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Zune's wireless capabilities overblown - report

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
Microsoft's upcoming Zune digital media player has long been rumored to sport on-the-go wireless capabilities that would differentiate it from Apple's iPod offerings, but it appears those reports are partially inaccurate.

According to a report published on Twice, retailers briefed by Microsoft say Zune will offer Wi-Fi capability but will require that the player be connected to a PC in order to purchase tracks.

"Retailers, who claimed Microsoft remained 'fuzzy' on the Zunes wireless capability, said only that Zune will allow users to bookmark songs that may be shared via Wi-Fi, but that users cannot purchase songs on the go from the Microsoft Zune Web site," the report states.

Retailers cited in the report further state that the player will incorporate a 30GB hard drive, be available in three colors and retail for US$299.

At least one retailer has claimed that Zune's display screen would be larger than that of Apples video iPod models.

"The retailers were pleased with Microsofts feature-per-price package," the report adds.

Last month, Microsoft confirmed that has been working on music and entertainment products that will compete with Apple's iPod and iTunes jukebox software.

Media reports suggest Microsoft will launch the music initiative in November.
post #2 of 49
...ugh...microsoft......they are the best at being the worst....ugh...



first post! woot!
post #3 of 49
(first, let me add Wilco's obligatory) Holy Canoli!

Hmmm... So it took them a year to try to exactly copy the iPod with video capability right down to the hard drive size and price, and slap together a shitty UI. If you can't buy songs via WiFi, what the hell good will it do except waste battery?

MS is DOOMED, they are offering last year's iPod at last year's price while Apple will offer a brand new iPod this year.
post #4 of 49
I reckon since there's a market for the Ford 500/Food Focus in the U.S., they'll be a market for the Zune, no matter how retarded it sounds thus far. Perhaps the true competition will be between the Zune and whatever Creative's latest flavor. Hmm, this could actually *help* Creative.
post #5 of 49
Let the price wars begin!
post #6 of 49
Marking songs for download? Wow, what a feature! (I hope you can recognize the sarcasm). With my iPod I actually have to remember the name of a song or album EVERY time I want new music. If I don't remember, then I have to go through the long and grueling process of typing a search into google or the iTMS. Man, this wireless thing is clearly worth switching to a Zune.

Seriously, one thing I admire about Apple is that it seems like they try to avoid including worthless features and only include those that are really ready for making their products better for the user. One recent example is the Nike Sport Kit. Very well done and easy to use. I can think of a couple of great improvements they could implement, but overall, very well thought out. One thing that would be nice is to have the iPod automatically go to the Nike menu whenever you plug in the reciever (or at least make that an option, since you're pretty much just using it for that whenever the receiver is connected).
post #7 of 49
An unreleased product with overblown capabilities? Whatever next!!

</sarcasm>
post #8 of 49
Yup, just like the one-sided OS "war". They are competing with Tiger (5G iPod) while we are about to move onto Leopard (6G iPod). Microsoft is just completely pathetic, there is nothing else to it.

And yeah, I hope for their sake that they don't actually name the product Zune.
post #9 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by crees!

Let the price wars begin!

There's no way MS can compete with Apple on price unless they want to lose billions of dollars (like they did with the xBox). Apple has a 4 year lead, plus they operate on larger quantities, so they can corner the market on certain types of components.
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post #10 of 49
Bwahahahahaha! Let 'em try to compete!

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post #11 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by crees!

Let the price wars begin!

The Zune, when it's released, has the exact same $ per MB as the iPod has today... if they'd wanted to start a price war they'd have priced it lower. Creative tried this approach (same $ as iPod, only with a lot more "features") and failed. The price per feature isn't what sells this stuff, and Microsoft appears to be explicitly trying NOT to start a price war.

That being said, Apple has the lowest component costs in the industry because of volume, long-term deals, and bundling, so Apple should be able to win any price war in which the company makes money on these things. Of course, Microsoft could try the loss-leader approach again, but eventually their investors are going to want them to actually make money on their ventures instead of tapping MS Office and Windows monopolies to lose money elsewhere.
post #12 of 49
It sounds like this might allow you to listen to a friends zune songs on your zune through wifi.

