I still think the Zune will die horribly, and I actually like some Microsoft products. Here is an excellent analysis on the situation I wish I wrote myself.

Microsoft’s soon-to-be-released Zune MP3 player is a sure-fire iPod killer — if you believe what you been reading in the press recently.

There’s nothing the press likes more than a good fight, and the Zune looks like a worthy contender for the iPod’s heavyweight crown.

The tech press loves the Zune because of its specs. They tally up the features and conclude the Zune is better because there’s more stuffed inside.

The Zune will definitely have an impact. That’s guaranteed by Microsoft’s clout, and is why music labels, movie studios and accessory makers are jumping on the Zune bandwagon.

But although the Zune looks good on paper, it’s not going to kill the iPod because of three things:

1. It’s not cool and never will be.
2. The Zune will be locked down tighter than the queen’s knickers.
3. Wi-Fi song sharing will not catch on in public.

The Zune may do relatively well, but it will be at the expense of other devices, but not the iPod.



  1. I thought the same thing about the xbox

  2. Rick says:

    As an out-Mac Fanboy…I just have to enjoy the rationalization I see in the Micro$oft/PC land…”Zune may not take over, but it will be perfectly successful with the market share it DOES get…bla bla” Sounds a lot like the things people said/say about Apple’s 5%…

  3. Smartalix says:

    29,

    I’d venture to say that the lack of replaceable battery has as much to do with aethetics as functionality. A battery door and latch would mar the iPod’s pristene surface.

  4. Mike Voice says:

    From M$’s online Pressroom for Zune [see the fact sheet]:
    http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/zune/default.mspx

    I don’t understand the “viral” marketing aspect.

    Footnote 1: Recipients cannot resend music that they have received via the sharing feature

    How is that viral?

    Hipster #1 “Yo!, I got a free copy of this great song at ScarDucks” Hipsters #2, 3, & 4 “Great, share it with us!”
    Hipster #1 “I can’t… you’ll have to go down there, and get it yourself.”

    Zune lets you spontaneously share selected full-length sample tracks of your favorite songs, homemade recordings, playlists or pictures with friends wirelessly, device to device. You can listen to any song you receive up to three times in three days.

    Even if it is not DRM’d, it gets wiped after 3-times or 3-days???

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over…

  5. doug says:

    #34. Firmware handicaps to placate the content creators. I imagine they can take the cuffs off for some corporate partners who want to do the viral concept. Wait for MS Zune Content Server 1.0 sometime in 2007.

  6. Mike Voice says:

    35 Wait for MS Zune Content Server 1.0 sometime in 2007.

    Damn, that does sound like M$….

    It also makes me wonder how much extra they are charging to let “sample tracks” be shared.

    Zune lets you spontaneously share selected full-length sample tracks of your favorite songs…

    I wonder if that means the content providers will have to pay extra $$ to have the sharing feature turned ON… another revenue stream for M$?

  7. Billabong says:

    Jobs will always be cooler than Gates and Bill will always be richer than Steve.

  8. Floyd says:

    I have a 4G iPod that I use with iTunes on a PC (I buy CDs rather than buying one song at a time from iTunes). The iPod is good enough, as I see little need to view videos on a 3 inch diagonal screen. The 5G iPods offer no improvement over my iPod except for increased disk capacity for the large ones, and ruggedness for the small ones.

    If the picture above is correct, the Zune needs to display its picture the other way (landscape mode–would be a bigger screen this way) because it will be wasting screen space otherwise.

    Otherwise, there’s little to distinguish the two players except that Apple has had a longer time to refine its players, so there will be fewer software/hardware bugs than on the Zune. The Zune WiFi link is a non-feature unless it’s opened up to allow song transfers to and from a Zune (preferably other players with the WiFi also).

  9. Sam says:

    #27

    firmware upgrade potential for zune:
    – stream your music or video from your media center to your zune…either at home or on the go! ala slingplayer via wifi
    – browse the marketplace directly on the device via wifi
    – pocketIE for Zune! yeah! works great on my ppc phone(actually posting response from it at this very moment)

    it has great potential, no doubt!

  10. ChrisMac says:

    #37- Stick to surfwax dude..

    cool went out with the P Pro..

  11. doug says:

    #36. Oh, yeah – they are going to be selling these at a loss for some time and I really don’t think they have any illusions about putting a serious dent in the iPod/iTunes closed-DRM-protected monopoly.

    so, to make money on this, they have to, ahem, “think different …”

    the wifi is key. stream internet content in gyms, do the download thing at “hip” retailers, and so on.

    right now, the wireless features that are going to be enabled at release don’t seem like much, but I can see them rolling it out over time. kind of the first iPod did not come loaded with episodes of ‘Lost.’

    oh, I am assuming that MS behaves rationally, rather than in such a DRM-crippled, walled-garden manner to wreck the Zune’s chances and make it another also-ran. But I don’t think Bill tossed this thing out there just to have the Apple crowd rubbing his face in a failure ….

  12. ChrisMac says:

    now… just add a hand crank to charge it.. and i’ll buy shares


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