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J. Allard gives us some insight on the concept behind Zune

With all the news swirling around the official announcement of Microsoft's answer to Apple's iPod, it's good to get some commentary straight from the source. The fellas over at Engadget had 20 minutes to sit down and chat with Microsoft Corporate VP J. Allard to discuss all things Zune.

Some of the matters discussed include what Microsoft envisions for the Zune platform and its place in Microsoft's digital media product strategy. They also discuss PlaysForSure and Zune compatibility with existing music services. Here's J. Allard on the Zune's wireless functionality:

That's the beauty of having 802.11 in every device: we can do that. We can do more device-to-device, or we can do more PC-to-PC, so the combination of the device, the PC software that we're doing, and the online service is going to allow us to really shape how the community and the social aspect of Zune marries with the music experience. It also helps in terms of moving the music industry's way of thinking about integrating social networking and peer to peer in a really healthy way that works for them.

It should be interesting to see how the Zune user experience grows over the life cycle of the product. The large, widescreen display, wireless connectivity and social networking aspects of the device are promising and should be enough to give Apple something to think about when it fully redesigns its flagship iPod models.

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RE: Arrrrgh matey!
By Ralph The Magician on 9/14/2006 5:49:36 PM , Rating: 2
Now, it's been a while since I've hung out in high school or college campuses, but it seems to me that even iPods don't yet have the market penetration to make these efforts worthwhile.
In an average college classroom close to 80% of the students in the room have iPods. 95% of the girls in the class have iPods.

The problem with the Zune is two fold:
(1) It doesn't support iTunes
(2) It isn't sexy. At best the Zune will be able to compete in the male market with those who have 30GB/60GB/80GB iPods. It won't have any effect at all on the female market, which is roughly half, and it won't even touch the iPod Nano.

Really, the market share that the Zune can actually capture assuming that everything goes well is relatively small. It's going to be a niche at best. Apple has absolutely NOTHING to worry about. What's going to happen is that Microsoft is probably going to end up stealing half of Creative's market share. If offers all the advantages of something like a Zen Vison player, plus WiFi. Too bad that WiFi is pretty much useless. I don't think I've ever seen two Zen Visions in the same day, let alone in the same room.

If Apple was somehow able to put WiFi capabilites into a Nano, then they would have something. That would be ABSOLUTELY HUGE. I can just imagine the kind of library you'd see in my gen chem lecture. I'd venture a guess that in some of the big lecture halls you'd be able to have 1TB of music.

RE: Arrrrgh matey!
By icthus13 on 9/14/2006 6:31:55 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I'm on a college campus every day as a student, and you see iPods absolutely EVERYWHERE. However, the huge majority of the ones I see are either the old mini's or the newer nano's (this is especially true with girls).

While it's true that guys tend to go for the bigger capacity, they also want something that will look cool, a feature the iPod still has over Zune. It will have to be very cheap to be an "iPod killer."

RE: Arrrrgh matey!
By stubeck on 9/14/2006 7:59:07 PM , Rating: 2
Not supporting iTunes is a good thing in my book. Its constantly hanging on me and then it won't recongize my ipod half the time.

RE: Arrrrgh matey!
By ChugokuOtaku on 9/15/2006 7:48:48 AM , Rating: 2
it has to do with how well they marketted their iPod. Lotta girls on campus have iPods, but when I showed them what my Cowon iAUDIO x5 does, lotta them said they'd ditch Apple for Cowon on their next mp3 player.

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