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Microsoft leaks Zune Details in FCC filing 274

Posted by Zonk
from the portable-shenanigans dept.
cnet-declan writes "One of my colleagues at CNET News.com has picked up on a filing that Microsoft made yesterday with the FCC. Our article reports that Microsoft's Zune media player (the iPod rival discussed before on Slashdot) is going to have features such as creating mobile social networks and streaming music to nearby friends or strangers. It's going to support the 802.11b and 802.11g wireless standards, have a 30GB hard drive, support music, movies, and photos, and have a 3-inch screen. Is this finally enough to unseat Apple?"
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Microsoft leaks Zune Details in FCC filing

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  • by nizo (81281) * on Friday August 25, 2006 @04:50PM (#15982052) Homepage Journal
    With the device's wireless networking abilities turned on, people can send and receive photos, as well as "promotional copies of songs, albums and playlists," according to the filing.


    Or maybe someone can figure out how to broadcast images to all nearby Zunes with a linux app, so when I drive down the street or ride the train with my laptop I could flood all the nearby Zunes with goatse images. "Awww look someone is sending me a cute puppy picture....augggghhhhh"

    • by larry bagina (561269) on Friday August 25, 2006 @04:53PM (#15982082) Journal
      Wireless. More space than a nomad. Lame.
    • by bhsx (458600)
      Yes, but most likely it wont. That said, the Zune does look quite wicked, besides the non-wheel wheel. They should have just avoided the style and went with straight-up buttons. I dont think anyone here would argue that MS makes good hardware, so far as joysticks, mice and keyboards are concerned. But this is Toshiba, will it be branded as Microsoft hardware or Toshiba? Toshiba doesn't have a terrible reputation, but it doesn't have the great rep that MS has in hardware. It'll be interesting to watch.
      • It really depends on the hardware. Have you bought MS Wireless mice or similar items recently?
      • That said, the Zune does look quite wicked, besides the non-wheel wheel.

        If by wicked, you mean a brick that plays music. It reminds me of the third-generation iPod from a few years ago, but with a false "wheel." So it's a falsely advertising brick.

        As for Microsoft hardware, I'd like to direct your attention to the most useless key ever invented in the history of computing--the Windows key. Bane to full-screen gamers the world over, failed abortion of the Apple key, never-used in any applications...the W

        • Just because you

          a) have some spastic inability to control what keys you press, or

          b) are simply ignorant of how to use the Windows key ... does not mean it is useless. I couldn't live without it. The first thing I did when I loaded Windows on my Macbook was think "OK, how do I map the Apple key to Windows key functions?"
        • by Al Dimond (792444) on Friday August 25, 2006 @06:56PM (#15982816) Journal
          The Windows key is very useful, and the fact that no applications use it is what makes it useful: it allows for a wide variety of windowing system-specific keybindings that won't conflict with application keybindings. That's exactly the way I set up my FVWM bindings, all on mod4, and no matter what crazy-ass bindings my apps use (and it wouldn't be a Unix app if it didn't have crazy-ass bindings) they don't conflict with my crazy-ass bindings because just about no apps use mod4 for shortcuts (a pox on any that do).

          Windows differs from my setup (which is clearly perfect) in a few ways. First, it uses alt-tab, whereas I use mod4+tab for consistency (and my keyboard's two meta keys are each bigger than its one alt key anyhow). Second, it brings up the Start menu when you tap the Windows key, which is the part that's pure evil. IMHO modifier keys should strictly be modifier keys. This also goes for alt (compare, say, GTK+'s alt behavior with that of most Win32 programs).

          But the overriding point is that Microsoft hardware doesn't really have much to do with the Windows key. Unix vendors and also Apple have had similar keys long before Microsoft introduced theirs (though Apple's key is also the primary key used for app bindings). And IMO its failings have entirely to do with software. If you want to disable it in Windows there's a registry hack to do that, which can be found by searching the wb if you're lucky.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by kjart (941720)

            Second, it brings up the Start menu when you tap the Windows key, which is the part that's pure evil.

