coming zune: microsoft’s ipod killer

07/24/06 at 8:43 pm | Posted in CNET Asia, Tech | 2 Comments

Yup, it’s true — remember that iPod killer we’ve been hearing rumors about for some time now?

Well, Microsoft has confirmed that it will try to go toe to toe with Apple’s iPod by releasing Zune. They’ve come up with a teaser site and a Zune Insider blog. You could get more info from this story posted at CNET Asia.

Assuming it’s not just vaporware, I’m hoping that Zune will give the iPod a run for its money and maybe even kick its ass. The key here would be for Zune to deliver on the promise of community building and seamless integration of content from PCs, mobile phones and the Xbox 360.

If Zune could build a music community that will be to online music what Xbox Live is to online games, then Apple will all the more have to heed the call to open up iTunes to other devices and start getting more revenue from its online music store instead of relying on sales of the iPod hardware.

The future is in the network, not the hardware, as Sony might painfully learn by not investing early on in an online gaming network, stubbornly introducing one proprietary technology after another (the memory stick, UMD, Blu-ray) and betting the farm on the super-expensive PlayStation 3.

Heck, with Xbox Live becoming a viral network that will link together gamers on the Xbox 360, PC and mobile platforms, the day may come when Microsoft will give away the console for free just to hook the world on Live.

So yup, in these arenas, Apple and Sony have won the early battles, but the unlikely underdog may ultimately win the war. Because it’s not just about the music or the games, but the whole digital lifestyle.

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2 Comments »

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  1. well, that depends on the price. if zune is a way cheaper than ipod, techies like usability & features aside, then the former is a real killer. – roanne

  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.


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