I came across this YouTube clip on Spicy Gadget Roll of a Zune review on CNN. All I can say is OUCH! Its supposed to be one of those normal softball reviews TV networks are famous for and it starts off well enough but by the end Soledad has her iPod Shuffle out and they are debating the problems with MS design. Its too funny, you gotta watch it:
PaidContent has a post on the Apple teaming up with a number of airlines to have the iPod integrated into their in-flight entertainment options. The article points out that the timing matched the retail launch of MS’s Zune player and serve’s as a reminder of just how far MS will have to go before it can dislodge Apple from its dominant DMP position.
Today the Zune player from Windows will explode from the shelves of 30,000 stores around the country, to what I anticipate will be the collective yawn of a “me-to” device weary public.
Will Microsoft spend billions pushing the Zune player on the market? Yes.
Will they make a huge splash in the press? Yes.
Will they put out a press release within a week and tout how many Zune’s they’ve foisted off on unsuspecting luddites sold? Yes.
Will it fail get any real traction and have a minimal impact on the market for digital players? Yes!
Now some might say I’m simply playa hatin’ (excuse the pun and the misappropriated vernacular) the on the Zune, so I’ve put together this list of the top 10 reasons the Zune will fail in the market.
This morning I was checking out the folks at Zunescene when I noticed the following headline:
Many iPod Owners Will Buy Zune
The post pointed to this ABI Research article on a survey they did of 1,725 “consumers” and their likelihood to purchase a Zune player. Of the people who responded to the survey 58% of the “consumers” who said they had an iPod and 59% of those with a different music player, said they would buy a Zune. I love these sorts of research finds and broad claims without content. They make for great marketing statements and of course great articles, but they dont shed any light on the prospects in the market for the Zune to challenge the iPod. Lots of heat and no light.
The research brief is part of The Ecommerce Times did a follow-up on the survey and spoke to its principal analyst, Steve Wilson, who puts the Zunes market prospects in context this way:
“It’ll make a big splash, but it’s going to need something else behind it to make it take hold,” he said. “It’ll ride far on the initial marketing drive, but there’s nothing unique about it that’s all that compelling.”
Now that would make an interesting headline: Microsoft to Spend Billions and have little Digital Music Impact
I really wanted to title this post “Zune everyone will get the Urge for an iPod”, but thought better of it. What good would it do to make fun of the two companies I’d most like to work for in the future, if for no other reason then to get a bit of what their smoking. The real question though is how to best sum up last weeks buzz about Microsoft’s hurried announcement of the Zune player, in response to Apple’s more interesting iTV/iPod announcements? Dare I joke about the dorky name? Have I the tech chops to suggest that another DRM crippled player isnt what the music industry needs. Should I play it straight, parrot the pundits and shill the Zune’s main selling point, limited Wifi sharing (3 tracks in 3 days and then poof its gone)? In the midst of all this musing it struck me, the real story here isnt that the Zune player is gonna take down Apple’s iTunes/iPod combo. The real story is that the Zune player could be the final nail in the coffin of the MusicGremlin. Never heard of it? Exactly!
What makes certain gear game changing? First, it has to do something old in a new way. Second, its gotta be simple. Third, it has to chart a new direction. Memorex seems to have the right idea with the iFlip, a digital display device that instead of trying to be another iPod killer, is an ipod extender. Its a simple looking tool that does one thing, it lets you play your iPod videos on a better screen for a mere 200 bills. Sure its not perfect, screen resolution is passable but not stellar and the battery life is modest but it shows where things are going. Memorex could pop the same hardware into its TV sets and begin the process of cannibalising sales of its commoditized DVD’s with higher-margin digital products like a TV with iPod dock. its own lunch before someone else gets around to it. build the value of of Storage is increasingly moving away from display Sweet. Smooches to the good folks at iLounge for the original posting with more info and images.