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Go Back   Thoughts Media Forums > ZUNE THOUGHTS > Zune Talk

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  #1  
Old 09-07-2007, 11:30 PM
David Tucker
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Default Round 2 : Fight!

<p><em>&ldquo;Gotta love those Steve Jobs events - designed to bowl over Apple's fan base and its competitors with one stunning announcement after another. Masterful! Now that the dust has started to settle, do opportunities exist for Zune amidst the new Apple line-up? Is there even room for a second major player in the digital media market?&rdquo;<br />&ndash; <a href="http://www.zunerama.com/articles_020.php#070905_zune3_story">Harvey Chute, Zunerama</a><br /><br />&ldquo;I'll admit it &hellip; the frustration of a year of Zune WiFi with no real purpose eclipsed by Apple actually beating Zune to the wireless punch has been hard. Is there any reason to buy anything other than an iPod right now? What role does the Zune have anymore?&rdquo; <br />&ndash; <a href="http://www.zuneluv.com/2007/09/06/with-the-new-ipod-announcements-is-there-anything-left-for-zune/">Team Zune Luv</a></em><br /><br />This seems to be a recurring theme this week with the announcement of the new iPod line. I believe I emailed Jason immediately when I found out and said something to the effect of that the Zune 2.0 better be really awesome. So to close out this week, I&rsquo;m going to close out with where the Zune still fits after yesterday. Personally, after today, I&rsquo;m refocusing my effort on my favorite MP3 player. Yep, it&rsquo;s still the Zune. So where does the Zune fit in now? Harvey over at <a href="http://www.zunerama.com/articles_020.php#070906_zune_story">Zunerama has some ideas.</a> <br /><br /><em>&ldquo;There's another aspect of the new iPod line-up that could be exploited. Follow my simple logic: <br />a. The highest capacity iPods are the iPod Classics, in 80GB and 160GB. <br />b. These are thus the iPods most suited to storing a lot of video and movies content. <br />c. These do not, however, seem to be optimized for watching videos and movies. These still have a somewhat small screen (2.5&quot, and that screen is not widescreen.&rdquo;</em> <br /><br />So, after taking a few breaths and looking over what Apple has given the world, there is fortunately still room for Microsoft. Let&rsquo;s not forget what is still a HUGE advantage in my eyes of the Zune over the iPod and that&rsquo;s the subscription based model. The WiFi was such a great idea that everyone knows Microsoft blew it on. Not that they still can&rsquo;t give us some amazing things. Some of our readers have had great ideas on where you could take WiFi in some innovative directions. <br /><br />As cool as WiFi stores and sharing are the main thing we all use our players for is still content. Whether its pictures, movies or the old standby, music we all have them to enjoy one or more of those three things. Apple&rsquo;s iPod Touch is currently the best device for watching video from the looks of it. The problem with 8 or 16 GB is that it will fill up fast. Especially video. <br /><br />There is an option that I can&rsquo;t for the life of me understand why it rarely if ever comes up in discussion. If Microsoft were ever to offer movie subscriptions, I think that would blow a lot of people away. Why isn&rsquo;t this even a consideration? An 80 GB HDD player with the ability for $15 - $20 a month download movies and TV shows? I think Microsoft needs to deliver something big with Zune 2.0, why not that? </p><p>Round 1 has ended. Round 2 is just getting started. Let's see what Microsoft has to throw into the ring.</p>
 
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  #2  
Old 09-08-2007, 12:10 AM
Alber1690
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If Zune 2.0 dissapoints as well, the public will definately not even consider Zune 3.0. This is a very risky situation for MS; it's now or never, and they better know that.
 
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  #3  
Old 09-08-2007, 01:11 AM
Rocco Augusto
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Microsoft is in a lose lose situation. Even if they do develop some new super cool features such as finally allowing Zune Market purchases over WiFi, the general public will just say Apple did WiFi first... even though Microsoft had WiFi a year beforehand. If Microsoft creates a slick touch based interface, they'll just be ridiculed for that as well. If they create a new slick UI, same thing. No matter what Microsoft does, people are still going to bash them for copying Apple, even if they did it first!

The worst part is, I'm starting to get that sinking feeling that those images we saw earlier this week were the new Zune 2.0's and no matter what cool features they add to it, it's still not going to be as cool as the new iPod Touch.

