"Zune to eventually outsell iPod" someone claims.
Lee added that he expects Microsoft will eventually "be the leader" in the digital media player segment.
What? Well, I've been wrong before.
Long ago I read a PC Magazine column saying Microsoft was planning to take its wordprocessing and spreadsheet programs (Word and Excel) and add a third program to let people create overhead slide presentations and call the package Microsoft Office.
The columnist was puzzled who would need such a program. Microsoft predicted we will all be using the overhead slide program to prepare presentations (not just corporate vice presidents and marketing managers).
It sounded preposterous, but the columnist insisted that no matter how strange it sounded, Microsoft had done studies and was confident people would find the product as useful as a word processor or spreadsheet program. I was wrong. PowerPoint is useful for communicating to teammates or to a group of one or more people. I read somewhere schoolkids like to present research about a subject with jazzy (colorful, animated) presentations.
When the Pocket PC came out, the PalmPilot personal organizer was the only successful device people used to carry their contacts information and to-do list. People scoffed when the Pocket PC was introduced. And yet, Palm recently licensed the Windows Mobile OS.
Another example was when Bill Gates introduced MSN as an alternative to the America Online juggernaut which had achieved its preeminence as an Internet service provider, someone said, by carpetbombing America with promotional CDs. When asked by a skeptical reporter if he thought the new service would make money, Bill Gates said, "I am absolutely, positively sure..." and then went on to say "that it will lose money for the first few quarters [or years, I don't recall the exact wording]."
And yet in all cases, there were signs I didn't see. The expensiveness and beginner-orientation of AOL and its dial-up subscriber base, the black-and-white PalmPilot with its inability to function as an extension of a Windows desktop, the general need every high-tech worker has to communicate ideas to a team. There were signs. I just didn't see them.
Concerning the Zune, what if the screen were much bigger but yet portable and I could watch movies (that I used to have to physically obtain the shiny DVD to watch) and webcasts and home movies? What if Microsoft allowed it to receive off-the-air local high-definition television signals? What if I could load a music CD on to my desktop computer and have it instantly available on my Zune?
There are so many possibilities that I would not count Microsoft out on any market they go after. I've been wrong before.