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The Zune Cometh 291

Posted by Hemos
from the and-there-was-much-spilling-of-the-ink dept.
Well, except for those hiding under a mountain of used iPod batteries, it's fairly well known that the Zune iPod-wannabe killer is coming out Monday/Tuesday. There's a piece in the NYTimes about counting on the wireless part of the Zune to take down the iPod as well as some interviews with people involved in the creation. But OTOH, RoughlyDrafted (which has had a series of pieces about the Zune) points out some issues with the DRM systems, and forecasts a number of issues — and also calls out what they called a "Digg Fraud Campaign". But soon — the market decides.
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The Zune Cometh

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  • ... and also calls out what they called a "Digg Fraud Campaign".

    I also heard from somewhere that they're flanking that with something called a "Slashvertisement [slashdot.org]."

    You know what's funny? It's easy to say bad things about a large company because they have marketing departments & businessmen running them. Oftentimes, marketing and business involve areas of questionable ethics & integrity--or the sheer will to sell your product at any cost since that's your paycheck. Is a "Digg fraud Campaign"

    • by TomHandy (578620) <tomhandy&gmail,com> on Monday November 13, 2006 @10:50AM (#16823318)
      There's a pretty big flaw in this comparison though. The TV ads you talked about do not have their origins hidden, etc. They are clearly television ads, it is clearly identified who paid for the ad (Apple), and anyone who sees it can clearly tell it is a standard paid for ad.

      Now, stuff like this digg thing, is pretty different. Setting up anonymous blogs, etc. to give the impression that the story is independent and not coming from the company paying for it and doing the marketing is something different. Same thing with slashvertisements.

      Not necessarily saying anything is better or worse, but I think there's a pretty big distinction to be made between things that are clearly identified as advertisements, and things that are not clearly identified as advertisements in order to give the impression that they are something else.

      • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Monday November 13, 2006 @12:17PM (#16824376)
        Remember the Switch campaign from Apple? Apple got real people to get on TV to tell why they switched to Macs. The campaign worked because it was from genuine people. Microsoft tried to do the exact same thing but it backfired terribly when someone noticed that the picture of the first Microsoft "switcher" was a stock photo. Was there a real person that switched? There may have been but the method of how MS did it was so underhanded that it immediated discredited their whole campaign.
    • by aitikin (909209) on Monday November 13, 2006 @11:10AM (#16823542)
      You know what is also funny? It's easy to say good things about a large company because they have a lot of resources and can accomplish a lot for the consumer. Stand back, I'm about to say something that will ensure this post hits rock bottom on the karma: Microsoft has done good things for computing. And you know what? So has Apple. I've used products of both of them to varying levels of success in my past--and that in and of itself is something.
      This goes back to simple capitalistic theory, with competition being good for the consumer. Two major corporations in control of the vast majority of the market, fighting to make the better product.

      This is an unusual viewpoint here on slashdot, but honestly, so long as they stick to bettering each other through competition rather than belittling each other, I'm all for it. When one company decides to launch whole hearted smear campaigns rather than improve their product, or, even worse, decides it's more cost effective to buy out the competition, that's where I get worried, and in honesty, most major corporations have done one, if not both.
      • This goes back to simple capitalistic theory, with competition being good for the consumer. Two major corporations in control of the vast majority of the market, fighting to make the better product. This is an unusual viewpoint here on slashdot, but honestly, so long as they stick to bettering each other through competition rather than belittling each other, I'm all for it.

        That would be nice, but I wouldn't count on it. Microsoft does not believe in playing fair. They have already tied their player to th

    • by tkrotchko (124118) on Monday November 13, 2006 @12:36PM (#16824632) Homepage
      You're saying Apple is horrible for having funny commercials? Or am I misunderstanding your position here?

