“Two days after Apple refreshed and lowered the prices on its iPod line (and thereby wrought havoc on Microsoft’s launch plans), Microsoft today announced its own 30 Gigabyte Zune music player,” Carl Howe, principal analyst, writes for Blackfriars’ marketing. “This first product in the Zune line is, in fact, a rebadged Toshiba Gigabeat. It offers an FM tuner, will be available in black, brown, and white, and will provide wireless connectivity between Zune devices. In its press release, Microsoft commented on the Zune-to-Zune wireless sharing:”
Wireless Zune-to-Zune sharing lets consumers spontaneously share full-length sample tracks of select songs, homemade recordings, playlists or pictures with friends between Zune devices. Listen to the full track of any song you receive up to three times over three days. If you like a song you hear and want to buy it, you can flag it right on your device and easily purchase it from the Zune Marketplace.
Howe writes, “That sounds pretty restrictive from where we sit and a far cry from a the unlimited WiFi sharing previously rumored. It will be interesting to see consumer reaction to this feature and whether it actually drives or inhibits Zune sales.”
“Pre-announcing a product without pricing, availability, and actual services is just a waste of a press release… with Microsoft laying out the major features of Zune now, it is letting consumers compare Apple’s new fifth generation iPods with Zunes head-to-head with an important distinction: consumers can buy Apple iPods and can’t buy Zunes,” Howe writes.
Howe writes, “Microsoft may have thought it needed to do this announcement to respond to Steve Jobs’ event this week and staunch the new flood of iPod sales. But if Microsoft thought they were going to spoil Apple’s biggest iPod Christmas ever, it just threw away one of its chances to do so.”
Full article here.
Microsoft unveils Zune 30GB player, Zune Marketplace; declines to disclose prices – September 14, 2006
Microsoft sees room in music player market for ‘Zune’ to challenge Apple’s dominant iPod – September 06, 2006
Analyst: Microsoft’s Zune an ‘underwhelming’ repackaged Toshiba Gigabeat; no threat to Apple iPod – August 30, 2006
Microsoft confirms brick-like Zune to be made by Toshiba – August 25, 2006
Microsoft Zune is chunky brick made by Toshiba – August 25, 2006
Microsoft to spend hundreds of millions, several years on Zune trying to catch Apple iPod+iTunes – July 27, 2006
Zune: Apple cannot lose. Microsoft cannot win. – July 26, 2006