I dunno if it's just me but that seems kinda useless.
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post #13 of 49
Yawn, Wi-Fi with larger screen for the same price, in November. I reckon by then, Apple would release next iteration of iPod nano and video iPod, possibly with more relevant Bluetooth A2DP.
post #14 of 49
Perhaps apple should time their 6G ipod release to coincide with Zune - maybe a few days after or before...
post #15 of 49
So the Wi-Fi is pointless and will waste a lot of battery life, as will the large screen. I'd imagine that Microsoft's solution to this is to include a battery the size of a brick "with 1.5 times the battery life of an iPod!"

And is it just me, or is a 30 GB hard drive really small for a video player? I don't play videos on my iPod but my music alone takes up 20 GB.

The only way the Zune will be successful is if consumers buy it because of brand familiarity, given Windows' market share. They may also think that it will work flawlessly with Windows, and in theory it should, but we all know the answer to that
post #16 of 49
I wonderwhat OS X compatibility will be like.
post #17 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sekio

I wonderwhat OS X compatibility will be like.

My guess is nil for the first while, then more if they sell enough devices to make it worth it. Well, I take that back, MS likes to develop products whether they will be profitable or not, just so they can be in everything.
post #18 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdj21ya

My guess is nil for the first while, then more if they sell enough devices to make it worth it. Well, I take that back, MS likes to develop products whether they will be profitable or not, just so they can be in everything.

Except linux beacuse we all know that its cancer

not quite everything just most everything
post #19 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shookster

The only way the Zune will be successful is if consumers buy it because of brand familiarity, given Windows' market share. They may also think that it will work flawlessly with Windows, and in theory it should, but we all know the answer to that

Yes its kindda like how ipod users like the Ipod and then buy a mac...
Windows users will think: "well microsoft makes a great OS, so im sure their MP3..."




wait... \
post #20 of 49
What's the rush?
Let's wait and see the Zune..
8)
P.S. I'm still waiting for the 23" iMac
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post #21 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdj21ya

Seriously, one thing I admire about Apple is that it seems like they try to avoid including worthless features.

I dunno. The WiFi feature holds no appeal for me, but I can see that kids might like being able to listen to what others are listening to. If you had a critical mass of Zune users (like in a school bus) those with inovative tastes could become like mini radio stations. When listening to other peoples music, then, I can see how it would be quite usefull to be able to mark something to buy--you wouldn't have to remember the name of anything.

This being said, one still has to wonder:
--Will there ever be critical mass? The tweens and teens I know love their I pods!
--How will it compete with the next gen iPod?
--How much will WiFi cost in battery life?
--Will anyone actually enjoy using the product?
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post #22 of 49
First, you seem to think MS is all knowing and lords over all in the consumer when in fact since Windows '95, they have not really had a successful consumer product in over 10 years.

While you might count the XBox as a success, they have spent $10 BILLION dollars to sell 25 million units or about $400 to sell each one ... if you do math that way, how many more successes can you have before you close up the company?

That is one reason why Zune is priced around Apple's - they cannot afford to lose $100 per unit and hope to make up for it later down the line ... while they are not making a lot of money and persumably breaking even at best since they are launching a new product and mini division, they are obviosuly take it nice and slow (hence the features already dropped and no video) because they cannot afford another Xbox ... $10 BILLION and will they be still be third by this time next year?

And just in case you've forgotten, here are some major MS launches in the last ten years backed by major marketing dollars and retail presence ... All money losers or outright failures - Bob, Talking barney, MSN (how do you spend $4 BILLION and lose to AOL?), Windows CE, WebTV, home networking, plays4sure, and the watch OS ... other than being able to spend a lot of money to essentially sell a flat PC that alleviates the driver, compability and patch worries (the XBox) ... NOTHING else they have done in the past 10 years in the consumer market has registered at ALL.

All led by a new CEO who admits he missed out on Google, yahoo, MySpace, etc ... not to mention that little Apple ipod thing.

Last year, MS was all ballyhooing their plays4sure thing and NO REVIEWS - even from the biggest Windows fan sites offered a review where plays4sure played for sure on every player & every Pc they owned ... and now 6 months later, MS has magically figured it out - how fast do you think it will be from the day of release to the magic Windows phrase ... it didn't work, it locked up my machine.

