1 had a portable memory card / player in the form of the Pocketstation [wikipedia.org]. The Dreamcast proved the potential for online gaming. But every Dreamcast memory unit was also a little playable portable console called a VMU [wikipedia.org], functionality which many people now have forgotten as nothing good came of it. Likewise, the dreamcast featured connectivity with the Neo Geo Pocket.

Considering how many years we've had console-to-handheld connectivity, and how little has come of it, it seems safe to say that the connectivity is a gimmock rather than a useful feature. No great games have come of the union, and not much promise for the future remains.

Perhaps when handhelds incorporate GPS recievers we'll have some interesting connectivity options, but for now the actual functionality remains more of an attempt to sell systems than an attempt to make great games.

Re:Is it or isn't it? (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 7 years ago | (#15718423)

I hadn't forgotten the Pocketstation or VMU.

I don't think the Pocketstation was released outside of Japan, and my impressions were that the Dreamcast never really achieved a high market penetration (and the VMU even lower).

I still believe that the N64 and GBA were the first pair of systems with wide spread adoption to be able to achive such "crossover play", with the current and next generations continuing the trend.

Still, you are right that it is a feature that relatively few games have exploited as anything more than a gimick.

I was pointing out that those who are composing a checklist of features may see this as a reason why MS HAS to develop a handheld (I don't think its a compelling reason though). On the other hand I believe that all it may take is a developer or two with vision to change the landscape.

In my mind there are two types of interaction:
1) Using the handheld as an augmented controller

The ability to receive a 'limited' copy of a game from another handheld could be used to upload the 'handheld' component for a game where the handheld can become the controller. The screen(s) could be used for inventory control, HUD, or some other function.

The DS could add 'touch screen' to a Wii title, but this would probably mean sacrificing the Wii-mote (with the motion sensing, etc.). So this it really more of a trade-off.

The PSP would add an extra screen, but would provide 2 fewer shoulder buttons and 1 fewer analog sticks.

PROS: All it would take is a few innovative developers to figure out how to use it, and I think the idea will take off (the classic example which never DID happen was as a controller for sports games so you could pick your plays without the other person seeing). Don't need to provide an additional ROM/Disk/etc.

CONS: You still might need to code 'standard' controller support. This would probably relegate the use to "gimmick". Alternatively require the handheld and you might shrink your target market (although a 'killer' app could get away with it, and for Nintendo I believe this could easily be a requirement).

2) Crossover play between handheld and game titles.

The problem is figuring out how to have the two titles interact, and still have each title maintain enough individuality that you don't NEED to have both. Usually game developers have chosen to allow you to unlock extra content in one game if you have the other, howver imagine if they could take it farther.

This would require them to commit to the idea of the game actualy being for two platforms (the handheld and the console). Perhaps they could even package both games in the same box. Not sure how to divide/work out gameplay, that would depend on the game itself, but the idea of moving saves back and forth between the two, affecting things in both, could be interesting.

Ultimately the handheld is probably going to be suplimental to the console, and the trick is that most people would rather use the two in different situations, so balancing the ability to use the handheld as an auxilary with the desire to play the console when you are at home and can, is tricky.

XBox 360 connects with Vista (1)

PhoenixOne (674466) | more than 7 years ago | (#15720717)

The XBox360 connects with your PC, your phone, your MP3 player, even that new laundry machine [slashdot.org].

Handheld games linking with consoles sounds like a great idea but, so far, I haven't seen any killer-app that makes the effort worthwhile. Right now it is a solution in search of a problem.

Given their ambivalence towards Nintendo (2, Informative)

EggyToast (858951) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714292)

It's not too surprising that they would be more interested in the portable music and media player rather than portable video games. There's more money in getting a format licensed and having other people support it, paying licensing fees, compared to maintaining and supporting a portable video game player and games.

They also seem to be embracing Nintendo for this generation, but not just the Wii, but the DS as well [gamespot.com]. They're letting Rare develop games for the system, which would be unheard of if they were planning their own system.

Still, I don't see how they plan on offering a "better iPod." The iPod succeeds due to simplicity, and having a system that "will always work" with iTunes. Not supporting dozens of different configurations and media organization tools. I wish the iPod would support more formats both for video and audio, but at least the target formats are relatively simple and straightforward for most people to understand -- not "set VBR off and max resolution to less than 480x352 with trellis quantization turned on for best results" or other lingo-riddled instructions. Quicktime has an option "Save for iPod" that works, and even I'm pleased with the results.

