Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Microsoft Launches the Zune 472

Posted by Zonk
from the zune-slayer-of-ipods-eater-of-souls dept.
Doug-W writes to mention an Engadget post about Microsoft's launch of the Zune. From the article: "Not a lot of surprises in the specs department, but they've confirmed the basics we've known for a while, like WiFi, 30GB of HDD, built-in FM, a 3-inch screen and the basic music, pictures and video playback. They also finally let slip the screen res -- an unsurprising QVGA -- and some better news on the codec front: the Zune supports h.264, MP3, AAC and WMA. As for ballyhoo, wireless Zune-to-Zune sharing is where the real action is at, and it works pretty much like we've been hearing: you can share a full-length track with a friend, and they've got three times to listen to it over a three day period, after which they can flag the song for purchase on the Zune Marketplace -- unless they're an unlimited 'Zune Pass' subscriber, of course."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Launches the Zune

Comments Filter:
  • The widescreen [blogsmithmedia.com] stuff looks kind cool!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sith (15384)
      It's not widescreen. It's the exact same resolution as the iPod with video - 4:3, QVGA (320x240). They've just turned the screen sideways and made it 3" diag instead of 2.5".
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jfarro (219817)
        Something wierd I found out when doing digital video work...widescreen has nothing to do with resolution, it has to do with pixel aspect ratio. quoting side and top screen sizes can tell you if something is widescreen. Resolution and diagonal size cannot.

        Digital video off of DV cams on SD res comes in at 720 x 480, no matter if you turn on the widescreen mode or not. The widescreen mode changes the pixel aspect ratio to 1:1.2 which is what we see in video as "widescreen".

        All that being said, if widescreen
  • Although it sounds good, do people hate microsoft so much (thanks to windows) that it will not be a success compared to the more-respected apple? Or will ipod fatigue set in as people look for the next big thing, giving a decent boost to sales? Microsoft have always been fairly decent with hardware manufacturing (original xbox appearance and controller aside), and I would not be averse to getting a zune over an ipod.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by NineNine (235196)
      Although it sounds good, do people hate microsoft so much (thanks to windows) that it will not be a success compared to the more-respected apple?

      I think that your assumptions are a bit off. I don't know any non-geeks who could care less about Microsoft. Besides, why would they hate Windows? Windows 2000/XP is cheap, easy to use, and works.

      That point aside, I'll be buying one because I don't want to give Apple one red cent, and I've been waiting for a good one to come out.
      • by NDPTAL85 (260093) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @03:49PM (#16107868)
        Alright you simply have to explain this one.

        You'd rather give money to Microsoft over Apple.

        All of Slashdot is pulling up a chair, make it a good one!
        • by rizzo420 (136707) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:02PM (#16108023) Homepage Journal
          the zune supports more file types than the ipod. 'nuff said.
          • Not enough for me (Score:5, Insightful)

            by amichalo (132545) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @05:05PM (#16108679)
            Supporting more file types is irrelevant to me. I want it to support THE FILE TYPES I USE.

            I don't have any WMA media. I do have iTunes Fairplay media. It doesn't support that.

            Further, all these "Features" are typical MS lies - the file sharing won't work with all media, It may have a screen that is 0.5" larger but will it play movie content? Are you sure?

            It doesn't even support MICROSOFT'S VERY OWN "PLAYS FOR SURE" DRM!!!!
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by mr100percent (57156)
            The iPod supports supports h.264, MPEG-4, MP3, AAC, WAV, and Apple Lossless
            Zune supports h.264, MP3, AAC and WMA

            Not mmuch "more" file types, and when did anyone like or use WMA?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by iroll (717924)
      How can something that is functionally equivalent to an iPod be, in any way, the "next big thing?"

      And no, I don't consider zune's wireless sharing to be even the "next little thing." It's like trying to take on Kimberly Clark (maker of Kleenax) by selling your own brand of facial tissue. Sure, you can make money, you might even take some of their market share, but you will never be Kleenax. You have to find a new niche if you want to be the next big thing.
      • Re:is it enough? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by amichalo (132545) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:38PM (#16108387)
        Theese people [kleenex.com] knocked the snot out of Kleenax.
      • And no, I don't consider zune's wireless sharing to be even the "next little thing." It's like trying to take on Kimberly Clark (maker of Kleenax) by selling your own brand of facial tissue. Sure, you can make money, you might even take some of their market share, but you will never be Kleenax. You have to find a new niche if you want to be the next big thing.