MS makes a fine workplace OS, nice server and enterprise stuff - they should just stick to that ...
post #23 of 49
Put it this way- Bertrand got it right when he said if you can't innovate imitate. It's what M$ have been doing since the company began.
The consumer war was won by Sony when Msoft took them on with the XBox even though the XBox was around the same price and had more features than the second generation of Playstation. The consumer goes with the tried and tested user interface- The iPod will win the Apple/Microsoft war- there is little doubt in my mind.
The world is slowly starting to get annoyed with substandard quality and inefficiency.

BENj
post #24 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenJ

Put it this way- Bertrand got it right when he said if you can't innovate imitate. It's what M$ have been doing since the company began.
The consumer war was won by Sony when Msoft took them on with the XBox even though the XBox was around the same price and had more features than the second generation of Playstation. The consumer goes with the tried and tested user interface- The iPod will win the Apple/Microsoft war- there is little doubt in my mind.
The world is slowly starting to get annoyed with substandard quality and inefficiency.

BENj


Maybe what Bertrand should have said was: "If you can't invent, imitate."

Innovation would be making a change in something established, which is what they are doing. What they are not doing is inventing, which means creating something that did not exist before.

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post #25 of 49
Seems like Microsoft is behind on more than just its operating system development... I mean if recent rumors are true about the up-coming "iPhone" or "iPod with Phone" then Microsoft has their work cut out for them. 8) Way to go Apple!
post #26 of 49
A WiFi iPod has three potential features I'd really enjoy. First, synching to my Mac wirelessly. I know it's a small thing to plug the iPod into a cord, but since I sync up nearly every day for Podcasts I'd love to save a tiny bit of time. Second, my ultimate fantasy is to have shared music via wireless, meaning being able to hear other people's libraries. The last feature is a limited web integration so one could browse and purchase from the iTunes music store directly from the iPod.

I hope Apple is going to do one, two, or three with a WiFi iPod and I'm glad to hear the Zune may not be able to do any of the three.
post #27 of 49
Last Spring/Early Summer - Sony was all excited to announce the Bean ... coming soon - not sure why they thought a bean shaped would make us go giddy but in comparison to the mini, it was not horrible (priced around the same with a little less capacity but close enough) and it was smaller - something you could wear the neck ... however, they seem to live where nothing happens until they release something - a world MS seems to live in ... a week before the bean is actually available - Apple unveils a little something called the NANO ... twice the capacity (same price) and COLOR and frankly, tiny & a must-have ... the bean, amusing but a large jelly belly is not really all that enticing ... surprise, 5 months later - Sony Bean dead.

So, what's the Zune rumor - that it'll be out in November? What do you bet that either the iphone or video ipod will magically be announced AND appear about a week earlier than Zune (which Apple can find out when it hits the shelves by calling any guy at a Best Buy warehouse who will read the inventory & SKU to them) thereby eviserating the Zune marketing & sales ... not that it had a chance to begin with ... so in 6 months when Zune adds video and is about to trump that - Apple will add wifi.

MS is almost comically inept when it comes to consumers ... all you have to do is look at the XBox 360 launch - it's one thing to artifically create a shortage in first couple weeks to generate excitement but they basically wasted $50 million in free publicity because now, 9 MONTHS later, the 360 is FINALLY found almost everywhere and STACKED up almost everywhere ... During the PS2 launch, at least Sony seemed to be building them - you could see news of planes arriving carrying the PS2 - X360? Nothing. Who cares about not having anything to sell for 8 weeks before XMas? It's not consumers will buy almost anything not nailed down ...
post #28 of 49
"The retailers were pleased with Microsoft’s feature-per-price package," the report adds.

"Feature-per-price".. *sigh*.. it sure sounds like Microsoft people to think like that. It's not about feature-per-price. It's about how well it performs and how usable it is... or something like that. Windows XP has great feature-per-price I guess... a lot of features... but it still sucks.
post #29 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. K.

since I sync up nearly every day for Podcasts I'd love to save a tiny bit of time. .

So when do you recharge your iPod? Not joking, since you have to sync every day, and your iPod can't have more than 10 hours max play time, when do you charge? My only guess is that perhaps you prefer to recharge somewhere else, perhaps in a stereo mount.

