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View Full Version : ZD Net: To Win, Zune Will Need a Bono. Who Should it Be?

Jason Dunn
10-27-2006, 05:57 AM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/index.php?p=3842' target='_blank'>http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/index.php?p=3842</a><br /><br /></div><span style="font-style: italic;">&quot;One reason the Zune strategy is so relevant (and one that most people don't realize) is that the vendor who dominates the digital rights management market (as Apple is currently doing) is the company that may end up in control of a lot more given how telecommunications (particularly on the mobile front), entertainment, computer technology, and the Internet are so rapidly converging. Left unchecked, Apple could end up calling the shots for way more than just the record labels (Apple put them in their place earlier this year). For example, should Apple ship an iPhone (whch it's fully expected to do in 2007), the appeal of that phone, particularly if it solves the usability problems that most multimedia smartphones including Motorola's Q face today, could have Apple calling some shots for mobile operators like Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and Cingular that they'd rather not have Apple calling.&quot;</span><br /><br />David Berlind has put together an interesting piece about the Zune, and why it's so important to Microsoft long term. He hits the nail on the head when he says that technical prowess will not be what makes the Zune a success, though I take exception to his statement that if Apple hasn't done something it's not because they haven't thought of it, it's because they don't want to. Apple may be smart, but they're not infallible nor do they execute perfectly on everything (hell, if iPods played WMA files, I'd probably already own one). At any rate, the success of the Zune isn't based solely on technical prowess - geeks buy devices based on specifications (screen resolution, hard drive size), the rest of the world buys based on features and scenarios that the device will allow them to experience. The iPod is popular because it has just enough features to be useful, but the strongest feature of all is the simplicity and purity of the user experience. The single biggest problem with nearly every device from Creative, iRiver, Samsung, and others is that the experience was fragmented and quickly let to frustration for many people. Check out Berlind's article for more - and do you think Zune needs a spokesperson like Apple has in Bono?<br />