Print 27 comment(s) - last by msp35.. on Sep 16 at 12:25 PM

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: Wireless
By Ralph The Magician on 9/14/2006 6:54:14 PM , Rating: 2
The thing is, if Apple put WiFi into its music player it would actually work because Apple has that kind of market saturation. You could walk onto any college campus or into any coffee shop and be virtually guaranteed access to some kind of WiFi mesh iPod network within 3 to 6 months of the release of said iPod.

The Zune will only work in the basement computer science classroom in the engineering quad that's sponsored by Microsoft.

RE: Wireless
By Ralph The Magician on 9/14/2006 6:55:59 PM , Rating: 3
Oh, and it will only work between Zunes that are updated to the latest DRM service pack.

RE: Wireless
By msp35 on 9/16/2006 12:25:38 PM , Rating: 2
If Apple integrated wireless into the next generation iPod's, it would only be effective for everyone with the latest generation. I think they'd be facing an uphill battle (albeit, nowhere near what Microsoft is facing). Wireless functionality will be a slowly adopted feature as I dont see current ipod owners going out to buy the latest gen ipod just for the wireless feature. Does anyone have any information about the % of ipod owners that own the latest generation? If Microsoft can make some inroads with the wireless function and the overall performance/price ratio, it can only help the mp3 market by driving competition.

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes
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