Urban Eola

Microsoft's Zune launches today

As much of a monster Microsoft is, they are coming in as the underdog challenger to Apple's iPod as their Zune Mp3 player goes on sale today. The iPod owns a 75% market share. What's interesting is that the iPod has become the standard and you know how people like being different and having the things that's not "the standard". It's what makes people want Apple computers, because they are different compared the 97% share PCs have. That fact alone will bump the sales of the Zune a bit. The phenomenon is best described in this quote from Strategic Name Development: "in this world, alternative culture often gets to be the mainstream leaders. Just ask Apple." Check out Zune's official website clearly targeting the alternative youth culture.

Can Microsoft use their unlimited resources to convert others to a product that people will have to adjust to? Anyone that is computer savvy enough to maximize all of the features on the Zune most likely already has an iPod. I've always felt bad for the other MP3 players because no one wants their product, no matter how great the features are.

From what an editor at CNET said on "On the Money" last night, the Zune has tons of pretty cool features, including a great looking screen, but the formatting of the songs (remember people are used to iTunes) will be a problem. Some of the pretty cool features:

>> Ability to send photos, and some music files (not all music files may be shared) from Zune-to-Zune via WiFi. The music files that are shareable can only be played a maximum of three times, and expire after three days regardless of whether they are played or not.

>> Ability to create a "ZuneTag," which is a username/profile that is visible to others who wirelessly scan the area for fellow Zune users.

>> The wallpaper on the Zune can be changed to any user specified image.

However unlike the iPod, the Zune cannot be used as an external hard drive. The Zune will have a 30 GB hard drive, built-in FM tuner, 3.0-inch screen, and WiFi networking. The initial player will come in three colors—black, brown and white. Preloaded music and videos will be included. It retails for $249.99.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 10:23 AM |

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