            I must say, I've heard Microsoft called evil for all kinds of things (i.e. business practices, shoddy software, clubbing baby seals) but I've never heard them called out for a button on a keyboard. Nice work :)

        • by HolyCrapSCOsux (700114) on Friday August 25, 2006 @07:05PM (#15982858)
          Windows + E -> Launch Windows Explorer with folder view ( I use this several times a day, and Kiss it when I switch to KDE )
          Windows + M -> Minimize all
          Windows + Shift + M -> unminimize all
          Windows + R -> Run Dialog
          Windows + F -> Search Dialog

          Wouldn't call it a useless key.
      • by tolan-b (230077)
        > I dont think anyone here would argue that MS makes good hardware, so far as
        > joysticks, mice and keyboards are concerned.

        Me, I would. I run Linux as my primary OS (XP gets booted every few weeks), but I swear by MS optical mice, particularly the V3 Optical and the generic Intellimouse Optical. They have fantastic scan rates so they're very good for games, There are quite a few pro gamers that use the Intellimouse.
        • He meant to say that nobody would argue that their hardware wasnt good. I wholeheartedly, and I absolutely hate my logitech mouse, but all MS mice i use/have used are very high quality. For keyboards, however, none can unseat my venerable Model M.
        • by jackbird (721605)
          Their build quality has been going steadily downhill since the Intellimouse 3 glory days. Take a look at the EBay prices for non-tiltwheel new in box intellimice sometime - those things are beloved for a reason. If only the wheel on them could be exactly like the recent logitechs, it'd be perfect.
    • how do you do that and not see the image yourself?
    • by eliot1785 (987810) on Friday August 25, 2006 @05:58PM (#15982507)
      One consistent trap that people fall into in all areas is "fighting the last war" - thinking of what you would have needed to win in a previous battle that you lost (or what somebody else who lost would have needed to win) and trying to win the next one by providing that, all the while forgetting that the victor is probably not resting on his or her laurels.

      That's what Microsoft is doing here. This might have been enough to defeat the Video iPod, but that was the last device. This will - at most - be on par with Apple's new offering, and probably beat by it. It looks like Apple's new iPod will have an even bigger screen than this, by moving the touchpad to the back. That plus WiFi will probably be enough to keep this at bay, not to mention any other extra features Apple might add.

      Overall, there is no clear "killer app" that makes me think this will be successful. The Zune looks fully competent, but you need more than competence to defeat a de facto standard. I don't know about you, but the prospect of being able to borrow a song from a friend for a day before it is cancelled provided we are both using Zunes doesn't get me very excited. Nor do I have any desire to beam random files to strangers. The ability to work with social networks might be cool but there are no details on that, and I'm not going to get my hopes up.

      There is of course an easier way to defeat a de facto standard - beat them on price. If this were offered for a very low price, for example $150 or $200 for a 30GB model, they would steal a lot of market share from Apple and make up the money with future models once people warmed to their product. That's why companies call them "entry models." But they are charging $300 for this, so there is no monetary reason for anybody to take a "step down" from the iPod, which is the way any non-iPod device is currently perceived, fair or not.
    • With the device's wireless networking abilities turned on, people can send and receive photos, as well as "promotional copies of songs, albums and playlists," according to the filing.

      With the way Micro$oft sets defaults on security issues, these things will be shipped wide open. Your music will be interrupted by "Drive-by" spam. Every major box store will be streaming commercials to these poor wretches.

      And when the script kiddies get a hold of it, millions of portable zombie-bots! Blue screen of dea
    • with my laptop I could flood all the nearby Zunes with goatse images.

      I doubt you will be able to send anything to them or that they will be able to send anything to anyone else. The last hype article noticed that content "shared" between devices would disappear in a day or two. Getting around that would be a DMCA violation, M$ would happily punish you for. You can bet this device will use a "new and improved" Windoze Media format that will take all sorts of time to figure out and ultimately not be wo

  • by Spazntwich (208070) on Friday August 25, 2006 @04:50PM (#15982055)
    30 minutes of battery life?
    • by muftak (636261) on Friday August 25, 2006 @05:20PM (#15982260)
      Hopefully you'll be able to plug a USB keyboard into it, to press ctrl-alt-del when it crashes.
      • by westlake (615356)
        Hopefully you'll be able to plug a USB keyboard into it, to press ctrl-alt-del when it crashes.