On a side note, I'm surprised Apple got away with the "Touch" name as there is already an HTC Touch.
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  #4  
Old 09-08-2007, 02:28 AM
ucfgrad93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tucker View Post
There is an option that I can&rsquo;t for the life of me understand why it rarely if ever comes up in discussion. If Microsoft were ever to offer movie subscriptions, I think that would blow a lot of people away. Why isn&rsquo;t this even a consideration?
I think that would be a great innovation, however, I don't see movie studios allowing that to happen.
 
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  #5  
Old 09-08-2007, 09:39 AM
Sage
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The Zune still has a place as there will always be people who don't like Apple or don't want to carry around the same PMP as other people.

However, there's becoming fewer and fewer logical reasons to buy one.

To beat an entrenched player like Apple, Microsoft need to bring out (range of) players that not just match Apple's offering but beat them in every department. I don't see how that's possible right now.
 
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  #6  
Old 09-08-2007, 01:51 PM
Phillip Dyson
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I think the best case scenario is that the Zune 1.0 models were taken from Toshiba merely for time-to-market benefits while they worked on the real product.

Hopefully the "true" Zune (or Zune 2.0) is really built on Windows Mobile, or more likely Windows CE.

If its WM, then perhaps they would license HTC's TouchFlo or build something like it to build upon.

IF WinCE then perhaps they've been giving their PMP platform an overhaul.

In both places perhaps we can get back to WMP11 as the desktop software.

Either one of these would give them more time to concentrate on a good hardware design.

Granted none of these may play out, but I think these would be the most logical choices. And I know I'm just trying to be optimistic.
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  #7  
Old 09-08-2007, 05:53 PM
enemes
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1. For WiFi they need to do the following:

- access to ZuneMarketplace from any WiFi network
- Wireless sync with your computer as well as Xbox360
- No-restriction or at least not-as-restrictive Zune-to-Zune Sharing
- Zune-to-Zune messaging
- Apply messaging to the media in the library/being played (make it social)
- Good Web Browser
- VOIP Calls
- Online Video Games (via Live network or something)

2. Formats:

Basically support all the formats imaginable: Ogg, Mpc, FLAC, Ape. Xvid, Dvix etc. for video. This will win them a lot of positive press from the geeky bloggers.

3. Games.

- Make it true part of Xbox 360 ecosystem.
- Make it a portable gaming device
- Online gaming is a must.
- Zune-to-Zune gaming is a must.
- Muti-player Interactivity is a must here

4. Marketplace

- Improve the software. It's as clunky as iTunes.
- drop DRM!
- drop points system
- improve (somehow) subscription concept.

5. Interface

- use a lot of the prettiness from the original
- touch-screen!

6. Physical characteristics:

- make it smaller
- 160GB at this point is mandatory
 
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  #8  
Old 09-09-2007, 03:47 PM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tucker View Post
If Microsoft were ever to offer movie subscriptions, I think that would blow a lot of people away. Why isnít this even a consideration? An 80 GB HDD player with the ability for $15 - $20 a month download movies and TV shows? I think Microsoft needs to deliver something big with Zune 2.0, why not that?
They already have that - sort of - with Vongo. It's PlaysForSure compatible, so it's not Zune compatible. $9.99 USD per month for unlimited movie downloads (though I think it's limited to 10 movies at a time being digitally "checked out"). It's hard-coded to only work in the USA tough, so I've never been able to actually try it out.
 
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  #9  
Old 09-11-2007, 01:32 AM
Macguy59
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Especially when it appears the iTunes store is readying to do just that

Movie rentals ?
 
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  #10  
Old 09-11-2007, 01:23 PM
enjoythemusic
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As the editor and photojournalist for EnjoyTheMusic.com Microsoft has really been blowing it. Years ago purchased the MS AutoPC and that was an amazingly innovative product. Today i look at my Zune and wonder why it forces me to use compressed audio files. The sounds quality of the amplification/DAC appear to be better than the iPod, yet Apple allows for lossless files. MS could have easily coded in truly useable WiFi and made it available long ago in a Service pack, but nope. Why they are continually dropping the ball is beyond me. They are (?were?) a truly innovative company, now i am beginning to question if they have the right people who are truly forward-thinking and innovative as what was happening years ago.

Sad really, love my Zune (bought one at Target for myself and wife) and have no iPod. Disclosers done, am not in anyone's pocket and have zero conflict of interest. Wish someone at MS would ever try to contact anyone in the audiophile/computer field, yet all the professionals i know seem to ignored by MS when it comes to making this audio product (strange).

Well, at least MS is basck (with Ford) developing a new car audio system that look promising. Maybe the automotive innovators at MS need to talk to the Zune folks?
 
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