Never stand still
Innovation never sleeps. Whether it's Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) announcing new versions of its fledgling Zune portable media players or Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) throwing its hat into the "cloud computing" ring by providing free, Web-stored apps with its purchase of Buzzword's parent company, winning companies never quit.

This doesn't mean they shouldn't, though. No, this has nothing to do with Adobe. I think the company is on the right track. Some of the product announcements at its annual Adobe MAX conference were encouraging. I'm only suggesting the white flag as a fashion accessory at Microsoft, given the company's move to throw around even more money in going after Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).

There's nothing wrong with putting out non-iPod media players. If you're a company like SanDisk (NASDAQ:SNDK) that excels in making flash memory, putting out flash-based media players is a logical application. There's no pretense in trying to create one's own ecosystem -- or even fake a personality -- as Microsoft is trying with Zune.

Microsoft would be better off emphasizing its software products, websites, and Xbox -- areas where the company has a legitimate shot at not embarrassing itself as it quibbles over razor-thin market share.

Innovation never sleeps. I know. However, sometimes it can really use a catnap to see whether it can wake up fresh, focused, and realistic.

Quick hits
A few more of the market's stories, in brief:

  • After turning heads when it announced that Halo 3 rang up $170 million in sales in a single day, shattering the $125 million mark set by Halo 2 three years ago, Microsoft went on to report $300 million in sales through the first week. Here's a thought: Package the third generation of the Zune in a few years as Halo 4.
  • Disney's (NYSE:DIS) ABC took the top spot in the Nielsen ratings during the first week of the fall prime-time season. Let's hope ABC has learned its lesson from burning out shows the way it did with Who Wants to Be a Millionaire a few years ago. As long as we never see Dancing With the Lost Desperate Housewives Anatomy, we'll be just fine.
  • Microsoft announced that it's buying a comparison-shopping website, just as reports began circulating that Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) is looking to unload its own comparison-shopping site. Either somebody's crystal ball isn't working properly, or the companies missed a golden opportunity to swap assets.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.