For a company as rich and fabulously successful as Microsoft has been, sometimes it’s hard to understand how the company manages to remain rich and fabulously successful.
The Xbox excluded, it seems like every “new” product from Microsoft is just a rehash of somebody else’s groundbreaking idea (and they didn’t invent videogames either.) Made more ponderous and buggy because it runs on Microsoft software.
Reports are out today about two new products from Microsoft, a Twitter clone called Vine, and a purported iPhone-killer code-named “Pink.”
At first glance, the phone, being developed in partnership with Verizon Wireless, doesn’t seem groundbreaking. Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system already powers a number of smartphones – many of which already offer touchscreen capabilities. It could be a ploy by MSFT to regain some attention lost from the buzz of Google’s (GOOG) Android and the G1.
But given the lead time they just got with this report – the Zunephone won’t available until early next year – Apple doesn’t have much to worry about.
Vine is designed to help people keep tabs on family, friends, activities and major events in their community. If it sounds a bit like Twitter, that’s because it is – sort of. Users can send and receive messages on their PCs or cell phones, but Microsoft is promoting Vine to local officials as a tool to communicate during a disaster or other major event.
Of course, since it’s a Microsoft product, the dashboard collecting this info will work only on PCs running XP or Vista, John Paczkowski notes at Digital Daily.
“So really, Vine is not so much a societal network for people you care about, but for the PC users you care about,” he says. “A proprietary disaster messaging system…sigh, only from Microsoft.”
(Roger Cheng and Steven Russolillo contributed to this report.)
(Photo Credit: US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)