      I mean, you don't need to be upset. Microsoft is good at spreadsheets, Apple has admitted that. Why can't Microsoft say something nice Apple?
  • batteries (Score:5, Funny)

    by geoffspear (692508) on Monday November 13, 2006 @10:44AM (#16823222) Homepage
    Well, except for those hiding under a mountain of used iPod batteries

    I, for one, can't wait to get my hands on a Zune, with its new infinitely-rechargable battery technology. It uses a nickel-adamantium alloy, right?
    • by rlp (11898) on Monday November 13, 2006 @10:51AM (#16823332)
      Zune, with its new infinitely-rechargable battery technology. It uses a nickel-adamantium alloy, right?

      That's absolutely correct. They're manufactured by Sony.
      • by cloricus (691063)
        Well I for one haven't been under a rock nor had I noticed a Zune was coming out...Guess I was lucky to avoid the marketing volley and stay sane. Either way don't be to harsh on Sony as without them I wouldn't have a brand new replacement battery for my Powerbook. As far as I'm concerned Apple replaced my battery mid cycle leading to a laptop that I can rely on for longer than I expected for no cost to myself and little hassle. Kuddos to them and they can expect my money again in just under two years for
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      Nickel-adamantium? Does it soak 10 damage, and disintegrated in sunlight? /me goes back to playing Hordes of the Underdark
    • by timeOday (582209)
      Do iPods still have to be sent off to replace the battery or not? How about the Zune?
  • mmMmm. There appears to be a zune.net [zune.net].
  • Not a big intro (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sbraab (100929) on Monday November 13, 2006 @10:53AM (#16823362)
    I noticed while looking through the newspaper adds this weekend that there isn't much of a marketing hype around Zune. It was buried in all the adds and the biggest selling point I found was that you could put your own picture on on the background. It was also interesting to see that the Microsoft name was no where to be found. I was really expecting to see front pages ads, WIRELESS in big letters and Microsofts weight behind it all. It was also interesting to note that the accessory packs advertised with it were $80-$100, I guess they are trying to beat apple at the sucker game. All in all I didn't see anything to win over the mass market.
    • Re:Not a big intro (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Monday November 13, 2006 @11:06AM (#16823490) Homepage Journal
      ``It was also interesting to see that the Microsoft name was no where to be found.''

      Perhaps they figured that saying it's from Microsoft is not a way to promote your product to their target audience.
      • by a.d.trick (894813)
        ``It was also interesting to see that the Microsoft name was no where to be found.'' Perhaps they figured that saying it's from Microsoft is not a way to promote your product to their target audience.

        How can this be! Are you really trying to suggest that people actually by Microsoft products because the products are worth something in-and-of themselves — apart the Microsoft brand name stuck on the cover? Surely you can't be serious.

    • by jonnythan (79727)
      I think Microsoft isn't targeting newspaper readers with ads for the Zune.

      I've seen a number of Zune commercials at the movie theater, and NYC is plastered with billboards and bus stop and subway ads.
    • Re:Not a big intro (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Archibald Buttle (536586) <steve_sims7.yahoo@co@uk> on Monday November 13, 2006 @01:32PM (#16825452)
      Microsoft also did not push themselves with the original XBox launch. There was no Microsoft branding to be found there - their logo isn't on the console. They are trying to create a new brand with Zune, not making use of their existing brand, much as they did with the XBox.

      Maybe they feel it unwise to make use of the Microsoft brand for these products.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by roseblood (631824)
      "Zune(tm) from Microsoft, the people who brought you EDLIN."

      No brainer there.
    • Re:Not a big intro (Score:4, Interesting)