        I'd say wireless sharing is much more of a big thing than any other development in mp3 players in the last 5 years, if done right. You know damn we

    • Re:is it enough? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@nOSPAM.beau.org> on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:01PM (#16108012)
      > Although it sounds good, do people hate microsoft so much (thanks to windows) that it will not be
      > a success compared to the more-respected apple?

      I'm still waiting for a portable player that meets my, admittedly demandinging, feature checklist. Doesn't look like Zune is in the running.

      1. Must be able to run Rockbox. No vendor, especially Microsoft, is going to release a perfected firmware first try or even tenth try, and will move on to the next product long before the bugs are squashed and certainly before I am ready to buy a new unit. At least with something like Rockbox I could fix a really annoying bug myself if all else failed.

      2. Must be able to support a wide range of codecs I am interested in and am able to rip to. MP3 is of course a given, but FLAC is important to me, especially on a HDD based player. OGG would be nice, but wouldn't be a deal breaker. I understand why many don't do it, nobody is doing it in a DSP yet so software only playback eats CPU and battery. AAC and WMA can exist, although I won't be using either of them. Video on a 2-3 inch screen is of zero interest for me, but if it doesn't bloat the physical size or kill battery life I'm neutral on it.

      3. Must have a user replacable battery. Period, full stop.
    • Re:is it enough? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by King_TJ (85913) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:15PM (#16108152) Journal
      Personally, I'd wait to see how it pans out before buying. First off, what kind of battery life is this going to have? With wi-fi and everything, I can't see how it'll be very good at all.

      Second, what about the accessories? Right now, my iPod can be fully controlled from my Pioneer car stereo through their interface (and it charges the iPod for you too). Think they'll offer the same for Zune players? What about all the other iPod-related devices that have cropped up like clock radios with iPod docks, voice recorder add-ons, and digital camera storage adapters?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by saleenS281 (859657)
      "People" don't hate Microsoft, geek's do. Plenty of geek's hate apple too... I for one can tell you I'm sick of their BS itunes and DRM. And I can also tell you they were an immediate turnoff after the first 3 ipods I purchased all died within 2 weeks (1G ipods).

      Contrary to popular belief, most of the working world loves Microsoft. Windows has been stable since 2k was released. Outlook and Office have always gotten the job done except in the most obscure cases. You're definitely viewing the world th
  • How will... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 14, 2006 @03:38PM (#16107739)
    the brown Zune look with the blue screen of death?
  • by Cybert4 (994278) * on Thursday September 14, 2006 @03:38PM (#16107747)
    Here's a hint on all these ad-hoc wireless networks. We also have another ad-hoc wireless network. We call it air, and it can transmit vibrations from one person to another! Seriously, I've had my DS for awhile, and I've never suddenly found a person to play wireless with. Unless you have bells and whistles going off to indicate another person is around (and I'm not going to sit around at a "looking for" screen), it's a solitary thing.

    And slapping on the usual DRM shackles won't change this. Most likely, make it much worse and harder to stick to the general public.
    • by bunions (970377)
      > We call it air, and it can transmit vibrations from one person to another!

      There's a lot of people in my office for whom a Zune would serve as a welcome replacement for this kind of behavior. From my POV, anyway.

      "HEY, STEVE, YOU SEE THE GAME LAST NIGHT?!?"

      "HELL YEAH, DID YOU SEE THAT TIME WHEN..."

      "AW HELL YEAH, THAT WAS SICK!"

      ok you can shut up now plz.
  • The Name (Score:3, Insightful)

    by buddhaunderthetree (318870) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @03:40PM (#16107764)
    Is it just me or is Zune a terrible name?
    • Damn, and I was going to post something about feeling stupid buying something named "Zune".

      Hello sir, can you direct me to your Zunes?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by darth_pepsi (398612)
      Yes yes it is. If you say it in french it's close to a slang that means penis in Quebec.

      Suce ma zoune = suck my ....

      You get the idea
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by conteXXt (249905)
      Oh sure, just because your neighbours and friends aren't mysteriously being "transformed" in those alien "ipods" doesn't mean it hasn't happened to all of us.

      Just ask Len Nimoy [imdb.com]

      Ipod is just as weird a name as zune.

      now an iRiver, that makes perfectly good sense for a music player name (what?!?).

      What I'd really like to know is this:

      Is microsoft losing money on each of these (think xbox)?