        You joke, but to me, a keyboard sounds like a damn good idea.

        • by finiteSet (834891) on Friday August 25, 2006 @06:14PM (#15982586)
          Hopefully you'll be able to plug a USB keyboard into it, to press ctrl-alt-del when it crashes.
          You joke, but to me, a keyboard sounds like a damn good idea.
          I have a few more feature requests:
          • Built-in speakers (headphones-free)
          • More HD space (100GB+)
          • Larger screen (say 15" or 17")
          • Enough CPU and RAM to handle real world apps (maybe Turion 64x2 with 2GB RAM?)
          • DVD Burner (so you can share movies you made with your Zune)
          • 12-cell Lithium Ion battery so it can last more than an hour or two.
          Zune has a real opportunity here. Sure, the iPod dominates the market, but I think a lot of people are frustrated with its lack of ability to author DVDs, host webservers or calculate Mersenne primes.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Estimated Battery life: 30* hours
      *Under normal** operating conditions.
      **Streaming content, creating social networks, using wireless connectivity, playing video content, using software equalizer, browsing music library, operating backlight, playing audio content, or using device while not connected to external DC power supply may substantially reduce expected battery life.
  • Heck No (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lemurmania (846869) on Friday August 25, 2006 @04:50PM (#15982059)
    Many challengers to the mighty Pod have come; all have gone away, weeping in the night like chastened schoolboys. This too shall pass.
    • Flamebait, yes. Worthy of a few +1's? yes.
      -nB
    • Apple certainly has a very large market share, but it's still a bit of an early-adopter product. Let's see how the iPod does when mp3 players are as common as DVD players and you can get 8GB flash player for $25.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I've heard this mentality before - "the ipod is doomed when mp3 players are as common as $common_product".

        the difference between an ipod and a dvd player, for example, is that a dvd player has fixed specifications, i.e. "play dvds", and dvd players built 5 years apart do this pretty much exactly the same.

        music players are composed of many hi-tech components (TFTs, small hard drives) which tend to improve in quality rather than decrease in price. the 5G ipod costs about the same as a 1G ipod but with better
  • if anything else, it's all this hype that's being generated about a possible iPod killer that'll make or break ms's Zune.

    i mean, has any other MP3 player gotten this much press coverage as a direct competitor to the ipod?
  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu@noSPaM.gmail.com> on Friday August 25, 2006 @04:51PM (#15982069) Journal

    I've been at Microsoft, I've worked at Microsoft. This Zune may be the hit of the century on Microsoft campus. Too bad that won't be enough to sustain a profitable market for the Zune.

    I have visions of geeks, sitting around the room, typing furiously at their keyboards, IM'ing with each other, in the same frigging room! Because they can!

    And now, I envision those same people, sitting around with wireless mp3 (not) players, sharing each other's music wirelessly, because they can! That's not how it works for the general population. The distance to which these devices can communicate as peers limits their usefulness as social devices, i.e., the people are all going to be in the same room! I.E., they can plug their iPods into the stereo. And, at the same time will be able to talk to each other.

    Apple got it right (even though it's not for me) with iTunes and the iPod. Clever marketing, sexy device (the Zune's not looking so sexy to me), and lots of social advertising. The iPod is the thing. The Zune isn't nor will it be.

    The only distinguishing feature of the Zune is its wireless capability. How many of you have ever had non-stop continuous hassle free wireless experiences? I mean non-stop as in music streaming... I use it all the time with Squeezebox with the wink and nod that I will get a hiccup now and then. But, for a device that's moving?, a device that's likely to be hugely underpowered to support signal, especially transmission?. Wireless: a distinguishing feature, but a problematic one.

    Looking at the company info on Microsoft, I'm guessing there'll be sales of about 60,000 Zunes.

    • by Johnboi Waltune (462501) on Friday August 25, 2006 @05:01PM (#15982148)
      There are hundreds of millions of people who commute by train every day around the world, many of them carrying iPods or similar non-networked media players. I don't see any problem for this device to have the range of several train cars. I can see it being a big hit for those commuters, if it is advertised properly (on trains, duh).

