ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a well known fact that Microsoft user focus groups with which to test product features. Apple? Well, they arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t saying, although the general perception has it that Steve Jobs is the focus group of one who makes all the decisions, even the minutiae that some might not consider terribly important.
Sure, Apple makes mistakes. Take the Cube, which was widely regarded as underperforming and overpriced, something with which I must totally agree. But Steve Jobs evidently has a thing for cubes, since his crew cut it in half (roughly speaking of course) and, more or less, morphed it into a Mac mini, which is priced just right. Then he split it yet again and begat the Apple TV and the newest version of AirPort Extreme. So there is indeed life after the Cube.
But Microsoft seems to have a penchant for repeating its mistakes, all in the name of Ã¢â‚¬Å“innovation.Ã¢â‚¬Â ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s their buzzword, the excuse they used when they confronted the Department of Justice in that infamous antitrust action. How can the government possibly break up Microsoft and prevent them from building innovative new products.
Now itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fair to say that the Zune isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t particularly innovative, since its based upon a failed Toshiba music player. The software is built upon the most recent editions of Windows Media Player, or built down, since it removes some of the features of the latter.
Was that all decided by a focus group?