      by santos_douglas (633335) on Monday November 13, 2006 @02:46PM (#16826524) Journal
      Ran across a Zune endcap display at a local Target. Backlight was set to immediately turn off making it impossible to use until I switched it to stay on permanently. After playing with it a while, found the UI acceptable if a bit unintuitive. Like others have noted, I was shocked at the bulk of the thing. No prices listed, I guess because it wasn't actually available for sale yet, which also seemed a bit odd. The feature list, which presumably is meant to entice buyers, read more like a Top 10 Lift of reasons not to buy. A 30 GB portable hard drive that you can't use as a portable hard drive...WTF?! I've never seen such a disaster waiting to happen.
  • In related news, if you Google the phrase "wiki zune" you get the following results. [google.com] Look at the second listed item.
    • That really is quite interesting... Neither the HTML source nor the wiki source of that "secondary" Wikipedia link contains the word "zune"? How in the hell did that happen?
      • Likely the same way googling the words "miserable failure" returns GWB's White House page.
      • Note that whatever you search for in google finds you near-synonyms for various words; both words stemming from the same verb, and synonyms. Just put in a single random (but common) word and see what gets highlighted.

        I suspect that someone at Google with access to the synonyms database has a sense of humour...

        While not definite, having 'ski' be a synonym of 'water' means there could well be errant second-level associations as well.
  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Monday November 13, 2006 @10:59AM (#16823416)
    The submitter calls the Zune an "iPod wannabe-killer".

    That would make it something that kills iPod wannabe's, like Creative or Rio or Sandisk players. I wonder whether that is what the submitter meant, or did he mean "wannabe iPod" or "wannabe iPod-killer"? And I wonder what Microsoft's goal is?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by peragrin (659227)
      considering that the Zune is incompatible with other playsforsure devices including the ipod killers of old(creative, real, napster, etc) The zune is the Ipod wannabe killer.

      because when it comes right down to it, all those other services will die becaue they partnered with MSFT, and then MSFT stabbed them all in the back.

      or maybe it was a chair in the board room.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      "The submitter calls the Zune an "iPod wannabe-killer".

      That would make it something that kills iPod wannabe's, like Creative or Rio or Sandisk players."


      Maybe it's just my pidgin English, but I'd see "iPod-wannabe killer" as something that kills iPod wannabes. Those hyphens...
  • by Channard (693317) on Monday November 13, 2006 @11:00AM (#16823426) Journal
    There's no still reason on whether or not the battery is removable. My number one reason for buying an MP3 player other than an iPod was that the iPod's battery can't easily be removed - in fact, the Nano's is even soldered in, so levering it out isn't an option.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sunderland56 (621843)
      You're confusing removable with user removable. The iPod's battery is certainly removable; Apple stores will swap in a new battery for a fixed price.

      There are several advantages of a soldered-in battery. The iPod can be made smaller (no need for a battery holder) and lighter. The case can be better sealed. And there is no chance that a bump to the iPod will interrupt playback by interrupting battery voltage - important to those that wear the iPod while exercising.

      Basically, a better user experience for thre
    • There's no still reason on whether or not the battery is removable.

      I can think of one reason.
      Size. If the battery was removable, the iPod would have to be bigger to accommodate the door and the battery. Another would be quality. The iPod is designed to be self-contained to prevent people from messing with the internals. To be as thin as it is, the iPods could not accomodate standard AAA or AA batteries. That leaves only customized batteries with customized connectors. Would you want to support a pro

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bri2000 (931484)
        And yet none of those reasons have ever been seen as a serious enough design challenge to prevent the rechargable, custom batteries in cell phones, digital cameras and other brands of personal stereo being user replacable.
        • But you're really not comparing apples to apples. (No pun intended). You can't compare other devices which have different functions and form factors. Most digital cameras are not as thin as the iPods and aren't designed to run for hours on end. They can be powered on for hours but not really designed to be continuously taking pictures without sacrificing battery life. Same thing with cell phones. Except for the newest generation of cell phones like the Razr, the cell phone is much thicker than the iPo
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by planetmn (724378)
            How long do they last while functioning? Talk time is usually a few hours.

            Talk about not comparing apples to apples. A cellular phone, while talking uses a radio to transmit and receive signals, the iPod does no such thing.

            If you believe the non-user removable battery was done for any other reason than:
            1) design - no seams in the plastic
            2) cost - we want the money for either a new iPod after three years, or at least pay us to replace the battery
            you are being naive.

            Designs are about compromise.
  • ...the entire article is supposition and not even logically thought out supposition.

