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Zune hungry for European clash with iPod

February 19th, 2007 · 2 Comments

Microsoft may ship its MP3 player into Europe this year after all. The company claims to have been encouraged by sales in the US, where it is expecting to sell a million models of its rival by June.
A second generation Zune is expected to arrive in time for the Christmas season. Microsoft has given itself three years ‘to get on the music player radar.’

Tags: Hi-fi · Trade

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Simon Mackay // Feb 20, 2007 at 6:07 am

    Hi all!

    Once MS get the Zune in to Europe, this could be a very big showdown. The only issue is a lot of the IT press and blogosphere could be “pumping up” the Apple iPod system and keeping it as though it’s the name to have for PMP equipment.

    Other thing that MS could do is court the vehicle builders and the car-audio aftermarket to provide highly-integrated systems for playing Zune content inside vehicles in the same way Apple has done with the iPod. They could work with domestic audio equipment manufacturers to sell integration kits for the Zune so that the world of highly-integrated PMP audio setups isn’t always the iPod.

    With regards,

    Simon Mackay

  • 2 Sulis // Feb 20, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    Despite the usual MS FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt), the Zune is not a wild success in the US. Note the ‘expecting’ to sell a million ‘by June’.

    There are multiple reasons for not regarding the existing Zune as a threat:

    1. There is no range. One Zune is all you get, so there’s no equivalent of the Shuffle, the Nano, etc. And not likely to be, either, due to the cumbersome OS.

    2. It’s already out of date. Apple have already moved the goalposts with the new iPhone. There’s little doubt that the next-gen iPods will have multi-touch screens, etc., and will make the Zune look very old indeed. Yet it’s hard to see how MS can adapt the Zune to this new approach – most likely they will have to junk it all and start again for Zune 2.0.

    3. Will it be a phone? MS is being coy (or just uncertain), but if they do try adding telephony then there will be 3 MS mobile OSes milling about out there. 2 too many, methinks.

    4. DRM. Ah, yes, the joy of tying your future to MS. All those ‘Plays For Sure’ tracks won’t, for a start. MS are now going down the iTunes Music Store DRM route, but without the elegance or goodwill. Why should anyone trust them ever again?

    5. It’s Microsoft. No-one LIKES Microsoft. That’s why they call it the Zune (no mention of MS). But everyone knows. It’s only cool in a ‘so uncool it’s sort of cool for a bit’ sort of way.

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