      Also it should be marketed to people who workout in gyms. Many of those people are carrying iPods or whatever, and they're all in basically the same room for about an hour.

      Then it can't be crippled with pointless DRM (you should be able to share any song). Fat chance of that, though.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        People on trains? Are you kidding me? Those people are commuting too and from work. They are not interested in sharing music. The reason why they might listen to music is to unwind and separate from the throng of people around them. It gives them an illusion of privacy to be alone with their music and collect their thoughts.
      • by onion2k (203094) on Friday August 25, 2006 @05:18PM (#15982248) Homepage
        There are hundreds of millions of people who commute by train every day around the world..

        Who, for the vast majority, never ever utter a single word to their fellow commuters unless they're friends already. It's a sad fact that a universal constant on buses, trains, tubes, and metros the world over is everyone travelling in deathly silence from the moment they board until the moment they alight at their destination.

        If Microsoft can make people strike up conversations with the strangers around them they don't deserve a business success with the Zune, they deserve the next 100 Nobel Peace Prizes.
        • If Microsoft can make people strike up conversations with the strangers around them they don't deserve a business success with the Zune, they deserve the next 100 Nobel Peace Prizes.

          You can't see the looming hubbub? Some lurker around a school yard, posing as a 13 year old, beaming Michael Jackson tunes to children .. luring one into near the bushes. Then the local parents groups and sheriff's departments and everyone else gets into wanting to monitor or restrict these things, yada yada yada.

          It's not

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by toopc (32927)
            You can't see the looming hubbub? Some lurker around a school yard, posing as a 13 year old, beaming Michael Jackson tunes to children .. luring one into near the bushes. Then the local parents groups and sheriff's departments and everyone else gets into wanting to monitor or restrict these things, yada yada yada.

            It's not a problem until the first time it happens.

            Good point, this has been a tremendous problem with the Nintendo DS...oh wait, no it hasn't.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by raehl (609729)
          It's a sad fact that a universal constant on buses, trains, tubes, and metros the world over is everyone travelling in deathly silence from the moment they board until the moment they alight at their destination.

          Pfft, that's the universal condition. The universal condition is violated under one of three conditions:

          - Money (incl. employment/trade)
          - Drugs (incl. Alcohol)
          - Religion

          No, I didn't forget sex. That falls under one of the above. In incredibly rare situations, the universal condition may be violat
      • You raise some interesting points, however, I'd be interested to know how many people would even be interested in listening to other peoples music while working out at the gym or on a commute. I know that when I'm at the gym, I simply throw on my play list and let it play. I have no interest in finding other people that have similar tastes in music and listening to their song selection. Since this music is being streamed by a very small player where battery life is a big concern, I also imagine that you
      • I have a feeling that had Apple thought of this feature first, GP would have lauded it as an amazing advancment. I can easily see this being useful to people on trains, college campuses, etc.
    • and lots of social advertising.

      If there's one thing Microsoft know how to do, it's advertise the crap out of people. In the UK, when they launched their search engine, the advert was on in EVERY single break. Prepare to have this rammed down your throat for the next year or so.

      As well as making appearances in TV shows, remember Will and Grace?
    • You hit the nail on the head my friend. There already is a way to share music socially, it's called a night club or bar. There is also a great way to talk to people in the same room as you, it's called "talking".

      I too predict limited appeal for these devices at least outside of Japan. The Japanese tend to be into talking to each other with devices but people in the Americas and Europe like to socialize the old fashioned way.
    • by bunions (970377)
      > The distance to which these devices can communicate as peers limits their usefulness as social devices, i.e., the people are all going to be in the same room! I.E., they can plug their iPods into the stereo. And, at the same time will be able to talk to each other.

      I dunno, sounds like a nice device to use in a cube farm. I know I wish the guy next to me would just use IM to talk to the secretary, instead of yelling out "HEY, GLADYS, WHERE'S THE 3-HOLE PUNCHED PAPE ... OH, HERE IT IS, NEVERMIND. HEY,
    • by dgatwood (11270)

      The distance to which these devices can communicate as peers limits their usefulness as social devices, i.e., the people are all going to be in the same room!

