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Microsoft cuts its losses... Did they learn anything

Microsoft finally puts its kin phone to rest. The product that symbolizes Microsoft's desire to emulate all of the worst aspects of GMs badge engineering with none of the benefits, reasons or even excuses is no longer for sale. This is certainly a good move on Microsoft's part. The last thing they want right now is more reinforcement for Apple's marketing.

Their dominance in the office suite, desktop operating system, and server operating system markets gives them a huge advantage over their competition. They have the resources to commit to a project and see it through regardless of early success or failures. However, Microsoft has proven itself unable to capture and exploit new markets. They had some success in the console market. However, it is considered an open secret that their profit from the original Xbox has been wiped out by their current Xbox 360.

Their original attempt at MP3 players PlaysforSure was a reasonable first effort at creating a digital music market. The problem it ran into was people didn't see the digital music market the same way as the offline world. This included not only consumers but also music executives. The advantages of the Playsforsure ecosystem made it more complex. The advantages of the iPod were rooted in its simplicity. These hurdles were difficult by not insurmountable. In retrospect, Microsoft would have been well served by creating a better iTunes for its hardware partners to work with. Any possibility of this was eliminated when Microsoft turned itself into a competitor to its partners. The Zune was by most measures a good product. However, it has failed so far because it has little to differentiate itself from the iPod. Potential partners are wary of being abandoned in the same way Microsoft's Playsforsure partner's were abandoned. It also gave Apple far more time since Microsoft was starting over in the market from scratch.. Time to solidify its place in the market, expand the number of people reliant on Apple, eliminate competitors and time to make it the *standard*. A standard Apple can use to invade other markets.

They have done the same thing with phones. They were too complex too soon and are now are starting over twice. Giving Apple and other competitors time to solidify their lead.

Microsoft's inability to focus has caused it to blow billions of dollars over the last decade or two. This kind of incompetence was forgiven for a long time because of the constant rise in stock prices. However, new markets, open source and good old fashion competition have been slowly eroding their position. Microsoft so far seems unable to drop its dead weight and focus on its strengths.