On the general issue, while wifi for iPods has potential benefits, IMHO the drain on power makes the whole issue a moot point. Steve repeatedly has talked about battery life during iPod events. WiFi does not further the primary purpose of the iPod. A pod for personal information and media. So I don't believe we'll see WiFi until the power drain is a much smaller issue (maybe this could help), and WiFi coverage is more widespread and standardized.
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post #30 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich

Maybe what Bertrand should have said was: "If you can't invent, imitate."

Innovation would be making a change in something established, which is what they are doing. What they are not doing is inventing, which means creating something that did not exist before.

Gotta love that built-in dictionary
post #31 of 49
I deeply hate Microsoft. Period. And i am for sure won't
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post #32 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vox Barbara

I deeply hate Microsoft. Period. And i am for sure won't
never ever buy a Product with a M$ badge.
(Exception: Office for Mac) I have to, unless... you know

People say that about Apple.

I'll bet you have a pc under your pillow.
post #33 of 49
Zune might not offer video at first. http://www.macsimumnews.com/index.ph...deo_at_launch/
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post #34 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonepilgrim

Gotta love that built-in dictionary

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post #35 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by murk

Zune might not offer video at first. http://www.macsimumnews.com/index.ph...deo_at_launch/

So the "iPod Killer" is now the "iPod Taunter".

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post #36 of 49
well if MS tries and fails then I think that will be the end of all the serious competitors.
post #37 of 49
Firewire = 400Mb/sec; USB 2.0 = 480Mb/sec (burst); WiFi = 54Mb/sec (108Mb/sec max) if insecure (which would be unwise), significantly less if secure

Where's the time savings when you're synching at no more than 25% of "wired" speed?

Putting music on your MP3 player wirelessly may be convenient, but it's not fast - not using any presently accepted standard protocol anyway... we'll see whether 802.11n changes this significantly or not in the future.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. K.

A WiFi iPod has three potential features I'd really enjoy. First, synching to my Mac wirelessly. I know it's a small thing to plug the iPod into a cord, but since I sync up nearly every day for Podcasts I'd love to save a tiny bit of time. Second, my ultimate fantasy is to have shared music via wireless, meaning being able to hear other people's libraries. The last feature is a limited web integration so one could browse and purchase from the iTunes music store directly from the iPod.

I hope Apple is going to do one, two, or three with a WiFi iPod and I'm glad to hear the Zune may not be able to do any of the three.
post #38 of 49
As has been mentioned, song sharing via WiFi could be appealing to kids. I work at a K-12 school and it's become sort of a "thing" for two kids to pair up and each wear one ear bud to share an iPod (I think it's kind of a "best buddies 4 ever" kind of thing, but then, i"m a clueless adult).

But that works because iPods are ubiquitous (or, for that matter, any MP3 has two ear buds). "Sharing" is one of those chicken and egg features that requires you to have a lot units out there to be of any use, but doesn't drive sales because there aren't a lot of units out there. Having managed to gets lots and lots of chickens and eggs into the wild is of course Apple's enduring ace in the hole.

And, as has also been mentioned, unless there's a way to make wireless have really low impact on battery life it's the same K-12 crowd that would give up on it first-- when kids do something, they do it a lot, and any early adopters would quickly discover that their Zune was being drained dry mighty fast.
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post #39 of 49
Not to mention the viruses that will probably be spread wirelessly from Zune to Zune.
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post #40 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel

There's no way MS can compete with Apple on price unless they want to lose billions of dollars (like they did with the xBox). Apple has a 4 year lead, plus they operate on larger quantities, so they can corner the market on certain types of components.


That depends how they plan to go about it. For example, M$ lost money on XBox, but that was only on consoles. In the end, XBox was a profit due to other endeavors that tied in to the XBox.

If not, then there wouldn't have been an XBox 360. (In fact, Sony loses way more money on all versions of Playstations than MS does on XBox. And that's including the Playstation 3's $500 price-tag! )

I'm not sure how MS plans to do this, but I think their plans to gain 15-20% of the market in a few years (as they said) isn't totally uneasonable. If they said it would happen in one holiday season, then they'd be insane!

And as for wireless capabilities, I'm sort of glad they are trying to allow people to buy songs wirelessly. MS doesn't have the usability skills to pull that off successfully.
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