    See the paragraph below:

    "For example, Murphey has been working to create rumors of an imminently available new "video iPod," apparently in an effort to try to get iPod buyers to hold off on their purchases and perhaps consider the Zune."

    That doesn't make any sense at all. If Murphey is trying to get people more interested in Zune and wanting to buy a Zune, why would he suggest that a new iPod is coming out. This would actu
    • by Xzzy (111297)
      That crap aside, nobody is going to kill the iPod, it's a behemoth now.

      Somebody will, someday. I doubt it'll be the Zune, but market leaders always get "beat", eventually.
    • by thelost (808451)
      It's not just that it's pure speculation, but that the article is fervent paranoia - If someone says something like 'I think a new ipod is on the horizon' obviously they are just using guerilla tactics against apple. Paranoia can go too far.
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      ``That doesn't make any sense at all. If Murphey is trying to get people more interested in Zune and wanting to buy a Zune, why would he suggest that a new iPod is coming out. This would actually make people considering a Zune potentially abort that purchase waiting for Apple to produce an iPod with WiFi or something similar.''

      Don't forget that people use "ipod" to mean portable media player, regardless of if it's actually an iPod or not.
    • "For example, Murphey has been working to create rumors of an imminently available new "video iPod," apparently in an effort to try to get iPod buyers to hold off on their purchases and perhaps consider the Zune."

      It does seem a bit paranoid, but it isn't necessarily as ridiculous as it sounds. As weird as it sounds, spreading rumors about a new video iPod could actually damage the hype around the iPod. People hold off buying, sales numbers drop, media stories circulate about how the iPod is failing, que

      • by Assmasher (456699)
        I agree, but the hold-off wouldn't seem likely to benefit the Zune since people would be specifically holding off in order to get an iPod. Perhaps if iPods were far between it could lead to some people waiting, waiting, waiting, getting frustrated and then getting a Zune, but that means that (a)Apple would have to be slow in releasing another iPod and that (b)Zune wouldn't benefit from the FUD for a significant period of time.

        All in all, it doesn't strike me as useful to Zune, but as you pointed out, Micro
    • That doesn't make any sense at all. If Murphey is trying to get people more interested in Zune and wanting to buy a Zune, why would he suggest that a new iPod is coming out. This would actually make people considering a Zune potentially abort that purchase waiting for Apple to produce an iPod with WiFi or something similar.

      Actually, it does make some sense. Imagine you're a weak-minded consumer and you're going to buy an iPod tomorrow, and I'm selling Zunes. Now, if you buy that iPod tomorrow, there's no

  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Monday November 13, 2006 @11:08AM (#16823518) Homepage Journal
    Dislocating my jaw when I yawn like that.
  • by SewersOfRivendell (646620) on Monday November 13, 2006 @11:10AM (#16823544)
    RoughlyDrafted [...] also calls out what they called a "Digg Fraud Campaign"


    Pot, meet kettle [googlepages.com].
    • by Megane (129182)

      Actually, my only real problem with RDM is their freaking URLs. (well, that and the fanboi art which looks like something out of a 1990's-era Mac fanatic magazine.)

      Who thought it was a good idea to use a GUID for a blog URL? Can you make a URL any less meaningful? (and the GUID was invented by... could it be... Microsoft?)

  • by B11 (894359) on Monday November 13, 2006 @11:20AM (#16823654)
    Clunkier than an ipod. Crippled wifi. Lame.
    • by neoform (551705)
      I'd say the more famous words are the constant "iPod killer" headlines every few weeks.
  • by bealzabobs_youruncle (971430) on Monday November 13, 2006 @11:23AM (#16823686)
    has been very heavily promoted via astro-turfing. Every BETA and RC release of Vista was followed within an hour or so with 2-4 articles explaining why it was great and apologizing for it's lack of features. Some were from legit news outlets, others fan sites and blogs, but the quantity and timing felt forced to me. I see the same thing with Zune; I keep seeing articles telling me it's an iPod killer but then explaining why it's deficiencies are not only acceptable, but a benefit to me as a consumer??

