John then uses this data and good ol' fashioned people watching to conclude that Microsoft shouldn't have taken what could be their only swing at the plate in producing a hard drive-based iPod; they should have cranked out a flash memory model to go head-on with the nano - inarguably the home run slugger in Apple's lineup. While I tend to agree with John, I also see a problem with going down this road: Microsoft would likely have had even less room to maneuver, and even fewer things to market ('Beam your tunes') and invent lame, dead-end lingo for - they actually refer to sharing your music wirelessly as 'squirting'. Who wants to bet how excited Steve Ballmer's kids are to 'squirt' at school?
Sure, when you look at what you're up against in the DAP market, Apple's iPod nano and SanDisk's respectable 2GB Sansa player (expandable via an SD slot, and at #11 on Amazon as of this writing) are the top dogs to beat - but what could they have offered? I highly doubt they could have fit their DRM-crippled and arguably worthless (though admittedly buzz-worthy) Wi-Fi sharing feature into a nano-sized player, even if they made it slightly larger and uglier like the Zune is to its 30GB iPod rival. A 'Zune nano' with nothing unique to offer would dry up on its own in a market already dominated by Apple, SanDisk and Creative, and Microsoft's exclusive, 3rd party bitch-slap of a music store would have even less of a leg to stand on.
In summary: I think John's right - Microsoft made a bad move in copying the 30GB hard drive-based iPod, but it was the only move they had. In this light, it kinda makes you wonder why they bothered in the first place.