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All posts tagged "zune platform"


Friday, September 29, 2006

Robert X. Cringely Weighs in on Zune

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 10:24 AM

http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20060928.html

"Finally, some people would say that Microsoft's decision to launch its Zune music player against Apple's iPod is dumb too, but I am not among that group of people. On the face of it, smart people are asking why Microsoft would sell a product that isn't likely to EVER be profitable? Microsoft can't afford not to do it. Zune goes on sale November 14 for $249, the same price as a 30 gig iPod. But Zune has WiFi and a larger screen than the iPod, so it has to be costing more to make and delivering less (if any) profit to Redmond. As I wrote two weeks ago, Apple does iTunes to sell iPods, so Microsoft is going to have a hard time turning that model on its head and making its profit from selling music. Ain't gonna happen."

Robert X. Cringely always has an interesting way of looking at the tech world, and even if his often wild predictions don't come true, I enjoy reading them. The latter third of his September 28th column deals with the Zune, and he speculates that the Zune is a deep, long-term play - and I agree with him. Zune is about the platform, not the 30 GB media player being sold in November. Platforms are long term, very deep plays that take years to develop fully - and Microsoft has shown that they can fail with applications (remember that Java-based Flash competitor in the late '90s?), they can fail with devices (their cordless phone), but when it comes to platforms, Microsoft has a very strong track record of success. The people that look at the first Zune player as being the end-all and be-all of the Zune platform aren't seeing the big picture.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Engadget Interview: J Allard, Microsoft Corporate Vice President

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 05:25 PM

"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.


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