Microsoft – Podcatcher Strategy – Here We Go …

Dear Bill, Steve and Robert

I’ve been complaining/bickering/whinering etc. for the last year or so about Microsoft’s need to somehow/someway support Podcasting (actually, Podcatching). I truly believe a Podcatching client attached to Windows Media 11 is your golden ticket for Vista and the next step in every Podcaster’s masterplan to set up Podcasts so that their Mom can listen.

Because, can’t we all agree, our Moms need to be listening to Dawn and Drew 😉

I’m tired of complaining. Robert says he only wants to hang out with people with a good attitude and, gosh darn it, I want to hang out with Scoble. Notice all my smiley faces?

Actually, the good Robert is onto something here. He usually is. But I digress.

O.k., we know a few things. I think we can patch together some of what you’re doing and produce a strategy in time for Gnomedex. Here is what we know:

  • You are working on an iPod competitor. PlaysForSure will have to be part of it. Good. We can debate if DRM is a “good” idea on another post. Right now, Hollywood and the RIAA are drinking the Kool-Aide and let’s do what we can to get them on our side.
  • You got a product called “Q” that, although not part of Windows Media Center, is a sample application for the product. Fine, we can leverage that.
  • Windows Media Center will be part of all “Home Premium” versions of Vista. O.k.
  • Todd Cochrane is in conversations with “various industry leaders” that are pointing him towards a prediction that a Podcatcher is coming with the Windows Media Player 11 for XP release this June (launched at Gnomedex none the less). Even Scoble posted on Dec 22 of last year that:
  • Update: I’m getting emails from across Microsoft about podcasting initiatives underway. I love my blog’s readers. They are so connected. So, Paul, just hang out a little and you’ll see more.

  • Hollywood is trigger happy right now with t.v. content available online the day after it “airs.” Why wouldn’t they want that content distributed everywhere?
  • So, … we’ve got hardware and software coming together. We’ve got Microsoft pushing Media to the home user through the Vista Premium Home Editions. All good. Vista ain’t coming out until January – but I’ll wait (not that I have a choice ;-)).

    Here is what I propose:

    Allow “Q” to work with WMP 11. Use some of your media connections to launch content (audio and video) that is all PFS DRMd (to keep Hollywood happy) – but content you simply can’t get anywhere else. If Apple has the housewives and the battlestars, maybe you can grab Jack Bauer or the Unit. For Mom, you might want to grab NCIS or something like that.

    Why would you do all this: If you want to get your shows on your computer, you have to go through the new/free Windows Media 11 interface (instead of the Web). And, of course, if you want the really good stuff, the high power versions, etc., you might want to upgrade to Vista in January. Apple saw some interesting success with if you want the really cool movie trailers, you upgrade to Quicktime Pro.

    No charge for that one, Bill/Robert/Steve – just let my Mom listen to Dawn and Drew 😉

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