Spreading the Digital Joy

Microsoft Monitor: Spreading the Digital Joy Microsoft Monitor blogs about Intel and Microsoft teaming up together to jointly market Microsoft Media Center 2005.

Quote: “As I’ve blogged repeatedly, digital media products don’t sell themselves. Marketing, the kind Apple has done with iPod/iTunes, is an absolute necessity; more so because Microsoft’s cadre of digital entertainment products and services, the majority coming from major partners, make up a complex package.

But mass marketing only addresses part of what Microsoft and its partners really need to sell these products successfully. As explained in my report, “Windows XP Hybrids: Turning Media Center and Tablet PC Potential into Profits,” Windows Media Center PCs really need to be experienced to be sold. But as I blogged previously, many retailers lack the wherewithall to sell Media Centers the right way.”

Jupiter Research has it wrong. By the way, they have a interesting idea of using blogs to sell more of their research(Thanks Scoble). Anyway, my uncle is bringing one of his neighbors over to my place on Saturday to look at my current digital entertainment center set up. This neighbor owns a bunch of Audio Video stores here in the Bay Area. My uncle just finished building a house and is in the market to spend some money putting a home theater together.

Do you know what? He’s not going to buy a Media Center PC. I’m going to show it to him and this is where it won’t be sold. I’ll tell you what he is going to buy. He’s going to buy the HDTV TiVo. Why? Because I’m going to show it to him and for $1,000 he is going to feel that the amazing picture of the Hughes HR10-250 DirecTV TiVo is worth it. Not only that, he is going to convert from cable over to satellite only to get this HDTV TiVo unit. I’ll eat my hat if this doesn’t happen.

So why won’t he buy the MCE unit? Well, he will like the multimedia features but when I compare the MCE television vs. the HDTV TiVo there will simply be no comparison. Then when I show him the “my music” part of MCE he will be bugged that it takes 5 minutes to load up my music. Even though he doesn’t have 74,000 mp3s like me he is going to personalize the experience and think it takes to long to load the music. He will like the pictures part I’m sure but in the end it won’t be enough to justify spending $1,500.

If it goes down differently than this I’ll post back and may have some hat to eat but unfortunately, this is the reason why MCE 2005 will have a hard time selling back on planet earth in the real world.

As much as I love the product and the concept. It just ain’t there yet. To think that “marketing” will sell this product is a mistake. Yes marketing can’t hurt and in the end if you have a really great product marketing can magnify your sales times 10. But for now, quite frankly, Microsoft and Intel should spend more time getting the product right and save their marketing budgets for when they do. For this truly is one of those rare times when if you build a better mousetrap they will come.

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