      I could fully see getting one and never buying a single piece of music (online).

  • Brown? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tinrobot (314936)
    I guess it's for all those Microsoft customers who wear brown suits and brown shoes.

  • by payndz (589033) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @03:42PM (#16107788)
    Brown? Seriously? It's meant to be a cutting-edge, fetishistic techno-gadget, and they offer it in fucking brown?

    Steve Jobs: "Here's our new iPod Nano! It's available in black, white, silver and shiny green and pink!"
    Steve Ballmer: "Oh yeah? Well, here's Zune! It's available in black, white and this stylish turd-brown!"
    Steve Jobs: "Brown, huh? You got it in beige as well? Or tweed? How about a nice Argyle pattern?"
    Steve Ballmer: "Fuck YOOOOOUUUU!" [throws chair]

    Good ol' MS. Always as stylish and tasteful as ever.
    • by demonbug (309515)
      You ever seen one of those Tivoli [crutchfield.com] things? Some people seem to be into sort-of-but-not-really-retro colors and styling, so maybe the brown one is supposed to appeal to them (personally, I'm waiting for hickory - I'd overclock the sucker, and then even my pockets would taste good!).
    • by iroll (717924) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @03:52PM (#16107909) Homepage
      From this CBS article: [cbsnews.com]

      Brown? Microsoft's design director for the project, Chris Stephenson, explained the shape and scheme is "to make it less cool and sleek, but actually warm and silky."

      "Who in their right mind would ... create a brown technology product? Artists will. Musicians would. And Zune will," Stephenson said.

      Emphasis mine, but I think he hit it on the head.
       
      /actually, I could see getting a brown & wood grain iPod, maybe done to look like some classy vintage audio equipment... but not a Zune, sorry.
    • by NineNine (235196)
      Well, you gotta understand something... many, MANY people buy an iPod specifically for the *bling* factor. Meaning, these are mindless consumer whores who just want something to show off. A bright green or pink iPod is fucking ugly. I really don't need (or want) to tell the entire world that I'm smart enough to hand a clerk a credit card in order to acquire my new gadget. I just want to use the fucking thing. I could care less what color it comes in, and will probably get the brown, if I have a choice.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by gilbert64 (977114)
      The color is the best thing slashdotters can come up with when they try to flame MS and everything they due/make? That must mean Zune is REALLY good.
    • by alcmaeon (684971) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:01PM (#16108015)
      When I hear the word "Brown," I always think of two things: Cleveland and shit. OK, I guess that was just one thing, but you get the point.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Paul Slocum (598127)
      I think the brown one looks awesome, and surprisingly the style of the device in general is nice. Earth tones for electronics are definitely making a comeback. Sony has a whole new line of earth-tone styled electronics.

      Calling this typical Microsoft and co. bad style is ridiculous. I expected it to be silver, have too many decorative lines, and prominent blue LEDs. But this thing actually looks pretty good.
  • by Space cowboy (13680) * on Thursday September 14, 2006 @03:42PM (#16107790) Journal
    ... and neither are mentioned, as far as I can see:

    Price & battery-life

    Bit of a pity that:

    "The Zune-to-Zune sharing feature may not be available for all songs on your device, and works only between Zune devices within wireless range of each other. This feature allows recipients to play full-length sample tracks up to three times in three days. Recipients cannot resend music that they have received via the sharing feature." ... as well...

    Simon.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by theantipop (803016)
      You can bet if either the price or the battery life was anything spectacular they would've mentioned it. Personally, along with battery life I was looking for some dimensioning. I'm sure in the coming weeks we'll find out the rest of the story and become even more unimpressed than we are now.
    • by kosmosik (654958) <kos@@@kosmosik...net> on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:34PM (#16108357) Homepage
      > ... and neither are mentioned, as far as I can see:
      > Price & battery-life

      Maybe because what you see are three photos of a *prototype* device that is not even in production and nobody knows when it will be? :) So these (what you look at) are more like *goals*, not the final effect. Effect which will constitute of the look (ok we see it), price (no mention), specs like battery life (no mention), ease of use (no mention - but I expect independent review for that, it has ipodish wheel for sure - but how does it work?), service around it (think ITMS for iPods). Etc.

      So these are really just few photos that say nothing.

