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Microsoft says Zune to sell for $249 - Page 2

post #41 of 175
As to all the fanboy comments, just think about this:

Apple dominated the market for PCs with a Graphical UI for years.
MS came out with a 2nd rate, obviously plagiarized competitor years after Apple did.
Who dominates now?

I know things don't exactly compare. But Apple would be stupid to dismiss any threat from Microsoft, even for a product that is inferior (and the Zune is roughly feature-equivalent to the iPod).

(Trust me, I'm not rooting for MS. In fact, I think this kind of selling at a loss should be illegal (rather, I think it is illegal, but isn't enforced except in a few industries, like airlines) and smacks of monopolistic practices. But asking our current crop of spineless do-nothing politicians of either party to stand up to a wealthy corporation is like asking Johnny Knoxville to have some self-respect. It's just not what they do.)
post #42 of 175
Very valid points, but the problem is that the Zune appears to be a complete dud, while the xBox and the xBox 360 were/are both technologically superior to anything on the market, and they offer something that others cannot: first-party exclusive games like Halo. What does the Zune offer? A brand new Beatles album with formerly lost songs from Lennon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DotComCTO

Microsoft has the cash to throw around. They are trying to buy mind share. They understand that it is unbelievably hard to compete with the iPod - just as they realized that XBox had a tough road up against the PS2. However, in a few short years, the line of people waiting to get an XBox 360 was unreal...and Nintendo isn't the #2 player in the home console market anymore (in the US). People would clearly say that the leaders now are Sony and Microsoft (although look for a strong comeback from Nintendo with the Wii).

Microsoft isn't dumb. They know that their first cut of the Zune will not take over the iPod, but if they can supplant the #2 player in this iteration, then they've accomplished a lot. From the #2 spot, they can start to exert a lot more pressure on Apple.

It seems that people here are thinking too short term.

8)

--DotComCTO
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post #43 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCQ

As to all the fanboy comments, just think about this:

Apple dominated the market for PCs with a Graphical UI for years.
MS came out with a 2nd rate, obviously plagiarized competitor years after Apple did.
Who dominates now?

as i have said before, the only reason microsoft became popular was because they licensed their software. well, wht i mean is you can put windows on anything. apple only allow their software to be used on their own systems.
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post #44 of 175
repeated post, read above
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post #45 of 175
and again, read above. god im a retard
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post #46 of 175
You need to take a histoy lesson about Apple and the history of PC before making these, um, irrelevant comments.

Miscrosoft's rise was due to software anyway and not its own hardware manufacturing.

When was Apple ever a dominant force in computing like it is in the DAP market?
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post #47 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbaynham

right that would be one of the stupidist things that apple could do. the vast majority of ipod users are running windows. i have to admit that i didnt have a clue about itunes or what an ipod was untill it started on windows. that was the reason for the amazing success apple have had with the ipod/itunes thing.

Dude... he's talking about MS not Apple. MS would break iTunes on their OS/Browser.

IQ78
post #48 of 175
What's amazing to me about this Zune is that it apparently doesn't use MS's "PlaysforSure." So are all those dead now? Or are they going to remain, and this is going to be yet another competing standard, like Sony's ATRAC?

For those talking about Windows winning through licensing, that may be true, but from what I understand this Zune is going to be MS through-and-through, not licensed like PlaysForSure. MS wants to emulate Apple's model with Zune.
post #49 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCQ

As to all the fanboy comments, just think about this:

Apple dominated the market for PCs with a Graphical UI for years.
MS came out with a 2nd rate, obviously plagiarized competitor years after Apple did.
Who dominates now?

I know things don't exactly compare. But Apple would be stupid to dismiss any threat from Microsoft, even for a product that is inferior (and the Zune is roughly feature-equivalent to the iPod).

I think Zune's chance for success is low, but no, I wouldn't totally rule it out, and I would certainly recommend the Apple not let its guard down.

Back when PCs got ahead of Apple IIs and Macs (that was long enough ago that many people, and especially schools, were still clinging to their old Apple II +/e/c, etc. systems) in the GUI game, personal computers of any brand hadn't reached the market penetration that iPods have today, and PCs were able to play up a substantial price advantage.

Unless Zune's price is cut even more, it currently has no price advantage at all. And think about the iPod ecosytem that's already in place... not just all the myriad accessories (including things like sneakers and alarm clocks), but you can buy CARS that are built for hooking up an iPod. How long will it take Microsoft to convince auto makers to add Zune-compatible interfaces, in addition to, or exclusive of, iPod interfaces?

