"You know, it's been our philosophy that digital music is just getting started. The world is gaga about iPods, but everybody in the world listens to music, not just 50 million people that have iPods. And so we're taking a real deep approach when it comes to music and saying, "There's an opportunity with this technology to narrow the distance between artists and their audience." What does that look like? And we're talking about a lot of different artists saying, "What can Zune be doing to change the medium for you in really exciting new ways? How can we get beyond just getting the zeros and ones off of CDs and putting them in people's pockets, and change that?" We're talking to consumers and saying, "How can we change the way that you discover new music? You know, we'd love you to find new people based on the music you love, we'd love you to find new music based on the people you love." How do we change that dynamic?"
A very interesting interview by the gang at Engadget. J Allard talks about how Zune isn't a device, it's a platform. And like all Microsoft platforms, it's a long-term play with a lot of depth, and designed to bridge with other Microsoft platforms to the greatest possible effect. In the case of the Zune, it's bridging into the Xbox and Vista. How deep that will go is anyone's guess, but I expect big, bold things from the company where Zune is concerned over the next several years. No one takes on the iPod empire in a single pitched battle: it's a long-term war. In the end, if we as consumers get better devices, all the better.