Print 36 comment(s) - last by Trisped.. on Jul 14 at 3:32 PM

Microsoft going for the throat with its PMP

Engadget broke the news yesterday that Microsoft upcoming portable media player which has been code-named "Argo" is officially to be called Zune. Zune is said to have player to player wireless song transfer, a brushed metal backing and will be available in a variety of colors.

Today, we have word from iLounge that Microsoft has been in direct contact with iPod accessory manufacturers to score licensing deals for its player. iLounge also confirms that Microsoft is willing to offer lower licensing costs compared to Apple's "Made for iPod" program. Microsoft is likely hoping that lower licensing costs will allow third-party manufacturers to produce just as many accessories for Zune as there available for the range of iPods.

As for the Zune itself, there has been much talk about the rumored wireless capabilities of the device. iLounge has some speculation on how the Zune’s wireless function will be used:

As previously reported, the Nike+iPod Sport Kit uses an Apple-developed version of 802.11, which may offer bandwidth and other benefits over the various flavors of Bluetooth, but could lock third-party developers out from creating compatible accessories. It is unclear whether Microsoft’s technology, which reportedly enables music “sharing” between multiple Zune users, will resemble Apple’s in all regards, but it will likely be available to third-party developers for accessorization.

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What a stupid name
By Samus on 7/12/2006 6:05:55 PM , Rating: 3
Microsoft is taking a note from Nintendo's PR department I see.


RE: What a stupid name
By phaxmohdem on 7/12/2006 6:23:20 PM , Rating: 3
No kidding, Revolution and Argo were much better names IMO. they should just stick to code names these days, or fire the jerks who invent the retail names.

RE: What a stupid name
By phaxmohdem on 7/12/2006 6:24:14 PM , Rating: 3
I was personally hoping for the "Xpod"

RE: What a stupid name
By das mod on 7/12/2006 6:42:00 PM , Rating: 2
dont these marketing idiots analize what people "Really" want ... ????

compare the name "Argo" to "Zune" ....
picture showing it off to your friends ...
who in their right mind would actually say "hey, dude... check out my new Zune" ....
WTF is that .....
PFFFFFFFFF ...... lame .....
i was actually planning to buy one, but after being "renamed" .... ill have to pass it on.

RE: What a stupid name
By Xavian on 7/12/2006 10:13:59 PM , Rating: 2
then again when iPod first started, would you have said check out my iPod?

Things sound stupid at first but people get used to them, then like them

RE: What a stupid name
By Burning Bridges on 7/13/2006 7:20:52 AM , Rating: 2
I actually think it looks disapointingly good, much as I like to hate MS it doesn't look too bad.

Now if it is any good to use and if it works properly and isn't strangled with WMA DRM sh*t is anotherquestion

RE: What a stupid name
By Griswold on 7/13/2006 6:15:13 AM , Rating: 2
One has to be pretty dense to ditch a product because of its name.

Then again, that explains why so much crap is being sold. Give it a funky name and people such as you buy it... marketing basics.

RE: What a stupid name
By Cunthor01 on 7/13/2006 2:34:13 AM , Rating: 2
You mean 'xPload'? :)

Nah, I was hoping for Xboy, and that other 'a' name sounded pretty cool too. Here one hopes that wireless transfer has no DRM on it... otherwise I'm out.

P.S. Or any DRM on it for that matter.

RE: What a stupid name
By TomZ on 7/12/2006 9:35:39 PM , Rating: 2
Made-up marketing names always sound stupid at first. With familiarity, people will probably grow to like the name.

RE: What a stupid name
By crystal clear on 7/13/2006 3:53:13 AM , Rating: 2
Like your name-TOMZ-sounds nice or Masher 2(where is masher).
I would call it just-BILLY.(for Bill) or BG.(Bill gates).
A nice retirement gift to him-Name a product after HIM.

RE: What a stupid name
By raskren on 7/12/2006 7:00:10 PM , Rating: 4
It sounds stupid until you realize it could have been "Microsoft Digital Audio Playback Assistant 2006, R2" in typical Microsoft fashion.