Zune's success isn't impossible, but it is an uphill fight.
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post #50 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbaynham

as i have said before...

Not only have you said this before, you've said it three times in a row in this very thread.
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post #51 of 175
An article I read says that users can purchase 80 Microsoft points for $1.00, but songs will cost 79 Microsoft points. I did the math and for $79.00 you can get 80 songs from the Zune Marketplace but it will cost you $79.20 for 80 songs from the iTunes Store. Can anyone (marketing types) offer a reasonable explanation for Microsoft selling "points"? The only explanation I can come up with is that Microsoft wants to distract the consumer from knowing how much they are paying for something by not assigning an actual dollar amount on content similar to how Dave & Busters has "Power Cards".
post #52 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline

Back when PCs got ahead of Apple IIs and Macs (that was long enough ago that many people, and especially schools, were still clinging to their old Apple II +/e/c, etc. systems) in the GUI game, personal computers of any brand hadn't reached the market penetration that iPods have today, and PCs were able to play up a substantial price advantage.

That's the main issue. The PC market was still relatively open back then and expanding, while the DAP market is now cloying with competition, and Apple's share of that pie is so large that only a truly superior product with clever marketing can surpass or equal the iPod's success. We are assuming, of course, that the iPod will continue to be revised, and that its furute iterations will be solid products.
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post #53 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol

In-fucking-credible. Is there an MS product that isn't a loss-leader besides Windows and Office? I can't believe MS is still racking in the cash every quarter with so many loss-leaders.

Consumers should be kissing Apple's and Nintendo's collective asses for making Sony and MS sell their products cheaper than they can make them.

It's just sad that MS and Sony are trying to grab market share by throwing money at the problem.

Post of the the year. Nuff' said.
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post #54 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by troberts

An article I read says that users can purchase 80 Microsoft points for $1.00, but songs will cost 79 Microsoft points. I did the math and for $79.00 you can get 80 songs from the Zune Marketplace but it will cost you $79.20 for 80 songs from the iTunes Store. Can anyone (marketing types) offer a reasonable explanation for Microsoft selling "points"? The only explanation I can come up with is that Microsoft wants to distract the consumer from knowing how much they are paying for something by not assigning an actual dollar amount on content similar to how Dave & Busters has "Power Cards".

So a song is 79 points, which is actually $1.00? Sounds like how AMD started calling their 2000 Mhz chips 2400.
post #55 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by troberts

Can anyone (marketing types) offer a reasonable explanation for Microsoft selling "points"?

So that they only take the hit on credit card purchasing once every $20 or $40 rather than for every 99ç.

I remember there being a lot of info when iTMS first launched about how Apple was essentially gambling that people would buy songs together and would wait a short period and combine the purchases into a single credit card transaction. I've not heard much about that since. Maybe MSFT couldn't afford to take that hit on single sales.


Obviously allowances and gift cards offer the same kind of thing.

More info: http://rentzsch.com/notes/creditCardMicropayments
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post #56 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline

My theory is that Microsoft is going after a monopoly position on all media -- software, video, music, games, electronic documents -- all electronic media of all kinds. They want anything that anyone does anywhere with any form of electronic media to be ultimately dependent on a Microsoft-owned operating system, Microsoft-controlled licensing, Microsoft-designed formats, and Microsoft-held DRM keys.

But if Microsoft doesn't at least try to counter Apple and the iPod now, if they make no attempt at all, then the media-monopoly strategy I believe they want to pursue would be totally and complete lost, as opposed to merely unlikely to succeed.


I would have to agree with this assessment. It's about making sure Apple doesn't get to a place where AAC is the household name, like MP3.
When you start seeing AAC built into micro systems and on DVD players etc... (little stickers on hardware) then Apple truly ownes the market; and they are not there yet.
M$ needs to circumvent Apple from reaching that level of success.
Most people still think in MP3, the iPod is still referred to as an "MP3 player".

With billions of songs being placed in the market as AAC format, it's just a matter of time before they begin to saturate the marketplace to a point where having AAC playback is a must.
M$ will not let this happen. And therefore it won't.

The Zune will take a big chunk out of Apple's pie. Expect Steve to not show a market share pie chart at the next WWDC.