Microsoft Like A Bitch Who Craves Another Beating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15714315)

The five billion dollar Xbox fiasco.
The ongoing Xbox 360 trainwreck.
The dead before it hit the ground Oragami stuff.

Microsoft is acting like an open source project where it is more fun to go work on new stuff rather than fix currently broken stuff.

Re:Microsoft Like A Bitch Who Craves Another Beati (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15714629)

"The five billion dollar Xbox fiasco.
The ongoing Xbox 360 trainwreck."

Both of which will come to fruition when the PS3 flops.

Games don't need fnacy buttons\joysticks (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714328)

MS could make a great portable media player that incidentally plays games if they gave the device a touch screen.

Re:Games don't need fnacy buttons\joysticks (1)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714591)

I imagine playing Street Fighter II might be a bit difficult then...

Think outside the (x) box (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#15718094)

The control scheme for the popular games in the Street Fighter series is not the only possible control scheme for a karate video game. Think outside the box.

Re:Think outside the (x) box (1)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 7 years ago | (#15718137)

Right, however the fanbase for a game like SF2 is one that might not like being told how to control the game. I use SF2 as an example out of the assumption at at some point one of Microsoft's handhelds will interface with the 360 and allow users to take their Xbox Live Arcade games with them, something which has not only been hinted at but makes a whole lot of sense.

In the case of SF2, accuracy to the arcade experience comes straight to the controls. Timing and responsiveness are paramount for a game such as this, so switching up the tried and true stick control for a smudged up touch screen is just not going to work with a game such as this.

Market to players who think outside the box (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#15721006)

however the fanbase for a game like SF2 is one that might not like being told how to control the game.

Then they're not the market. Some enterprising developer will reinvent the fighting game and sell it to fans of the whole karate genre, not to fanboys of Capcom® brand STREET FIGHTER® brand games. For instance, Nintendo successfully ported platformers to a PDA style pen control in Kirby: Canvas Curse for Nintendo DS. Likewise, a touch-screen based fighting game would eschew keypress sequences, such as Down-Forward-Punch for a fireball or Forward-Down-Forward-Punch for a jumping uppercut, in favor of pen gestures a la Graffiti/Black and White. Here, the strength of the move depends on the size of the gesture rather than which punch button was used.

Re:Games don't need fnacy buttons\joysticks (1)

RabidCentipede (988368) | more than 7 years ago | (#15715714)

Yeah... but then they would be trying to copy/kill TWO products at the same time... the DS and the iPod...

Besides, the DS is great and all... but how many of the games use ONLY the touch screen?

Re:Games don't need fnacy buttons\joysticks (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#15715743)

There's a zillion PDA games that use the stylus exclusively, and two zillion PC games that only use the mouse. Plus, the DS isn't the only computer to ever have a touch screen.

competitiveness (2, Interesting)

militaunt (988730) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714330)

microsoft has this problem, see. too much hard cash laying around, not enough to do with it. so they invent ways to blow it. except they don't invent at all - they merely copy what everyone else is doing, only throw a huge budget at it the first and often the 2nd generation, just to play catch-up with the originators.

this poses the problem of market saturation - too many devices from too many companies. consumer dollars are spread too thin, and even the originators have a tough time justifying throwing money at surprising and untried ideas. result of course is a slower rate of innovation. the technology improves, but the application of it doesn't keep pace. i'm sure there are a wealth of new devices or integrated multifunctions that could come about if companies felt less concern that they would simply be copied and the market flooded, vastly reducing the returns on the creator's original product.

then again, isn't that the point of capitalism? to balance the economic power of companies by discouraging monopoly, and fostering competition? and in the process, building a social meritocracy, where the most deserving and useful members of society are aptly rewarded. as a firm capitalist, i find it almost amusing that microsoft was prosecuted for monopoly abuse, but is a company which most firmly represents the capitalist ideal of active competitiveness, and proper incentive provided to the employee.

i must qualify the above statements by saying that i work in an all-windows noc with a vpn that spans north america, india, and soon asia and north africa. and surprisingly, most things work decently. we do have 9 sun machines and the 5 linux phone switches (eOns n such), but am not personally a microsoft user.

Re:competitiveness (1)

SchwarzeReiter (894411) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714491)

You are right, M$ has too much money laying around. But I think Bill should not try to create more cash cows in this marketing machine, he should take that money, and create an other project, and spend some on basic research. Then he could maybe build up an other M$, but with this Me too! attitude, I dont think he can do it again.

