Allchin Worried About Microsoft Media Players “Sucking”

Jan 23rd, 2007 | By | Category: Digital Music, iPods & Portable Media Players

A prescient email by a senior Microsoft executive shows that there were concerns in 2003 about Microsoft-based portable media players “sucking”, to the point that partnering with Apple was considered. Microsoft’s Jim Allchin was so distraught by his user experience with partner digital music devices on the market in 2003 that he considered calling Steve Jobs, documents show.

“I think I should talk with Jobs. Right now, I think I should open up a dialogue for support of the iPod. Unless something changes, the iPod will drive people away from WMP [Windows Media Player],” he said in a Nov. 13, 2003 internal e-mail that was marked ‘highly confidential’ and carried the subject line “sucking on media players.”

The e-mail was one of a three made public that begin with a message from Allchin to Amir Majidimehr, currently head of Microsoft’s consumer media technology group, documenting Allchin’s thoughts and experiences using Creative Technology’s Nomad Jukebox Zen Xtra.

In 2006, Microsoft released the Zune media player, which by many accounts, “zucks”.

“I have to tell you my experience with our software and this device is really terrible,” he wrote in the e-mail. “I expect you already knew this but I had not personally experienced it. Now I spent last night really playing with it. My goodness it is terrible. What I don’t understand is that I was told that the new Creative Labs device would be comparable to Apple. That is so not the case.”

The e-mail continued to list eight complaints and observations by Allchin.

The first was concerned with industrial design — “The physical device is not even in the same league as the iPod. I mean it is ugly.” — while the rest regarded the software and usage. Among his complaints were that Creative shipped its own software and encouraged use of that over Windows Media Player.

via Yahoo! News

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