      > Bit of a pity that:
      > "The Zune-to-Zune sharing feature may not be available for all
      > songs on your device, and works only between Zune devices within
      > wireless range of each other. This feature allows recipients to
      > play full-length sample tracks up to three times in three days.
      > Recipients cannot resend music that they have received via the
      > sharing feature." ... as well...

      Yeah. Great feature. :))) Share with crippled music...

      Also I am suspicious of this wifi stuff. I know wifi is right now quite complicated to use, and it uses lots of battery power (it was not designed especially for low power consumption). Also I wonder about how those devices will autoconfig to work ad-hoc flawlessly.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by joseprio (923259)

      ... and neither are mentioned, as far as I can see: Price & battery-life

      And what about size, specially the thickness? Well, just my opinion, but by the photos looks like they're trying to hide something: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/zune/ default.mspx [microsoft.com]

      Instead, check the iPod photos. Apple is always making sure to show how slim it is! http://www.apple.com/ipod/ipod.html [apple.com]

      Of course, to power the big screen and the wireless connection long enough, this device needs a big battery, so it

  • by treak007 (985345) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @03:44PM (#16107813)
    What about the Zune is so revolutionary that it makes a person not want to buy an ipod or throw away their current mp3 player for the Zune.
  • It actually looks quite sexy. I wish the "sharing" aspect allowed for a longer period, such as a week, but I guess they figure most people woudn't buy alot of music if they could listen to it for that long.

    The key will be both battery life and ease of use, which it's going to have to meet or beat the ipod if they want any marketshare.
  • by Chanc_Gorkon (94133) <gorkon&gmail,com> on Thursday September 14, 2006 @03:45PM (#16107823)
    Is this really a launch? Can they be purchased today?? No? Then this isn't really a launch then is it? I can order a new Nano and it will be here in a few days to a day. Zune's probably ain't going ot show up until November.....
  • Killing the MP3? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mpapet (761907) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @03:50PM (#16107881) Homepage
    Because it will decimate every other mp3 player brand besides apple, I wonder if this isn't a play to destroy the concept of owning your music entirely.

    Yes, I know they claim to play an mp3, but the devil is in the details. As in they will likely make it very inconvenient to use mp3's. Kind of like how easy it is to open may formats in MSWORD, but very difficult to use anything other than .doc.

    The thing I'm interested in seeing is the wireless sharing. I don't think the average mp3 player consumer -wants- sharing, but I'd be very interested in them proving me wrong.

    What's even more interesting will be the first virus transferred from zune-to-zune.

    It's microsoft. It had to be said.
    • No way. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jotaeleemeese (303437)
      Most people, even Apple fanboys, have mostly non DRMed MP3 in thei music players, legally obtained (ripping from CDs, but also increasingly from music stores and independent artists that are smalling the coffee, lik emusic).

      A player that would not recognize this reality would be dead at birth.
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @03:52PM (#16107907)
    If they only renamed it the "Wii" it could be on Slashdot three times a day.
  • Song-sharing? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by msuzio (3104) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @03:53PM (#16107918) Homepage
    That is the stupidest feature I have ever heard of. Did they do any market research that led them to believe this was something people actually *wanted*? And that it worked the way they would want it to work?

    So let me get this straight... if I have a Zune... and my friend has a Zune...

    I can send them a track. Presuming the units sync up, and wireless works, and the phase of the moon is correct, because wireless is still basically tin-can-and-string at times... ...and he can listen to it for three days before it self-destructs?

    Lame. Useless. Unless my friend and I both decided to take a risk and go out and get one of these doohickies each, how would this situation ever come up? Even if you find another Zune owner, what are the chances he also shares you musical interests?
    • by Grishnakh (216268) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:09PM (#16108095)
      Even if you find another Zune owner, what are the chances he also shares you musical interests?

      That's simple. There's only 100 songs at any given time that you should have any interest in, and they're kept in a convenient list called the Billboard Top 100. If your music hasn't been on the Top 100, then you have no business listening to it.