      I cite as a counterexample the sheer number of times I've seen preteen and/or early teen girls talking to each other via cell phones when they are sitting across from each other at restaurants, texting each other from across the movie theater, etc.

      I'm not saying its a useful feature, but if it works at all, I'd imagine some people will find a way

  • by thammoud (193905) on Friday August 25, 2006 @04:53PM (#15982084)
    The seamless integration between the iPod and iTunes are its biggest selling point. The hardware is cool but integration is what made members of my family buy the iPod. There are many people that use it as an mp3 player but the hundreds of millions of songs being sold on iTune attest to the formidable platform that Apple has put forth. I would like to hear more on what Zune will be connecting to for media.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by prockcore (543967)
      The seamless integration between the iPod and iTunes are its biggest selling point.


      No. The artificial reliance on iTunes is the iPod's biggest drawback. See, I can state opinions as fact too!
      • by bunions (970377)
        > See, I can state opinions as fact too!

        It's marketing, there is no such thing as a 'fact'. Everything is opinion. Settle down.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I would like to hear more on what Zune will be connecting to for media.

      Given the fact MS and MTV teamed up on the Surge music store (actually pretty nice) and Surge is the default setting on the upcoming Media Player 11, I think its pretty safe the Surge will be the default media source for the Zune. Of course any source which plugs into Media Player will be an option if you prefer one of them (Napster, etc). Of course iTunes won't work I'm sure as using MS DRM is one of the requirements for that integ
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ImaLamer (260199)
      Xbox 360! It's got USB, you can add wifi and it basically has the music store built in (Live Marketplace [xbox.com]). And really no PC is needed.

      Of course PC users have Windows Media Player, RealPlayer and other services to choose from. The difference is that Microsoft's option, oddly enough, offers more options when it comes to music stores. You can use Napster, Rhapsody, Surge, Wal-Mart's music store and others.

      I don't own an iPod, so I'd be more likely to buy a "Zune" because I'm not going to be limited to iTunes o
    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      The seamless integration between the iPod and iTunes are its biggest selling point.

      Biggest reason why I don't get a iPod. I don't want to be dictated what music player to use, or how I copy music to my music device.

      Every other mp3 player these days lets you just drag and drop your music on the drive. I can't do that with the iPod -- I need to download iTunes (provided it's availible for the platform I'm using at that moment), add stuff to it's collections, then I can copy music to the iPod.

  • by PixelPirate (984935) on Friday August 25, 2006 @04:53PM (#15982086)
    iDon't Think so..
  • price (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pitu (983343)
    Is this finally enough to unseat Apple?

    not for me... i would also like a large price cut, please

    let's say 1/3 of ipod price mhmm?
    • by Alaren (682568)

      Actually you can almost count on a lower-priced device. Remember, Microsoft is no stranger to breaking into consumer markets with which it has little to no experience. Their strategy with the XBox was: subsidize the device, gain mindshare, profit in the second iteration.

      While there will of course be tweaking for the specific market, I'm willing to bet that Microsoft will lose at least some money on every unit sold. Hey, it worked for them before...

  • Yay! Now we can have the same virus and worm spreading strategies from Outlook in a portable electronic device! Infect people who don't know you, see you, or are even aware that you are within bluetooth earshot! Infect friends and strangers alike!

    Let the electronic infection orgy begin!

  • no thanks (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Tsiangkun (746511)
    I just don't have the time,or patience, to deal with my music player crashing
    because someone sent me a virus masquerading as an audio file.

    I'm assuming of course that this MS device will be running MS software, and be subject to all the
    nasty goodies that windows brings home from the network.
  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Friday August 25, 2006 @04:58PM (#15982115) Homepage Journal

    Steve Balmer in silhouette with a glowing cord doing his monkey dance.

  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Friday August 25, 2006 @04:58PM (#15982118) Homepage
    Funny, after first reading:

    "Microsoft's Zune media player is going to have features such as creating mobile social networks and streaming music to nearby friends or strangers"

    I thought, how on earth will MS get away with allowing people to share music with one another, given the way they've bowed to industry pressure regarding HDCP on 32-bit Vista? Then I read the article, which only mentions "promotional copies of songs, albums and playlists,". This is hardly the same thing as unfettered sharing, and seems pretty limiting... practically pointless, IMHO.
    • Try "anti-social" (Score:4, Interesting)

      by rewt66 (738525) on Friday August 25, 2006 @05:07PM (#15982185)
      I do not want somebody else sending me what amounts to an ad for a song or a video!

