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Old 11-09-2006, 07:27 PM   #1
MaxFly
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Default OT: Microsoft Might Just Have an iPod Killer

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SEATTLE - Microsoft Corp. says it had struck a deal with Universal Music Group aimed at allowing the company to do more with a feature of its Zune portable music player that lets people share songs over a wireless connection.

Under the deal, Universal will receive a payment for every Zune player sold, in exchange for which Universal will provide more access to artists and rights to music.

Chris Stephenson, general manager of global marketing for Microsoft, declined to comment on the financial specifics of the deal late Wednesday, beyond saying that it called for the record label to share the payments it is receiving from Microsoft with Universal Music Group artists.

He said Microsoft also was pursuing similar deals with other big record labels.

Zune, which is scheduled to be released Nov. 14, is Microsoft’s attempt to compete with Apple Computer Inc.’s market-leading iPod player and iTunes music service.

(MSNBC.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal News.)

Redmond-based Microsoft is hoping to differentiate itself from the iPod by including wireless technology to let people share some of their favorite songs, playlists or pictures with other Zune users who are close by.

The other users can then listen to the songs three times over three days before deciding whether to purchase the tune themselves.

Stephenson said the deal could provide the company with more freedom to allow song-sharing or other promotions, but he wouldn’t provide specifics.

“There’s certain marketing elements that we’re looking at going forward, all based around the sharing and wireless scenarios,” he said.

The Zune player will sell for $249.99. In addition to selling songs a la carte for about 99 cents each, Redmond-based Microsoft also will offer a Zune Pass subscription service, which will let users listen to any of about two million songs for $14.99 per month.

© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

I'm guessing that the next step would be wireless access to music on one's computer so that users don't have to plug in their device to transfer songs and/or video to it. I own an iPod and a Creative Zen vision, but I have to admit that if Microsoft goes about this properly, they can garner a reasonable share of the protable audio/video market by the second or third generation of the Zune.
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Old 11-09-2006, 07:28 PM   #2
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Microsoft rules.

Gears of War +XBOX360 + HDTV = AMAZING
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Old 11-09-2006, 07:29 PM   #3
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i dont think the zune has the killer app that will take market share away from apple. what im waiting for is a good bluetooth enabled flash based mp3 player. no more wires to the headphone to tangle up and players will be perfect.
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Old 11-09-2006, 07:30 PM   #4
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Sony tried to kill the ipod too, we saw how well that went.
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Old 11-09-2006, 07:31 PM   #5
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A lot of the advertised features on the Zune don't work very well yet.

The key to the ipod's success has been apple's trademark simplicity and ease of use.

You can't be the ipod killer unless you are easy to use and bug-free. I'll be amazed when Microsoft produces that product.

It's funny that Microsoft's "me too" strategy these days revolves around them just trying to desperately copy whatever Apple and Google do first.
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Old 11-09-2006, 07:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rezznor
i dont think the zune has the killer app that will take market share away from apple. what im waiting for is a good bluetooth enabled flash based mp3 player. no more wires to the headphone to tangle up and players will be perfect.

I'm not sure that Microsoft would need an iTunes level application, and if so, all they would actually need to do is retool Windows Media Player. The DRM restrictions on music downloaded from iTunes would also make things a little easier for Microsoft as their audio would likely not have the same DRM limitations and would be compatible with most portable players. This would make the service a little more desireable than iTunes for people who own other portable players. Media Player is already compatible with other Mp3 players. As I said, if Microsoft goes about this the right way, and that's a big IF, they can make a splash.

Also, unfortunately, wireless audio won't be a reasonable option until bluetooth bandwidth is upped. The convenience that you gain with the absence of wires is unfortunately negated by the poor sound quality because of bandwidth limitations on the audio stream.
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Old 11-09-2006, 07:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nowitzki41MFFL
Microsoft rules.

Gears of War +XBOX360 + HDTV = AMAZING

And Halo 3 isn't even out yet.
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Old 11-09-2006, 07:46 PM   #8
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Why wouldn't Microsoft's downloads have the same DRM restrictions? Apple doesn't include them because they want to - the record labels make them.
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Old 11-09-2006, 07:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamcz
A lot of the advertised features on the Zune don't work very well yet.

The key to the ipod's success has been apple's trademark simplicity and ease of use.

You can't be the ipod killer unless you are easy to use and bug-free. I'll be amazed when Microsoft produces that product.

It's funny that Microsoft's "me too" strategy these days revolves around them just trying to desperately copy whatever Apple and Google do first.

well the whole "copy this & that" strategy is what made them successful in the first place. It would actually be ironic if they managed to dethrone apple in yet another field by copying their product for a second time like they did back with windows.

on a related note, personally i think all these damn mp3 players are overpriced.
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Old 11-09-2006, 07:57 PM   #10
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If you can't afford the ipod, just get the ipod mini.

Even though everybody knows they're for girls.
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Old 11-09-2006, 08:17 PM   #11
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when you take on the I-pod you are also taking on I-tunes.

WIth I-pod and I-tunes so strong it makes the other stronger against competition.
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Old 11-09-2006, 08:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamcz
Why wouldn't Microsoft's downloads have the same DRM restrictions? Apple doesn't include them because they want to - the record labels make them.

Apple has seemed to put additional restrictions on their music and music downloaded with iTunes seems limited to use with iTunes and on iPods. Music files are encoded as ACC and iTunes' DRM is implemented though FairPlay. Only the iPod can play files encoded with FairPlay and not too many other devices are are compatible with ACC endoded music.

Microsoft on the other hand, learning from Apple, would likely not allow their music files to be as heavily restricted, and considering that other Mp3 players are compatible with WMP, for good reason. If Microsoft were to really open up Windows Media Player and provide for music downloads, and they really want to vie for marketshare, software would be their best bet to get things moving.
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Old 11-09-2006, 08:41 PM   #13
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i am planning on buying an ipod video, is that a good choice??? i don't know, but the idea of sitting in class and watching videos is just too intriguing...
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Old 11-09-2006, 09:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brwnman
i am planning on buying an ipod video, is that a good choice??? i don't know, but the idea of sitting in class and watching videos is just too intriguing...


dont buy the ipod video just yet, rumor is a much better version is coming out soon, with the entire front used as a screen. here is just a photoshop by a fan, but it gives you an idea of what apple may be cooking up.

http://www.thinksecret.com/news/0602videoipod.html



Last edited by rezznor : 11-09-2006 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 11-09-2006, 09:58 PM   #15
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Don't buy an ipod because a fan photoshopped a better one??? Get a ****ing job.
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