      After all, if people were interested in totally different types of music, the record companies would have to spend too much money marketing and producing all these different groups and artists. So it's better now that we all just listen to the same music.
    • Re:Song-sharing? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by daniel422 (905483) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:13PM (#16108134) Journal
      Obviously you are no longer in high-school, or junior high, or even elementary school here in the US. The proliferation of iPods and portable music players among those who can't actually afford them themselves (but their parents bought them one) is staggering. So is the propensity to share music in these user groups -- something the iPod makes a tad more inconvenient than flaky wireless.
      While I can't personally say I'd use this feature much (since I'm long since out of school), it seems to make perfect sense for these types of groups to desire such a feature. I also could see sharing a new song occasionally with a friend so they could purchase it themselves if they wished (since song use is limited). All in all -- this seems more like a "demo song" feature intended to increase music sales (much like listening to samples of songs on the iTunes store, but you get to take them with you).
      You don't design a product assuming no one will buy it ("if I find another zune owner") -- you assume it will be a smashing success because of all the great features you've implemented.
      And really -- wireless in an open-air area, ad-hoc, works great -- like cell phones!;) You're using it to share a song with someone right in front of you! Your comments (generously modded "insightful") show a distinct lack thereof.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NatasRevol (731260)
      You forgot the potential for massive drive-by 'virusing' via ad-hoc wireless.

      I see that the Zune downloads a file from another wireless point. Then syncs back with PC and viruses galore.

      Lots of potential there.

      And ironically, it will use the wireless security holes first 'shown' on a MacBook at Security Focus.
      http://daringfireball.net/2006/08/curious_case [daringfireball.net]
  • by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @03:55PM (#16107943) Homepage
    Gapless playback?

    As of yesterday, it's a must have
  • Wow, those QVGA screens sure do blow up nicely, without any pixelation!
  • Box art? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:00PM (#16107997) Homepage
    If anyone is wondering what the box art will look like, here it is [google.com]
  • by wandazulu (265281) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:01PM (#16108013)
    ...the white model. The happy couple are frollicking in ... the east river of New York City. That's the Manhattan bridge in the background, and they're esentially right below and slightly west of the Brooklyn Bridge.

    I have walked/jogged/biked/fled from that area thousands of times and it is *not* anywhere you want to put your feet in the water...the water itself is unbelievably polluted, and unless the pic is doctored, or somebody spent a month cleaning up the area, the dude is walking on broken glass, rusted everything, and stuff that can't be identified, and maybe that's for the best.

    I'm not sure what to message to take from the pic: "Take a life threatening chance: buy a Zune!" comes to mind.
  • I've got a £30 1gb mp3 player. It works perfectly, supports mp3 and wma, and I'm not especially worried if I lose it.

    A Zune, a Zen, or an iPod are all very expensive, and I'd worry about lazing on a beach with them, or doing something that risks damaging them, like jogging (what with me being clumsy and all). Hence my sticking with cheap players.

    What interests me is the idea of a disposable mp3 player that I can buy in packs of ten and chuck when they get ragged or worn out in some way, or just not ca
  • This makes no sense whatsoever.

    A Microsoft player supporting H.264 and AAC?

    Microsoft is fighting a big battle AGAINST both formats with WMA Pro and VC-1. It makes little sense for them to release a player that supports them. It's would be like Intel adopting AMD64, but instead of it being out of necessity, doing it voluntarly.

    I don't believe a word of it. Next news item: Microsoft releases Word for Linux :P
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I did a double take over H.264 at first, but maybe Microsoft have realised that they have to support these formats or end up with a dead duck that no-one wants.
    • This is easy. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SeaFox (739806)

      A Microsoft player supporting H.264 and AAC?

      Microsoft is fighting a big battle AGAINST both formats with WMA Pro and VC-1. It makes little sense for them to release a player that supports them.

      If they didn't there would be plenty of people who would not consider a Zune because it would mean having to rerip large CD collections that are already in AAC format. Apple avoids this same thing by giving iTunes the ability to convert WMA files to AAC format. Microsoft's solution is better becuase you don't lose aud

  • by Apocalypse111 (597674) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:05PM (#16108058) Journal
    1st will likely be a means of sharing over wireless without the self-destruct "feature".
    Probably shortly to follow, either a firmware update that adds more codecs, or a software app that transcodes to whatever Windows format is being used for video on that platform.
    Next, a web-browser that can take you to various pages you have saved as favorites.
    Finally, complete Linux port.
    Any other good ideas?
  • by payndz (589033) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:09PM (#16108085)
    Wireless. More space than a Nomad. Lame.
  • by faust2097 (137829) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:09PM (#16108094)
    I find it amazing that, according to their press photos [microsoft.com], The Zune's 320 x 240 screen is so amazing that it can display what appears to be five times the number of pixels it actually has.