I heard my aunt and cousin talking the other day about how they love their new Mp3 players. (I think they are Creative)... mostly because of built in radio. They had 2 Nano's, and got fed up with them because of various problems. And tired of dealing with Applecare (which we all know is a total bitch)
It's just one case, but it does show that there is a strong market out there that doesn't have a fervent loyalty to any company, like we share... and sometimes forget that the world doesn't revolve around Apple... like it does for us.
post #57 of 175
The hardware doesn't matter. The company that gets rights to the Beatles and Led Zeppelin libraries will have won the war.
post #58 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain

I would have to agree with this assessment. It's about making sure Apple doesn't get to a place where AAC is the household name, like MP3.
When you start seeing AAC built into micro systems and on DVD players etc... (little stickers on hardware) then Apple truly ownes the market; and they are not there yet.
M$ needs to circumvent Apple from reaching that level of success.
Most people still think in MP3, the iPod is still referred to as an "MP3 player".

With billions of songs being placed in the market as AAC format, it's just a matter of time before they begin to saturate the marketplace to a point where having AAC playback is a must.
M$ will not let this happen. And therefore it won't.

I'm not sure why AAC matters. iTunes does mp3 just like it does AAC. Other devices won't be able to play back AAC with Apple's copy-protection anyway.
post #59 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malligator

The hardware doesn't matter. The company that gets rights to the Beatles and Led Zeppelin libraries will have won the war.

Who is holding out on Led Zeppelin's music? My guess would be Jimmy Page.
post #60 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by troberts

Who is holding out on Led Zeppelin's music? My guess would be Jimmy Page.

I know Page bought out Plant a while ago. I'm not sure if he has 100% control of Zeppelin's music, but I know he's the major player.
post #61 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by dac0nvu

Sorry, but I don't see anyone walking around with a Zune yet. Microsoft may have been the first to ANNOUNCE their new product, but the launch date is...??? Some time this year? Early next year? We all know that MS is known to be late with everything. Apple is known to have their products available for purchase on the day it is announced.

excellent point. i unintentionally exaggerated the situation.
post #62 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by DotComCTO

Microsoft has the cash to throw around. They are trying to buy mind share. They understand that it is unbelievably hard to compete with the iPod - just as they realized that XBox had a tough road up against the PS2. However, in a few short years, the line of people waiting to get an XBox 360 was unreal...and Nintendo isn't the #2 player in the home console market anymore (in the US).

The main reason the Xbox is doing so well is because MS bought a number of developers with top notch games in development, which gave them a couple solid exclusives. With no Halo, Xbox would have been a flop?

Can they do something similar with Zune? Nope. It's not like they could buy up a record company and make albums Zune exclusives.

I don't see much reason for people to buy Zune - you can't buy market share with an inferior product, especially at the same price as the current leader. Zune has a LOT of problems ahead, and pointing them out doesn't make you a fanboy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnazo

Apple will have to move fast with the real video iPod here

Why? The screen is a little bit bigger, but MS doesn't sell any video content yet. Until you can buy video content for the Zune, most people interested in video probably won't buy it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dac0nvu

Sorry, but I don't see anyone walking around with a Zune yet. Microsoft may have been the first to ANNOUNCE their new product, but the launch date is...??? Some time this year? Early next year?

November 14. It was part of this announcement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malligator

The hardware doesn't matter. The company that gets rights to the Beatles and Led Zeppelin libraries will have won the war.

Even that doesn't matter much. The serious fans ripped high quality mp3 or aac from their remastered CD's a long time ago.
post #63 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by troberts

An article I read says that users can purchase 80 Microsoft points for $1.00, but songs will cost 79 Microsoft points. I did the math and for $79.00 you can get 80 songs from the Zune Marketplace but it will cost you $79.20 for 80 songs from the iTunes Store. Can anyone (marketing types) offer a reasonable explanation for Microsoft selling "points"? The only explanation I can come up with is that Microsoft wants to distract the consumer from knowing how much they are paying for something by not assigning an actual dollar amount on content similar to how Dave & Busters has "Power Cards".

I believe they are using points as part of a reward system.
Write a review on the Zune Marketplace and get 1 point.
Create a playlist on the Zune Marketplace and get a point.
Trade points with friends for sexual favors...etc.
You get the idea.
post #64 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain

With billions of songs being placed in the market as AAC format, it's just a matter of time before they begin to saturate the marketplace to a point where having AAC playback is a must.
M$ will not let this happen. And therefore it won't.

The Zune will take a big chunk out of Apple's pie. Expect Steve to not show a market share pie chart at the next WWDC.