    I think this will work with the OS as poeple don't really try to understand how their PC works, but I question this dethroning the simplicity and popularity of the iPod and iTMS combo.

    I will also point out the obvious that MS has seeded quite a few landscapers here on Slashdot lately, but I'm sure one will come along soon and prove my point...

  • Kill the iPod? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mmzplanet (904697) on Monday November 13, 2006 @11:27AM (#16823754)
    Microsoft is not even challenging the most popular of the iPod lineup. Seeing that the iPod nano is the most popular of the iPod lineup (even without video).... how exactly is the Zune an iPod killer? The Zune is not a killer to anything until MS has a device to challenge the tiny iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle. One device is not going to "kill" iPod, or even hurt it.
    • by MtViewGuy (197597)
      Unless Microsoft is willing to spend huge amounts of money promoting and improving the Zune player, they're not going to make much of a dent against the 70% marketshare of all iPod models in the portable music player market. The iPod marketshare is so entrenched that even automakers now offer as standard iPod connections that use the data connector on the iPod, which means you can 1) control the iPod from the car stereo controls and 2) charge the iPod batteries.
  • XOBX HUEG (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CharAznable (702598) on Monday November 13, 2006 @11:28AM (#16823756)
    Checked one out yesterday, the 60's Soviet looking shit-brown one. The screen is gorgeous but the unit itself is OMG XOBX HUEG. What's with Microsoft and huge hardware? It is too big and bulky to be carried in my pocket.
    • by trudyscousin (258684) on Monday November 13, 2006 @11:54AM (#16824098)
      "What's with Microsoft and huge hardware?"

      They're obviously compensating for something.
    • What's with Microsoft and huge hardware?

      Ballmer has to sign off on these things. 'Nuff said...
    • I figured they'd offer a man-purse with a dedicated pocket for the Zune. Sounds like a time to mash-up the Seinfeld episode and the Zune ad.

      But I think there's a little bit of a point, if you want a large screen and good battery life, you are probably going to have to deal with a brick. You can't have everything and have it now. Large screens and video decoding are going to be done with less power in the future for a slimer unit, so you can have everything, but you'll have to wait until two years from no
  • Buying one (Score:5, Funny)

    by IflyRC (956454) on Monday November 13, 2006 @11:38AM (#16823882)
    I'm an early adopter and usually purchase many products like this that come out. I'm really looking forward to it.
  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Monday November 13, 2006 @11:40AM (#16823906)
    The problem with the Zune is unfortunately that it will be compared to the iPod. On it's own the Zune seems to be a decent enough MP3 player. To differentiate from the iPod, MS has put in some interesting features. To me though, these features all have caveats. For example, MS is marketing that the Zune has wireless. Technically true but it's not wireless like you'd expect in a laptop. Really, it's limited wireless sharing with another Zune. It plays video but you can't really buy any from Zune marketplace right now. It's got a bigger screen but has the same resolution as an iPod so your pictures are larger because the pixels are larger. It's got the same capacity as the 30GB iPod but you can't use it as a portable harddrive. And so on. I'm not buying it because there are no killer features that I really want. I feel sorry for those who don't research these things and end up with a player that doesn't do what they thought it would do.
  • Once the public gets wind of another iPod killer missing the mark, those brave 'early adopters' that sprang for a Zune will be looking to find a use for the darn things, since no one will want to take it off their hands. In that spirit, here is a list of the Top Ten things to do with an unwanted Zune...

    10. Use it to tell peoples' fortunes down at the pier on weekends. Put it on random play and see what mysticism is invoked when their dead Uncle Bob speaks to them from the other side.
    9. Doorstop...
    8.
  • by styryx (952942)
    So...Does anyone else on here just plain outright hate Microsoft?
    • by mattgreen (701203)
      Yep, I made my entire worldview around this simple fact. It works great!
    • you must be new here!


      in a word, Yes. Hating M$ is a sort of passtime for us. Being as may slashdotters work in IT related fields... like helpdesk, server admins, etc... it's a special kind of hatred, becuase their products bring us so much joy each day.