Re:competitiveness (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714505)

That's been Microsoft's modus operandi all along:

Copy (steal?) idea....sometimes not even as good as the original
Market it like crazy
Sell to everyone
Bully competition
Move on to the next idea

The other option is to buy the idea (Visio comes to mind) and then proceed through the rest of the steps. MS is not an innovation company but a very good marketing company.

Layne

Relentless hype. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15714416)

First the Oragami is going to be a video game system. Then it's not...

Then the Argo is going to be a video game system. Then it's not...

There is some kind of meta-vaporware at work here.

It seems incredibly clear to me that while they don't have any interest in entering the handheld video game system market, Microsoft very intently wants consumers to think they're just on the verge of entering the handheld video game system market, any minute now. I wonder why they are doing this.

WTF! (2, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714423)

From the fires of Mount Doom, are you telling me that's this is not the one gadget to rule all gadgets?! No wonder everyone wants to throw it back in.

Surprised it took so long (4, Interesting)

TaggartAleslayer (840739) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714453)

What we're looking at is the beginning of a new product line. We all know how Microsoft does things -- piece by piece.

This round it's more likely than not that we'll get a very high profile, seriously marketed, media player with a few minor games and the potential for expandability within their overall product line and future focus.

Microsoft really wants focus to be on the 360 this year. They have a major battle to win, and diluting their own market would be a serious mistake. I expect it will be mid-way through this console generation that we'll see them making serious portable gaming moves.

Many of us drew the same conclusions as this article [hrgamer.com], days ago.

Ehhh (2, Interesting)

zullnero (833754) | more than 7 years ago | (#15714707)

I'll still use my old trusty Tapwave Zodiac II for my combo music/gaming handheld. Even if there aren't going to be any new games for it anymore, it still plays music great, I can surf the web with it, IM, play games, and whatever else I feel like doing with it without having to hack the crap out of it to do so.

There is no iPod... (1)

Ignominious Cow Herd (540061) | more than 7 years ago | (#15715260)

there is only Zune?

Re:There is no iPod... (1)

DorkusMasterus (931246) | more than 7 years ago | (#15719022)

Mod parent up! Most original funny I've read in a long long time 'round these parts. :)

Re:There is no iPod... (1)

Ignominious Cow Herd (540061) | more than 7 years ago | (#15722671)

Well, thanks, but apparently no one (with mod points) thinks so. :(
It's not that original either. Somewhere on mozilla.org (or related) there is the saying "there is no netscape, there is only XUL".

Anyone looking for a media + game player (1)

Jurrasic (940901) | more than 7 years ago | (#15715787)

Should be looking at a gp2x. Don't reply with 'but does it run Linux?' cos the answer is YES. It is a fully open-source linux-based media and entertainment player, with nearly every good linux emulator and good game project already ported over, and a thriving community at www.gp32x.com . Currently emulated (allowing playback of a massive retro library) is Atari 2600, 8-bit and 16 bit computers, Sega Master System, Genesis/Megadrive and Gamegear, Neo-Geo, MAME arcade (based on the .36b romset) TG-16/PC Engine, and near 100% SNES, as well as a working and growing daily PSX emulator. This on top of support for DivX/Xvid, MPEG3, MP3, WMA(I think) and OGG formats with automatic video scaling and tv-output it's the best $200 I ever spent. www.gp2x.com

What would be really good (1)

goldcd (587052) | more than 7 years ago | (#15717208)

is if MS brought out a higher priced Live Platinum service and provided an all you can eat music subscription service.
Use the 360 to choose what music you want, construct playlists, have the music playing as you play your games, play through your stereo and then just wifi it to your Zune.
As long as they provided it cheaply enough to get people hooked it would boost live sales, boost zune sales and tie peoples music and gaming to MS equipment forever.
In fact if you were trying to convince yourself to reach deep and buy yourself a 360, a few dollars extra on the live charge wouldn't be noticed, but free music for a year would be a saving.
In fact you'd bundle a few months free music with each 360. Ideally (probably essentially due to the size of the 360 disk) the whole thing would link to an MSTunes service on your PC.

"Zune"?!?! (1)

Kuukai (865890) | more than 7 years ago | (#15725358)

Woah, watch out for those zandworms! Seriously, they should keep these goofy codenames internal... If they're going to publicize every single one maybe they should get marketing involved...
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