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Old 02-08-2007, 11:00 PM
Jason Dunn
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Default The Zune is Innovative - No, Really, it is!


"As we all now know, the iPod became the cultural phenomenon it is today and Microsoft had to do something since Apple was not only getting face time with consumers, but was on the way to extending the iPod brand in a way that would have severely marginalized the Media Center PCs and extenders, and by proxy, Microsoft. As usual, Microsoft did what they were best at, and created a product. Microsoft delivered a platform, Plays-for-Sure (hereafter known as P4S) for those yum-yums to build on, in order to compete with Apple. A universal media format for both audio and video, windows media, encoders, DRM, compatibility built into every Windows-based computer system, a marketing program for devices, a media player with embedded links to the music stores operated by P4S, etc, etc. What did they do with it? NADA."

John Obeto II from Absolute Vista weighs on the topic of whether or not the Zune is innovative, and how people aren't giving Microsoft enough credit for their first offering in this marketplace. He points out, quite correctly, that Microsoft's first play in this space was to build a platform. That's what Microsoft does best: they create a platform, they invite developers and companies around the world to product products on their platform, and everyone benefits. It's hard for a single product from a single company to succeed against an entire platform, but that's exactly what Apple did with the iPod: they out-outmanoeuvred an entire field of competitors by creating a combination of hardware and software that resonated with consumers. Last year, Microsoft realized that partners like Creative and Napster didn't have what it took to make headway against Apple - and thus the Zune was born.
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