    • by styryx (952942)
      Irony \I"ron*y\, a. [From Iron.]
      [1913 Webster]
      1. Made or consisting of iron; partaking of iron; iron; as,
      irony chains; irony particles; -- In this sense iron is
      the more common term. [R.] --Woodward.


      Hate to reply to my own post, but...
      • of a translator website where you can ask terminology questions and supposedly get back intelligent answers.

        Someone had entered "This is gay" for the English > Spanish combo, and you wouldn't believe the number of idiots that actually responded with "Esto es un homosexual".

  • it's fairly well known that the Zune iPod-wannabe killer is coming out Monday/Tuesday.

    Talk about a serious case of forgetting the past.

    I, for one, just love how every kid with an iPod thinks they're onto something new and now that MS has a music player out there suddenly it's because of Apple? Granted, Apple certainly is the largest seller in the market today but they're far from the first and from where I stand (with my Archos FM Recorder 20 unit) they're far from innovative. Is the iPod nicer than my A
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by 2nd Post! (213333)
      Are you sure you're right? The iPod, 5gb, was released in October of 2001. I do believe your Archos FM Recorder was released in October of 2002, nearly a year later. Apple wasn't the first, but it was a pioneer in several things that the Archos did not pick up on until later:
      Size (smaller is better)
      Hi speed serial interface(USB2 or Firewire)
      Simple user interface (5 buttons instead of Archos' 10)

      Your Archos is actually a year younger than the oldest iPod, at my estimation.

      The iPod did something that Archos h
      • I do believe your Archos FM Recorder was released in October of 2002

        While I do admit to error on this the truth is that Archos still did have a 20gig player before the iPod ever hit the market with the Studio model. My misstatement comes from a recollection of a 20 gig iPod being introduced (which I falsely took for 1st generation) and scoffing at the inflated price compared to my player.

        The iPod did something that Archos has copied with it's Gmini line... there is no way of avoiding that comparison.

        W
  • ... that Microsoft seems to be getting more and more into hardware. They have keyboards, mice, XBoxes, now Zunes. For a while there they were making routers and access points (don't know if they are still in this business). I half expect them to make phones and PDAs, but so far they have steered clear; perhaps the Zune will evolve in that direction. Then they will have the XBox to usurp the PC and the Zune to usurp the phone/PDA.
    • by King_TJ (85913)
      No - MS discontinued their line of wireless cards and routers. Too much competition from the likes of Linksys, D-Link and SMC.

      They also briefly experimented with selling a Microsoft cordless phone with USB interface to a PC, for the purposes of handling call logging and caller ID display to your PC screen. But that one flopped too.
  • A guy who went to Best Buy and wanted to order a Zune, actually took it home right away [flx-tech.net] and posted his pictures online [flickr.com]. He did get an unexplained system error [flx-tech.net] though.
  • Well yeah, I heard about it on Slashdot, but we're nerds. Outside of this, I've seen the Ps3 creepy baby ad, I've seen information about the Wii. I've YET to see anything about the Zune, the date of the Zune, or why I should want one?

    Microsoft has really dropped the ball on this one. A tech with out an idea what their product is? Well I'm very sure I know what an Ipod is (haven't got one, but I could tell you everything about it). If I haven't heard of it, then who has really?

    Maybe the advertising is co
  • The first article is legitimate news but the second two aren't even close. Who goes to the trouble of making that many images just to slam a new product? Slashdot shouldn't be giving press to scrubs like these.
  • An IHP-120 running Rockbox (open-source) so it plays FLAC (open-source, lossless) recordings.