    Someone give those ClearType guys a raise!
  • by kosmosik (654958) <kos@@@kosmosik...net> on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:21PM (#16108214) Homepage
    Well the *photos* do look nice. But nobody have seen the device in wild so they can be as well 3DStudio renders. :) Typical for MS they announce something like it is real - Zune is unreal as for now. Where can I get one? Where can I read independent review of one? Etc. Etc. Etc.

    It does not even has branding on it. Just the look of it is not sufficient for branding - look of iPod is a brand itself, this looks like an iPod clone.

    Actually I am used to MS strategies like announcing LongHorn with all WinFS and great stuff that just yet still is not here. So I take this announcement like usual. I will think that this is anything worth looking at when I actually can touch one.

    Also I have some concerns, especially with:

    1. The interface. Those *three* photos look nice but they do not tell anything about how the device works? Is it easy to use? I've used MS PDA (PocketPC) and it was horrible. I am with Palm now which is somewhat less horrible - so I don't se MS mobile products as quite easy to use or reliable.

    2. Those ad-hoc wifi networks - how it is going to work? I've used MS PDA with wifi and it was pain. Actually wifi is quite painfull as for now (especially in MS arrangement). So how they are going to wifify those devices? IMHO wifi is not quite good for establishing such semi-PAN networks - BlueTooth is. But wifi - it is a hog on battery for sure.

    So conluding - this is not something real. These are few photos even without branding (forget specs, pricing, performance and so on). So it is nothing actually - just to say "hey wait (like few months... or years) and we will have something like iPod is right now!", "don't buy iPod right now - wait (like months... years) for our mythic device" etc.

    Quite unfair but at least in this market we know who rocks with launches that are real launches for real existing products and services...
  • by amichalo (132545) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:25PM (#16108253)
    Engadget recently interviewed an MS Corporate VP regarding the Zune and how Microsoft explains the lack of supporting "Plays For Sure". The resulting statements from this Microsoft Exec are truly worrisome:

    Full Article Here" [engadget.com]

    E: "PlaysForSure was the thrust of Microsoft's strategy until the announcement of the Zune. How does PlaysForSure fit into Microsoft's strategy going forward?"
    MS: "...There's another class of consumers that just want to get digital media, and they just want to be able to go to one store and have it all..."
    E: "Wasn't that the point of PlaysForSure?"
    MS: "...Zune says there is no choice; you get a Zune device, you hook it up to the Zune service, and it just works."

    Yikes! I thought the iPod was evil because Apple didn't give me a choice...now it seems no choice is just what the doctor ordered! How stupid does Microsoft think we are?
  • by timbck2 (233967) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <2kcbmit>> on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:28PM (#16108301) Homepage
    I can't buy one (not that I would if I could). I can't find anything but a presskit on Microsoft's website. There's no Zune website. There's no mention of pricing, nor when the things will be available.

    All I see here is a half-assed response to Apple's new iPod product launch a couple days ago.
  • by UttBuggly (871776) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:55PM (#16108561)
    ...by most consumers, I'd bet.

    This just doesn't look like an iPod killer to me.

    Physically, it looks cheap.

    Feature-wise, there's nothing compelling. The wireless feature seems not well thought out and is so limited I doubt most buyers would have that as the top reason to purchase.

    And, without a distribution system like iTunes, why would an iPod owner or even a 1st time buyer choose a Zune?

    Some others have made points about accessories. That's a good question; what's available from MS? 3rd party support? Retailers signed up to give over shelf space?

    Repair policy!

    My wife had the screen on her iPod Mini crack while under warranty. Had a brand new unit from Apple in 72 hours. I bought a Shuffle like day one and it malfunctioned about 8 months out. Apple shipped me a new one and I returned the old one...in the same box...at their cost. Got the Shuffle in 48 hours! I opened both cases on the Apple site in about a minute with no hassle whatsoever.

    What will Microsoft offer? Do they have the equivalent of AppleCare?

    If they (MS) were smart, they'd have made the wireless work for an optional headset. No cords or dongles hanging from your player. Extra bucks for the "upgrade" from earplugs. Maybe they should let the Xbox marketing folks loose on this.

    No...I don't think Steve Jobs will lose any sleep...or money...over Zune.

  • Brown? (Score:3, Funny)

    by ozbird (127571) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @05:00PM (#16108624)
    Choosing such an unstylish colour can mean only one thing: Microsoft have finally discovered the brown note [wikipedia.org].
    "I tried the Zune, but it gave me the sh*ts - so I bought an iPod instead."

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig

Working...