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Zune? Argo?

Cool Tech

July 12, 2006 11:17 PM PST

All kinds of rumors about the reputed Microsoft answer to the iPod:


Whatever. It's supposed to be out for the holidays this year, led by Mr. J... could it be cool? Would you buy it?

I like the way the tech world has played out, with no major player dominating everything: Apple with music, Sony with games, Microsoft with home PCs, Google with search, Oblivion with Oblivion, PeerSec with sweet security. Actual choice! I'll probably stick with the ol' iPod, but a Wi-Fi mobile music player (with Zero Config) would be sweet.

Comments (20)
Paul, July 13, 2006 09:22 AM:

Another article.

John, July 13, 2006 09:39 PM:

Well the portable media center was pretty much a failure. I think the idea was cool, but the only real hardware I saw was very bulky and ugly. Maybe MS decied that with something this important - you can't leave it up to your partners to design. Boy I wish they would do that with the UMPC. So far they look pretty clunky to me. I'll be very interested to see what that 360 design team can come up with.

Paul, July 17, 2006 05:29 PM:

Update from Ars Technica.

John, July 17, 2006 10:24 PM:

Ok some of this won't fly, so I'm guessing it is not true. There is no way that MS would be allowed to create a monopolistic player that only works with their own music service (Urge). Apple is allowed to do that, but MS will not be. The funny thing is that Apple will probably first in line at the lawsuit counter when this thing is released.

Paul, July 17, 2006 10:45 PM:

Well, the rules around monopolies are pretty straight forward: you can't use your current monopoly to take over another market. For example, Microsoft can create a game console, search engine or a media player and that's not a problem. However, if Microsoft prevented iTunes or Google from working on Windows, that's a violation.

Apple has no monopoly power in any market, you can buy music in the store on CDs and rip them to MP3 and put them on your iPod (or any other device). I'm pretty sure that Apple wouldn't sue... what would their reason be?

Besides, I think it's kind of funny that J "My mom says I'm cool!" Allard is in charge of trying to turn the tide of the iPod. The whole iPod thing is way beyond clever marketing now, it has a momentum of its own.

Paul, July 21, 2006 12:34 AM:

Oh, the speculation!

Paul, July 21, 2006 02:30 PM:

It's official.

Paul, July 25, 2006 12:06 PM:

A hilarious take on the Zune.

Paul, September 18, 2006 12:31 AM:


Paul, November 15, 2006 09:30 AM:

"Look at my shuffle!"

John, November 15, 2006 10:13 AM:


Paul, November 24, 2006 03:08 PM:

How the Zune can beat the iPod.

John, November 28, 2006 07:12 AM:

Interesting, he is basically saying make it hackable and it will win. Very funny, here are points he wants:

"Let people transform the Zune into an Xbox game controller, a TV remote control, a portable presentation device, a wireless PC hard drive or a Vista gadget emulator. Give me a wireless keyboard and a Zune version of Pocket Outlook, and Iíll never buy another iPod. Build ClearType into Zune and make it the ultimate eBook reader (and sell eBooks on Zune Marketplace)."

He also says Microsoft should leverage their following strengths:

* Operating system expertise
* Development tools and programmer outreach
* Experience with fostering the broadest possible ecosystem for software development
* Extensible embedded operating system and cell phone operating system support and development
* Peripheral hardware and third-party software partnerships
* Strong channel relationships

So if I read this correctly, what he is really saying (without saying it) is turn it into a PocketPC and it will be successful. This must be what he means, since a PocketPC is already / can already do 95% of what he mentions above. Hmmm, if someone added a large hard drive and a better music interface to my Ipaq 4700 I'd buy it. I'm not sure who else would though.

Paul, November 28, 2006 09:09 AM:

Then again, there is this.

John, November 28, 2006 01:10 PM:

I predict that one year from now the word 'Zune' will be in the dictionary with a definition of 'worthless loser'. Let me be the first to use it in a sentence: "That Bob is such a Zune."

Paul, January 19, 2007 10:49 PM:

This is too funny. Exactly why did Microsoft make the Zune, again?

John, August 29, 2007 09:44 AM:

Well it has been less than one year and the Zune has already shown up on Woot. That pretty much makes it official. I was going to wait until a full year had passed before using "Zune" as a derogatory word, but no sense in waiting now.

Paul, August 29, 2007 10:24 AM:

But how could the Xbox dream team fail?

John, August 29, 2007 09:38 PM:

Maybe music players are not the same thing as gaming consoles? What a bunch of zunes.

Paul, August 29, 2007 10:08 PM:

I love how Microsoft always manages to portray its efforts, in articles like this, as some sort of Herculean task performed by brilliant superstars that will win at any cost. Except they don't.

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