  • Microsoft has made blogs an essential part of their marketing plans. Weren't they at some point encouraging their employees to blog? I wouldn't be surprised to find some blog sites that are paid by Microsoft - monetarily or by other mean, to be pro-Microsoft or anti-compeition. If this were the case, I'd suspect Kotaku, Gizmodo, and Joystiq are part of this "ring". They may say a few negative things about Microsoft to throw people off, but many of these sites expouse a general positive message regarding
  • So the killer feature everyone is talking about is the ability to send songs and pictures to friends with Zune players. Cool idea. But the DRM will disable any transferred song after it is played three times or after three days whichever comes first.
    I can see legally why thay had to do that, but I'm not sure that makes the wireless feature the killer app everyone thinks it is. Sure, some people may buy a song a friend sends them that they like after listening to it a couple of times, but again - neat feat
  • Heh... Zune? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by eno2001 (527078) on Monday November 13, 2006 @12:43PM (#16824728) Homepage Journal
    Coming Zune from Microsoft? In soviet Russia Zune comes on YOU!? Which is better, Zune or sex with a mare? I've got a hot Zune down my pants with pictures of Natalie Portman, naked and petrified? I kid, I kid...

    I think that you'll find the market breakdown between Zune and the iPod will fall along the same lines that you see in the PC vs. Mac world. The people who want the "stylish and beautiful" device will still buy iPods. The people who want the utilitarian device with more features than sense, will buy the Zune. The wireless functionality of the Zune is a perfect example. To paraphrase Jobs, who WANT that sort of thing when you can just swap your [insert music player here] with a friend for a few minutes to listen to the songs on each other's players to see if you want to buy the tracks? (Funny how 80s Walkman technology, the 1/8" headphone plug, is perfectly compatible with nearly every music player out there. Don't expect that to last much longer... it keeps the goons from making more money through artifical restrictions.) The ridiculous filesharing that deletes itself thanks to DRM is just another component bound to cause more negative user experiences than positive ones. But, the fact is that Zune will likely break even or tank. I don't see it becoming the defacto standard as iPod has. Hell, I own a Rio Karma (they RULE BTW...) and I can attest to the fact that EVERY digital music player or service you want is made for the iPod. The FM transmitter I bought along with it's cigarette lighter adapter has a funny extra plug on it that is specifically for the iPod and totally useless on my Karma. Again... the problem of not using or establishing any kind of REAL drafted standard.

    IF there were an actual standard, then the Zune and the iPod would be able to actually compete on their merits rather than artifically limiting each other. I'd say a reasonable standard would look like this:

    1. A standard interface for purchasing/downloading music within the player itself rather than through a PC. This would happen via WiFi or a NIC or even a cell phone data link
    2. Standard bluetooth for sending the audio data to a bluetooth headphone, or in-dash blue tooth enabled car stereos. This would eliminate the interference that you experience on the road while other people blast Howard Stern with their Sirius sets
    3. A standard hardware interface for a dock that all players would utilize regardless of shape or size
    4. Standard power jacks that are multipurpose for car, house or even USB power
    5. A standard underlying base OS that could have extras layered on top of it to extend functionality and support for additional features in software and extended hardware features as well
    6. Interaction with other bluetooth devices so that you could also use them as data drives, or even personal answering machines for cell phones (screw voice mail...)

    Just a few ideas which I'm sure the "elite" here will rip apart. My point is that Zune is not going to be able to easily usurp the lead that Apple has at the moment. The only way they will is if Apple rests on their laurels and doesn't provide the next "high".
  • by dr.badass (25287) on Monday November 13, 2006 @01:31PM (#16825416) Homepage
    If you look at the first run of commercials [gizmodo.com]-- which you will undoubtedly be seeing every time you turn on the TV--you've got to wonder just what the hell Microsoft is thinking.

    These ads show people out in public, at parties and concerts, with friends; there's talking, laughing, dancing; a DJ or a band playing music. And somehow you're supposed to make the connection that these are the perfect places to put on your headphones and listen to your own music.

    "Wow, I'm glad I paid $20 for a ticket to this concert with all of these people! Now I'm going to listen to my $250 Zune by myself! Welcome to the Social."

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