Should You Be Excited About the New Microsoft Zune?
find myself really excited about the upcoming Microsoft Zune “ipod
killer.” Microsoft promises this baby to be one hell of a device and is
promoting it on a great looking slick website. (Thanks to the Global Geek Podcast Blog for the link) I am the proud owner of a completely scratched iPod 30Gig, Video. The Zune however offers some really promising features. According to many sources the Zune is unable to play anything buy Microsoft licensed music.
My first impression of this obviously user
crippling decision was that it puts Apple and the iPod in an even
better position. Not only do they have 70 Percent or more of the
market, the new player that Microsoft is releasing can’t even play
music you have been downloading from the iTunes Music Store for the
last few years. Microsoft is trying to carve out a section of the
market just for them, for Microsoft Zune owners not to be able to use
both as they are not interchangeable. I believe in this age of media
consolidation it is a critical error on the part of Microsoft.
Exclusiveness in brands should be disappearing, not coming further to
I have also head multiple reports that the
Zune is unable to connect wirelessly with its “built in wireless” that
Microsoft is raving about to anything but other Zune devices! With
almost every home computer network running a wireless network and
hotspots on every street corner, a simple email checking utility / web
browsing through the on board wireless would have made Zune very
attractive not to mention having one up on all the current iPods.
According to the Zune official website the device will be released in ten days, that’s November 14th 2006. I
have been talking to a lot of my technically like minded friends who
all use portable mp3 players on a daily basis and all but one had never
even heard of the Zune! As I said Apple’s market share at
70 percent is going to be a tough sell to beat but these are
experienced mp3 player users/buyers who are unawares.
The way I see it there are several main points that cause me pause (no pun intended) about the Zune.
- Inability to play music downloaded from the
iTunes music store, no transfer of license suggested, no nothing. So
much for fair use…
- Apple already hold 70 percent market share
with the iPod on portable mp3 players. Microsoft’s Zune marketing
hasn’t even reached mp3 player users, let alone those who don’t know
what the portable players are yet.
- The built in wireless support of Zune is
crippled to only allow you to connect a Zune to another Zune and not a
wireless access point of wireless enabled PC. I am sure (hope) that
someone cracks that in the first 24 hours of the Zune being available.
- The Zune is too little too late. It has
video support and nice menus, big whoop. It certainly is a big whoop
coming in at much larger and thicker than the video iPod. The screen
size might make up for the overall mass of the device, but it will
really to have work to impress.
I can’t wait for
my first opportunity to play with one of these little babies. I would
love to try out Microsoft’s version of itunes and share music with
other Zune users. Hey Microsft – send me one to review!