RE: What a stupid name
By BladeVenom on 7/13/2006 7:00:04 AM , Rating: 2
They could have at least spelled it with an X. "Xune"

RE: What a stupid name
By Trisped on 7/14/2006 12:44:36 PM , Rating: 2
Argo? better then Zune? they are both the same in my book. The point of a code name is so that you can talk about the product without making promises. You have to change the code name, it happens all the time. Would you rather have R600 or 3200X?

Revolution was an exception (as was DS) as it seemed to have its own life. Still, Revolution is too difficult to say in Japanese, so I see why they changed it.

Everyone else should learn to wait before judging a product name against its code name.

RE: What a stupid name
By Trisped on 7/14/2006 3:32:47 PM , Rating: 2
Typo. Shoule be RS600, not R600

By ksherman on 7/12/2006 6:21:42 PM , Rating: 2
there is one mark against it for trying to become a "iPod killer"

the name is rediculous... seriously though, what do these guys think when they come up with some of these names... I can understand "Wii" because it has some meaning in Japanese

By White Widow on 7/12/2006 6:26:18 PM , Rating: 2
"Zune" - are you kidding me? Don't get me wrong, I like the look of this device, and if the features and price are right, I could easily see myself getting one. But man, that "Zune" nonsense is pretty hard to swallow.

RE: lol
By Cunthor01 on 7/13/2006 2:50:05 AM , Rating: 2
Media branded it as an 'ipod killer', not MS. Here is what I want my next player to be like.

Drag and drop support in Win/Mac.
If it's solid state, 8GB otherwise minimum 40GB.
Support for non-DRM files (all of 'em).
Upgradable firmware.
Standard connectivity, so I can transfer my photos from dSlr, or buy accessories.
Rugged design. I want be able to drop it from standing height and not have it shatter and scratch free screen.
Better then ipod battery life, but with REMOVABLE battery.
Wireless transfer that can be time-managed as well (on/off at preset times)
Excellent sound.

Are you reading Microsoft!!?

RE: lol
By Burning Bridges on 7/13/2006 7:25:49 AM , Rating: 2
I hope you are good at waiting...

RE: lol
By piroroadkill on 7/13/2006 8:25:58 AM , Rating: 2
The iRiver H340 fits what you've just described, bar two minor points.

It doesn't have wireless.

The battery can be removed but you need to disassemble the player (there are tutorials).

Everything else you said, it already has.

RE: lol
By piroroadkill on 7/13/2006 8:35:22 AM , Rating: 2
Additional to what you've mentioned, it can play XviD videos @ 10fps, has an FM radio, can record from optical and analogue input, has a built in microphone.

Make sure not to get the US verison though since it doesn't support USB host, or video playback, the international version DOES however (everywhere else).

Bear in mind there is also Rockbox being developed for it (the awesome open source firmware for portable music players).

The H340 has also been out for some time.

By Ralph The Magician on 7/12/2006 10:35:34 PM , Rating: 2
So now you can transfer your music from Urge to your Zune.
iPod + iTunes
Zune + Urge
I guess it kind of has a ring to it, right?

Transfer music between players? Fat chance that's going to happen if you are transfering the music through Urge. You'll have a hard enough time trying to get it to license for a single player.

I always thought iPod was kind of a strange name. Zune is just ridiculous. Seems like the name of a sex toy or something. Zune + Sybian for the ultimate erotic music experience.

RE: lol
By Aquila76 on 7/12/2006 11:36:43 PM , Rating: 3
I've got the Urge to see some pr0n* named Zune on a Sybian now...

RE: lol
By chekk on 7/13/2006 10:53:21 AM , Rating: 2
Coming "Real Zune Now".

omg, let's cry about the name!!!111one
By Quiksel on 7/12/2006 7:04:25 PM , Rating: 2
this outcry is soooooo similar when K7 was "renamed" Athlon all those years ago, and yet, somehow, the Athlon name remains, despite multiple updates, and none of you mofos are crying about that, now are ya?

yeah, it's a horrible name. Reminds me of "Dune" when I see it, but if it succeeds, none of you will be crying about the name. You'll be listening to it, happy as little clams.

