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    Microsoft vs iPod, plus recession companies worth talking...


    by TechVi

    Microsoft, not content with nitpicking Apple's "pricey" notebooks, now has taken to making fun of the iPod, but is it too little too late? We talk to Ross Rubin of the NPD Group and Alfredo Padilla of about the newest foray. Ross points out the ads have a few oddities, namely Microsoft claims it'll cost $30,000 to fill up the iPod, but how many people do you know that strive to fill up their player? Also, Alfredo mentions the problems inherent in any subscription system: DRM. So while, yes, it might cost $30,000 to fill up an iPod, it's impossible to use your existing iPod with Microsoft's ecosystem, even if it is only $15 per month. In other Microsoft news, some people are whispering that the Redmond-based giant might be looking to get some fire sale specials on tech companies whose stock prices have sagged, so what are our panel's picks for companies worth checking twice? Ross points to an interesting company called Vuezone whose goal is to create affordably priced security systems using an ultra low-power technology to wirelessly transmit data. Ross says the company's hope is to have a camera be placed in a location for an entire year without needing to be recharged. Interesting stuff that Microsoft could pick up and apply the technology elsewhere. In the Internet space, Alfredo points toward geek favorite FriendFeed. He says the company has done a good job to create unique and interesting features, which have then been adopted by Facebook and Twitter, so Microsoft might be able to get the innovation and supply the userbase from other established services like Hotmail or Windows Live. What's your take? Is there a service that you'd buy if you had the cash? Leave a comment with your favorite underground service. Also, let us know if you're into the idea of subscription music, or whether you prefer to own your tracks outright.