Daniel Eran Dilger compares the Flash-based Microsoft Zune 8 with the identically-priced Apple iPod nano 8GB in an in-depth report.
Dilger recaps last year’s round one, which left Microsoft lying on the canvas bloodied and battered, “Very few Zunes were actually sold over the last year. Microsoft shipped 1.2 million units to stores over the first eight months, while Apple actually sold over 40 million iPods to customers in the same period. Since June, Microsoft’s retail partners have been working to sell those first million Zunes to consumers at fire sale prices as low as $80. Apple has subsequently sold another ten million iPods, and is on track to sell another 25 million more this winter.”
Dilger conducts an extensive review of iPod nano and Zune hardware, accompanying software, available online stores, and more, and finds, “The Zune is a bad product that deserves to fail. If it does, perhaps Microsoft will get serious about delivering a high quality, competitively priced product next year and introduce it with software that’s a real match for iTunes, not just a sloppy placeholder. In the meantime, perhaps Microsoft will drop the facade of its Zune brand masquerading as a counterculture art brand, because there really isn’t anything counterculture about financing an astroturf campaign in a bid to acquire monopoly control of media playback.”
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