      I see a new business, though: Set up a wifi base with a fair amount of power. Send ads to everybody who passes with a Zune. Yeah, I can see it already. No, that doesn't make me want a Zune over an iPod. I get enough advertising in my day already, thanks.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by kfg (145172) *
      You, Sir, simply do not understand the inherent, underlying beauty of being able to spam personal entertainment devices. It's just like regular spam, only musical. You know how much everybody already enjoys getting free spam, only now it will be enhanced by singing . . .in Korea!

      But wait, don't order now, there's more!

      Instead of the old fashioned way of shoving the music down tubes the Wizards/Witches of Redmond (follow the black asphalt road) have figured out a way to distribute the music in buckets carrie
  • Even Microsoft says that they won't be competitive with iPod for at least 5 years (and I think that's overly optimistic). iPod has such a large brandname recognition; it'll take long time to compete against that.
  • by freeweed (309734) on Friday August 25, 2006 @05:00PM (#15982135)
    Wifi. More space than a Nomad.

    Sorry, still lame :)
  • OK, so you can share with "nearby friends or strangers." Am I the only one that started thinking back to toothing [slashdot.org]? I've got this crude mental image of hormone-crazed teenyboppers or /. readers creating their own songs that have alluring names for strangers to pick up on and listen to, directing them to the person with the whatever-team ball cap at the other end of the subway car.
  • but I'm looking forward to picking up one for $5 at a garage sale here in Seattle.
  • Let's say it again: it's not what you have, but how you use it. Creative has shown that features are not what sells PMPs, it's ease of use. Even if Microsoft pulls this off at a comparable price point, they also have to have good integration with their online music store, and allow people to burn to/rip from CDs.

    Along another train of thought... I guess this is what the MS patent posted earlier today is all about... controlling who uses up the bandwidth on your device when social networking.

    Thinking along these lines... what MS REALLY needs to do is to create a way for the devices to share music with each other; first 30 secs are free... if someone wants to copy the entire song over, MS bills their credit card, and the person gets a DRMed copy of the song locked to their device.

  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Friday August 25, 2006 @05:07PM (#15982184) Homepage Journal
    If this device can set up ad-hoc social networks and allow users within that network to share things with each other, I wonder how the RIAA/MPAA is going to react when they realize one person bought a song or video, but over a million have that exact same copy of that song thanks to the way the Zune works?

    First thing I think of when I see wireless networking with the ability to share things with others is "What kinda stuff do they have that I want, and can get without having to pay for it?"
  • by MightyYar (622222) on Friday August 25, 2006 @05:08PM (#15982189)
    I didn't see "cool" listed anywhere. Without that feature, how can it unseat the iPod? I hope this doesn't mean that they are planning to hire Paris Hilton to say "That's Hot".
    • iPod is "cool" now, but how cool will it be when it's being used by seemingly everybody? When a teen sees that he's using the same gear as his parents, his teachers, the mailman, etc, how long will he still think that it's cool? That's when you'll see the younger set looking for iPod alternatives, and one of these alternatives will become the new "cool" thing, then you'll see iPod's dominance begin its gradual decline.

      Even Jobs knows this, which is why he's trying to milk the iPod for all it's worth while
  • But it might drive Apple to add some new neat features to future ipods.

  • The iPod is "KISS" Keep it simple stupid. That's the beauty. The Video iPod is a bit of an exception, but then the majority of iPod sales are for the classic design that "just works". Not to mention there are no "digital rights" (or make it difficult to use your own music) features for many of the formats on the iPod (.mp3 for example). I'd venture to guess that Microsoft will enforce "digital rights".
  • and weigh? (Score:4, Funny)

    by ArsonSmith (13997) on Friday August 25, 2006 @05:11PM (#15982210) Journal
    "It's going to support the 802.11b and 802.11g wireless standards, have a 30GB hard drive, support music, movies, and photos, and have a 3-inch screen. Is this finally enough to unseat Apple?"