It's not always *all* about the name, folks. ;)

RE: omg, let's cry about the name!!!111one
By Tebor0 on 7/12/2006 8:35:51 PM , Rating: 2
No kidding. Those complaining I bet are the same who were complaining about the name "IPOD".

Or perhaps they're on the other side of the fence and buy things based on a name...

"Ohhhh!! Aldara! That sounds like a wonderful product name, let's buy!"

By Griswold on 7/13/2006 6:18:03 AM , Rating: 2
You hit the nail on the head.

Can't these idiots do anything original?
By sxr7171 on 7/12/2006 9:12:09 PM , Rating: 1
Before I heard that it was to have a shiny metal back I was able to forgive it's resemblance to the iPod. Now that it also has a metal back, it basically is a copycat device. I mean look at it, with those 3G iPod looking buttons and a circular whatever that is below the screen and now the shiny metal background? So what they put a grey border around the screen? Now it just looks like the bastard son of the iPod only hit with an ugly stick.

Anyway, I hope it at the very least matches the iPod in convenience and usability.

RE: Can't these idiots do anything original?
By sxr7171 on 7/12/2006 9:13:00 PM , Rating: 2
I also forgot to add: They really had to make it white - how original is that?

By dmce on 7/13/2006 7:14:08 AM , Rating: 2
"...and will be available in a variety of colors."

By Griswold on 7/13/2006 6:23:20 AM , Rating: 1
Why cant you ipod fanboys post anything original other than "omgz0rz its ze ipod copycat!!11"?

Have a look at this link:

Ho-hum, how come the ipod looks stunningly similar to a transistor radio of the 50's?

alphabit soup!
By strikermlc on 7/12/2006 10:17:33 PM , Rating: 2
zune follows microsofts naming scheme of using only letters near the end of the alphabet because they're just so much darn cooler than the more commonplace letters!

tune + z = z une
w indows
x p
x box
v ista

vwx y z -- I assume they've shown no love for y because yahoo! already made that letter cool...

This smells like a combination of microsofts approach to thinking outside of the box ("we're gonna really push the limits here by using letters from the end of the alphabet instead of the beginning! yay for creativity!) and their habit for half-assed mimicry of unnamed trendy companies(itunes, ipod, ibox...).

-- disclaimer: all comments are purely subjective and likely not valid in any way or form

RE: alphabit soup!
By phatboye on 7/12/2006 10:36:28 PM , Rating: 2
I remeber when MS announced that the next update to its windows line of OS codenamed "longhorn" would be called vista and how everyone hated the name. It seems as though people have gotten used to the word vista and now it does not bother people as much as it did when they first announced it. The same thing will happen here.

RE: alphabit soup!
By piroroadkill on 7/13/2006 8:41:37 AM , Rating: 2
Nonsense, I still refer to it as Longhorn.

Microsoft Windows Codename Longhorn

By SexyJames on 7/12/2006 6:40:40 PM , Rating: 2
Urgh... Zune... I can't imagine that name ever catching on. It's always gonna sound awkward. The machine itself sounds like it has potential though

By desiplaya4life on 7/12/2006 6:41:54 PM , Rating: 2
duneeee coooon? o wait... n..vm

i personally think this player looks promising. I JUST HOPEEE its as think as ipod it would be great. i dont like thick mp3 players. if it plays videos/mp3 transfer/data storage/photos. im all in!

Zune > Wii
By UNCjigga on 7/12/2006 9:13:18 PM , Rating: 2
Laugh all you want to about MS's choice for a name, but you cannot deny that at least 'Zune' sounds better than 'Wii'.

Oh, by the way Microsoft and Dell, I'm suing you for using my "ipod-killer" ideas from the NSHMBA Marketing Case competition without even letting my team compete in the final round, never mind compensating us!! ;)

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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