Few have accused Microsoft of being first to the market. But plenty have learned the hard way that the company can be very good at sneaking up from behind.
That's the tack Microsoft Corp. is hoping to take with entertainment. The software maker has invested years of effort and billions of dollars in entertainment endeavors, including television technology and video game consoles. What's more, it has said that it's willing to spend much more money, and take much more time, to see if those investments pay off.
Its latest effort, the $249.99 Zune portable player and music service, debuts today and marks one of the most high-profile attempts to take on Apple Computer's iPod and iTunes powerhouse.
Analysts don't expect the early effort to make a serious dent in Apple's market share.
"It's not even going to give the iPod a bad headache for the time being," said analyst Michael Gartenberg of Jupiter Research.
Still, Gartenberg says Microsoft's competitors may have reason to be wary of what the company's deep pockets and dogged persistence could accomplish in years to come.