    And with a standard battery it will last 6 minutes so you can get in one complete song.
    • I don't know what kind of ancient 'music' you're listening to mister, but everybody knows good songs arn't longer than 3 minutes.
  • by phorm (591458) on Friday August 25, 2006 @05:12PM (#15982215) Journal
    Hmmm. Now it may be able to get away with this safely, but why does Microsoft Product + wireless + sharing strike fear into my heart?

    Sounds like a recipe for viruses and malware to me. How about people setting broadcast hotspots to spew advertisement at your device should it become popular?
  • I have held out a long time hoping a wifi iPod would be introduced. Unfortunately I doubt the Zune will fill my desires, not least of all because of AAC compatibility.

    My current desire for a portable music player is fairly weak - it is a nice luxury, but I can live without it. However, I do have a scenario in which I would definitely want one: with wifi integrated into the player and Airport Express compatibility. I would use the player as a regular portable device, especially in the car, but when I got hom
  • by rolyatknarf (973068) * on Friday August 25, 2006 @05:15PM (#15982234)
    My wife and I already plan on buying a pair of these. Finally we will have a way to communicate over that distance from my end of the couch to hers. No more verbal arguments about which satellite channel to watch.
  • by crazyjeremy (857410) * on Friday August 25, 2006 @05:18PM (#15982250) Homepage Journal
    Apple has a secret. Their mass-appeal toys are simple. The first ipods did one thing, music. The competitors crammed music and audio recording and yada yada yada...

    The second ipod does music and videos. Not all the codecs mind you, but what percentage of regular users know what a codec is? They just know the icons with play buttons on them aren't just big pictures, they are videos and should play when clicked. The competition now steps it up a notch and does audio, video, fm recording (and broadcasting), usb mass storage, touch screens, vga screens, bluetooth, etc. But of those things, usrs only know what they know... so most of the features go unused. Users do know ipods do video though...

    The next ipod incarnation will add another feature. It will be a feature people actually want / need / will use. Perhaps it's wireless sync with their home pc (with included iWiFiDock). Other toys *ahem* mp3 players will continue to blossom with features, but most people will not care.

    Microsoft's new DAP/DVP/social networking toys will surely get some people interested, but really, who sits in a room full of strangers now and actively looks around for people to meet and talk to, speaking to 6 or 8 at a time? Is that going to be a selling point to someone who doesn't even understand how that technology works, why they would want to do it and what kind of other people would be doing the same thing? Besides a singles party or a high school, who will whip this device out to bandaid their social ineptness?

    Don't get me wrong, if I had one I'd try it out, but I will never pay money for one. My VGA pocket pc with 8GB flash card plays full screen video for several hours in virtually all formats, about every audio format, and it has games on it so I can keep myself entertained when I'm with the in-laws.

    And just so everyone knows, I do not like ipods. I despise them. And I actually do use features like bluetooth and fm record. My favorite DVP/DAP player at the moment (on paper) is the IUBI from Korea [iubi.co.kr]. XVID, touch screen and a big HDD. It looks simple, isn't to big, and it has a lot of features. If I could just figure out how to get one shipped to the US that would be great.
  • when they come out with the 120GB version. Wireless is nice, but it has less space than my Nomad! No really, that's half the space my Zen has. They need at least a 60gb model, even Apple has one, but then most people with the current 60gb players won't want to change.
  • 802.11b (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Friday August 25, 2006 @05:50PM (#15982447)
    It's going to support the 802.11b and 802.11g wireless standards, have a 30GB hard drive, support music, movies, and photos, and have a 3-inch screen. Is this finally enough to unseat Apple?"

    Why support the now quite obsolete 802.11b standard, unless that support isn't already automatically incorporated into the 802.11g standard? Are there tons of 802.11b standard MP3 players already running around out there that Zune needs to be compatible with?

    And if 802.11b standard support is part of the 802.11g standard, then why bother to mention it separately?

    And if you don't enable WAP on your connection, will the RIAA sue you for filesharing un-DRMed music?

