Microsoft Argo

Wow. Talk about not learning your lesson. Microsoft's X-Box team are working on Argo - their supposed iPod-killer. This would be less laughable if so many other products hadn't failed to take the iPod crown. It would be less laughable if any division other than the goons responsible for the X-box were working on it. After all - look at the - erm - "resounding success" of the X-box and X-box 360 (neither of which have outsold any of their competition).

When you look at the pictures of the Argo, you realise instantly that it's going to be a PDA that runs Windows Mobile. Hence the gigantic, power-sapping screen. That means the battery life is going to suck, the interface is going to suck and the product is going to suck. Windows mobile is slow, bloatware. My current "top of the line" PDA running WM is easily slower and more cumbersome than my wife's dinky little $99 palm. Microsoft are going to make the same mistake they always do. They're going to assume that some version of Windows is what people want, for everything. It's why the X-box sucked, and the X-box 360 sucked even harder. People don't want a bluescreening, power-hogging, floor heater running Windows as a games console. They want - and this seems like an alien idea to Microsoft - a games console. Similarly, we don't want a Windows Mobile PDA that plays music and looks like an iPod. We want iPods.

Mind you, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so Apple must be well chuffed that Microsoft have not only stolen the wheel-controller idea, but the icons on the play button and the shape and colours of the iPod too. Maybe it should be called the Microsoft Ego.

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