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View Full Version : Computerworld: Why Microsoft's Zune Scares Apple to the Core

Jason Dunn
10-05-2006, 04:55 AM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9003718&pageNumber=1' target='_blank'>http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9003718&pageNumber=1</a><br /><br /></div><span style="font-style: italic;">&quot;Microsoft Corp. plans to launch a competitor to Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod, a wireless media player called the Zune, just in time for the holidays. Apple fans point and laugh at Microsoft's entry into a market totally dominated by the iPod and its transcendent design. Apple's media players are so good they have transformed consumer electronics, inspired a massive gadget &quot;ecosystem&quot; and spawned a thousand imitators. Every pretender to the media player throne -- and there have been hundreds -- has been thoroughly smacked down by Apple and its untouchable iPod. The secrets of iPod's success appear obvious: beauty, simplicity and &quot;extreme coolness&quot; -- three characteristics Microsoft has never achieved in any product. So why is Apple so scared? (I'll tell you why in a minute.)&quot;<span style="font-style: italic;"><br /><br /></span></span>Mike Elgan, formerly of Windows Magazine (I knew I recognized that name) was kind enough to email me a link to his article the day it was published - them it promptly got lost in the vortex of chaos that is my Inbox and I'm just now posting on it. Such is life in the online world. At any rate, this article is probably the best overall wrap-up of what the Zune is, from top to bottom, that I've read. If you're still unsure of what the Zune is and does, give this a read. Elgan's analysis of why Apple should be scared is also spot on, though again this is a long-term game - no one should expect the Zune to have more than a very tiny percentage of the market by the end of the holiday season. But by the end of 2007 if all goes well? The Zune could be a bigger blip on Apple's radar.<span style="font-style: italic;"><span style="font-style: italic;" /></span>

Vincent M Ferrari
10-05-2006, 08:57 PM
It would be ignorant to say Apple isn't paying attention to the Zune. That being said, the idea that it "scares them to the core" is (aside from being a REALLY obvious cliche) is silly. They know it's out there, but I don't sense any urgency from them about it at the moment...

In fact, I'd go as far as to say Sandisk is probably a hell of a lot scarier to Apple than anything starting with a Z ;-)

10-05-2006, 09:37 PM
all good points. I think alot of zune is going to come from the xbox 360. No doubt people were suprised when they saw how well integrated and fun to use marketplace was...now you add one more cool thing in the mix to be connected while you're not home? its going to sell! GO BILL GO!!!

Aaron Roma
10-08-2006, 05:34 AM
No doubt people were suprised when they saw how well integrated and fun to use marketplace was...now you add one more cool thing in the mix to be connected while you're not home?

Of course part of the problem is that it ISN'T going to be connected while your not home....

Vincent M Ferrari
10-09-2006, 12:41 AM
The marketplace is flat out stupid.

Why should you have to buy credits to then buy music?


Makes sense though. They hit you up for $20 at a time, so if you don't buy $20 worth of music straight away, they come out ahead for a bit.

10-13-2006, 03:07 PM
Vincent, maybe I'm missing your point, but I'm not sure why purchasing points to by items is 3xDumb. Actually I thought this was the way apple worked, with all the itunes cards I see at Best Buy.

Admittedly, I already have a 360, but I find the idea of my marketplace points being usefull in other places appealing (not that I have any real intention of purchasing music outside of a physical cd, but that may change in the future).

I also thought that these points get around the issue of having to have a credit card for younger users, or in cultures where credit cards are less prevelent. Not that Zunes are available there....yet.

Vincent M Ferrari
10-13-2006, 03:59 PM
Tsk tsk tsk.

Okay... The things in Best Buy are called Gift Cards. The iTunes store also accepts credit cards and, if I remember correctly, will drop a song onto your AOL bill as well.

My point is not that points themselves are stupid, but if points are your only method of payment, that is indeed 100% stupid. Yeah it's great if you want to use points for Xbox Live or something similar, but you can't just buy a damned song. You have to buy points, then trade the points for a song.

Someone thought this was a good idea?

Way to close off the market <strong>even more</strong>.

The Zune is starting to remind me of that parody iPod video you've already seen; namely what would've happened had MS designed the iPod. We're finding out now. A great device with tons of potential being seriously crippled a little at a time.