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View Full Version : Hardware Partners for the Zune

Jason Dunn
06-21-2007, 03:00 AM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.theyshoulddothat.com/2007/06/microsoft_zune_and_hardware_pa.html' target='_blank'>http://www.theyshoulddothat.com/2007/06/microsoft_zune_and_hardware_pa.html</a><br /><br /></div><em>&quot;Even with all my installation problems, I'd still argue that after iPod/iTunes, the Zune and Zune Software has made the greatest contribution to the digital audio player landscape. While Zunes may not be flying off the shelf now, Microsoft is known for slow and steady improvement, and I wouldn't be surprised if within a few years the Zune is healthy competition for the iPod. As I discussed in my entry about Microsoft's strategy, Microsoft likes to create platforms but let hardware companies sell the actual devices. With the Zune, Microsoft wisely made the player, software and online store itself, in a uncharacteristically Apple-like move. However Microsoft could eventually do something Apple never would: let other hardware companies make devices that are compatible with the Zune platform. When and if the Zune establishes itself in the market and in the hearts of consumers, Microsoft should seriously consider allowing other hardware companies make Zune compatible devices.&quot;</em><br /><br />When the Zune first launched, there was a lot of noise made about the fact that Microsoft was the only company making the hardware - people expected it to be another PlaysForeSure-like initiative where Microsoft would provide the software and Creative, iRiver, Samsung, Toshiba, and others would provide the hardware. When people realized Microsoft was going the Xbox route and doing the hardware under their own name, a lot of peopled wondered why. Although the Zune isn't perfect, I think overall it's a better out of box experience than a typical MP3 player. Microsoft wanted to control the experience, and the only way they could do that was to do the hardware themselves (with help from Toshiba of course). Is this the right course? For now, yes. Could they open it up to other partners in the future? Anything is possible, but I somehow doubt it.