Zune (Microsoft’s iPod/iTunes rival)

Microsoft’s Zune to rival Apple’s iPod | CNET News.com

Little is known of this development yet apart from the fact that the Zune brand covers both hardware and software, that one device will be hard-drive based and have wireless capabilities, and that the first device will come out before the end of the year (i.e., before Windows Vista).

Microsoft’s reputation has changed a lot in recent times, in part thanks to its gaming devices. This is also a time at which Microsoft, a latecomer in the music device field, may have learned from the mistakes of others. As with the iTunes Music Store itself and Steve Jobs’s personal implication, a lot may hinge on Microsoft’s ability to negotiate with the “music industry” in order to improve the experience of music listeners and musicians, for instance by allowing people to share music over a wireless connection from a portable device. This could well be the “killer app” for digital audio players…
One can only hope that the “music industry” will eventually see the light. If Microsoft is to help them through this, more power to them.

3 thoughts on “Zune (Microsoft’s iPod/iTunes rival)”

  1. Seems like Microsoft sees its strategy as a long-term effort. Interesting that a Microsoft executive should flat-out say that the iPod is the only brand people recognize.
    As for PlaysForSure, based on my iRiver H120 experience, it’s nowhere as integrated as the iPod with iTunes. Of course, Microsoft plans to connect the Zune line with the Xbox and other devices. That part could be excellent indeed!

  2. Microsoft should be able to use the xbox 360 as leverage to get the zune going. They went up against Sony on thier own turf, now it’s apple’s turn.

  3. Well… One thing about Sony is that it’s been digging its own grave for a while, for several reasons. Leveraging the Xbox (and other elements, including media center and mobile devices) is a good strategy but it’s not a surefire way to gain the mindshare the iPod has had. That’s the reason why a long-term strategy makes more sense. One could say that Apple was lucky with the iTunes/iPod but they built this market pretty slowly. Remember the first iPod in 2001, coupled with MusicMatch instead of iTunes (which Apple developed from SoundJam MP). Naysayers ridiculed Apple for coming with “yet another” MP3 player in a marketplace already cluttered with devices from different companyes. What make the iPod a success is a series of events and good decisions, it seems.
    Microsoft can possibly pull it off, but it needs to play it safe.

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