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Courtesy of Pilot Online
Microsoft has its sights on bringing gaming to its handheld

Microsoft has confirmed its plans to feature video games on the Zune by 2008. This feature will be launched in 18 months to compete with Apple's iPod's ability to support games.

This need for adaptation comes from Zune sales dropping in the music player market. In its first week of launch, Microsoft sold captured a respectable 9% of the MP3 player market, landing it in second place in the holiday consumer device rush. Zune sales dropped to fifth place the following week. 

If Microsoft offers popular games for the Zune, while allowing for wireless gaming, it will throw the Zune into the competitive market with devices such as Sony's PSP, and Nintendo's DS. Also, with the device's 3-inch display, it is already adequate to handle gaming.

Adding video games is just one of the features Microsoft plans on adding to the Zune. The company announced that it wanted to add wireless video sharing and possibly fuse the device with a phone -- just minutes after the announcement of Apple's new gadget, the iPhone.

Microsoft's projected goal of 1 million sales in its first seven months.



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Der Bach response to Apple
By crystal clear on 1/10/2007 3:17:23 AM , Rating: 2

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Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's entertainment and devices division, said it too is considering a mobile phone integrated with its Zune digital music player, but launching such a device is not at top of its priority list

The longtime Apple rival plans to come out with new Zune models later this year, but Bach said do not count on a phone model just yet.

"It's probably on the table of things for us to look at, but not the number one thing we are focused on," said Bach, speaking to analysts at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The latest rumor we hear is that it is going to be a MVNO phone and there hasn't been a lot of successes in that MVNO space for a lot of different reasons," said Bach, who oversees the Zune business and Microsoft's video game division.

Bach said MVNO phones often have difficult relationships with the mobile operators. One of the few successful MVNOs in the United States so far is Virgin Mobile.

"Historically, working with partners hasn't been a strong point for Apple, so maybe it will find a way to work around those relationships," he said.

An Apple spokesman said the company does not comment on rumors or speculation.

Putting together a phone with a media player raises many design questions, including how to manage various inputs, the optimal screen size and battery life, Bach said.

"You have to find out what it's great at. Is it great as a phone or is it great as music player? If it's great as a music player, then it's just another iPod trying to be a phone," said Bach


http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070109/tc_nm/electron...





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