    • Easy:

      There is no particular reason to use 802.11 anything unless you want it to be able to connect to things beyond other zunes wirelessly. And there are plenty of 802.11b-only access points and computers out there.
    • Why support the now quite obsolete 802.11b standard, unless that support isn't already automatically incorporated into the 802.11g standard? Are there tons of 802.11b standard MP3 players already running around out there that Zune needs to be compatible with?

      802.llx is pretty much backwards compatible, but b offers more bandwidth than a. So they went with the most common "high" bandwidth standard.
  • I don't care too much if it overthrows the iPod, I just hope it gives Apple a kick up the arse to actually do something innovative. Their monopoly (both hardware and contentwise) bores me.
    The wireless thing is a definite plus though. I listen to my ipod as I walk to and from work, and it mainly lives in my laptop bag. My itunes gets my podcasts, but I keep on forgetting to synch, or forgetting to put it back in my bag afterwards - annoying.
    If the Zune can synch wirelessly, or just connect to my Wifi direc
  • Is this finally enough to unseat Apple?

    Nope. iPods aren't sold just on functionality, or even mostly for that reason. They are sold because they're cool. Apple is cool, Steve Jobs is cool ... but Bill Gates and his company are not cool. They are, in fact, the antithesis of cool in spite of billions of marketing dollars spent in futile attempts to counteract that perception. Now, if G&B would step out of the limelight, Microsoft might, just might, mind you, manage to capture some of Apple's coolness.
  • Stream music to nearby strangers? In the traditional Microsoft fashion, this will probably work ONLY when those strangers do NOT want music streamed to them.
  • by Locutus (9039) on Friday August 25, 2006 @06:56PM (#15982817)
    Sure they can unseat Apple, they just need to follow the same trail as with Palm. Microsoft can afford to lose $8-$10 billion on this too and in 5 years, who knows, Zune might have close to 50% marketshare and enough vendors willing to take the Microsoft payoffs to push Zune over 50% a few years later.

    When you pay vendors to push your product with the cash Microsoft dumps on them, they can't afford to NOT 'sell' MS Zune. That also means that they can not afford to sell any other product like it either. Vendors can get 'hooked' on those marketing dollars and when they try to sell say a Linux device or Apple device, they learn how tough the MSFT habit has them hooked. IMO.

    So the game has been played out before and it's the same 'nobody wins except the MS Windows monopoly' kind of ending. The only question I see is will it take 5 or 8 years?

    LoB
  • I love Zune
    Zune Zooney
    I can send my songs to me

    With a great big brick
    It's bigger than my shoe
    Won't you say you want a Zune?
  • Think XBox (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LaughingCoder (914424) on Friday August 25, 2006 @07:17PM (#15982915)
    When MS first announced XBOX who thought they would have a fighting chance against Sony's Playstation? Now here we are 4 years later. Have any of you changed your mind? Do not underestimate a company full of smart people armed with loads of cash and a long term view.

    As regards iPod - personally, I carry a Pocket PC - it basically matches the specs of the Zune (except I have an SD card instead of a 30GB hard drive). It is my music player (mp3s and downloaded Yahoo Music WMAs), my PDA, my portable gaming machine and my mobile internet appliance. And I have had it for 2 years now. Battery life is phenomenal (I easily get a week on a charge). Now, that said, I bought iPod Nanos for my kids. They are the cool thing to have right now. However, cool with the younger set is a fleeting thing ... check back in 3 years and see what things look like. And don't be surprised if it's a much closer race.
  • Maybe this is the true origin of their patent on limiting bandwidth in a social network? If someone gets a Zune and doesn't put any music on it, intending just to walk around and listen to everyone else's, then his bandwidth is going to suck. If his Zune is almost full, maybe he'll get pretty good bandwidth. I imagine the first firmware revision will be prone to gaming it. I await 1 GB Zunes with a CD image of XP Professional.
  • I'm not being an Apple fanboy here (no, I don't own an iPod), but Zune could be the most ungainly personal device of all time.

    It's too big. The idea of switching the wireless on and off is comical. So, for that matter, is the reported way client Zunes must break a streaming connection with its DJ host. How could these get out of development?.

    Apple's devices got better with time. Perhaps the Zune will follow suit.

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