Dream on. According to industry analysts, the main damage Zune will do is to Microsoft's partners in the mp3 player space, i.e. Creative, Sony, iRiver, Samsung, etc. Apple should see little drop in their marketshare. But MS's former buddies will have a rather large knife protruding from their backs come November.

You are right about one thing though- MS does hate the fact that AAC (MP4) is taking over the market. It's an open standard, developed by the MPEG group, and we all know Microsoft HATES open standards, preferring to promote its own propeitary solutions. Problem is, mp3/mp4 has kinda hit critical mass already... the horse has already left the barn, as it were.

Best MS can do, for all its power (which is not very meaningful in this particular space- these aren't business apps we're talking about here) is break off a (relatively small) piece of the pie for themselves, mainly at its partner's expense , and pray that Apple makes a series of major mistakes. I don't really see that happening any time soon- Stevie J seems to have learned from his past.

But hey you can't blame MS for their consistency- they always follow wherever Apple leads. 8)
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post #65 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malligator

The hardware doesn't matter. The company that gets rights to the Beatles and Led Zeppelin libraries will have won the war.

Not really. The Beatles and Led Zeppelin are huge acts, but they are only two acts, and decades-old acts as well.

It'll be a nice coup to score an exclusive with either of those groups, but it won't be a 'magic bullet' that'll suddenly change everything... that's just wishful thinking. I say this as both a Beatles and a Zep fan.
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post #66 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by applebook

... the problem is that the Zune appears to be a complete dud, while the xBox and the xBox 360 were/are both technologically superior to anything on the market

Yeah, for about another six weeks. Then the 360 becomes the second most-powerful console on the market. Hello PlayStation 3.

8)
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post #67 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp

Any bets on how soon iTunes will suddenly stop working with Windows? After the next security patch maybe?

I'd say sometime immediately after iTunes 7 is released.
post #68 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by DotComCTO

Microsoft has the cash to throw around. They are trying to buy mind share. They understand that it is unbelievably hard to compete with the iPod - just as they realized that XBox had a tough road up against the PS2. However, in a few short years, the line of people waiting to get an XBox 360 was unreal...and Nintendo isn't the #2 player in the home console market anymore (in the US). People would clearly say that the leaders now are Sony and Microsoft (although look for a strong comeback from Nintendo with the Wii).

'People' wouldn't clearly say that Sony and Microsoft are the leaders now, only 'Americans' would. Simply because, the US is the only market where the Xbox did well.

In Europe, the Xbox did far weaker business than it did in the States, and in Japan, well, there were weeks where the Playstation ONE outsold it... Xbox was (and still is) a joke over there. In contrast, the Gamecube did 'okay' in all three major worldwide markets.

Far as who's #2 now, its closer than you'd think. Last I checked, MS sold 24 million Xboxs compared to 21 million Gamecubes sold. Of course, both are pretty insignifcant accomplishments compared to Sony's 106 million PS2s sold. For all the Xbox hype (in the US), Sony still owns the market, MS and Nintendo are light-years behind. To put it in further perspective, even in the US, the Xbox's stronghold, PS2 still outsold it 2.5 to 1 (Europe was 6 to 1, and Japan, 11 to 1. Ouch).

Now we have the 360, and people did indeed line up to buy 'em when they launched. So what? That's a couple hundred thousand consoles, not tens of millions. People will line up to buy the Wii and the PS3 also. Launch day lines don't mean that much, because demand will always outstrip supply at launch, unless your product is simply AWFUL beyond words.

Bottom line: Xbox was a US-only success, and did not come even close to disloding the market leader, even in the US. And that was with MS willing to lose billions on it. 360 may fare better, but not much. MS's ability to dominate markets where it can't leverage Windows or Office is much more limited than is widely believed.

.
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post #69 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtdunham

Does it bother anyone that MS got to market first with a bigger screen, or an fm tuner? The warm fuzzies apple generates make me expect IT to bring me the newest MP3 player features

I said something similar in another thread, but I really think that someone would have to be a special kind of moron to choose a music player based on screen size. (assuming the screens on all players they are considering are big enough to read)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtdunham

But comparing apple's current offerings and MS's, the zune is more feature-rich and has a bigger screen.

The iPod has always been lacking feature-wise. Hasn't done it any harm. You know why? Because it's always fulfilled its primary purpose - being an excellent, extremely portable music player - very well.

Now, if you think that Apple need a $249 iPod to achieve best-in-class video playback (i.e. wide-format, bigger screen), I fail to see how they could possibly do that without compromising on portability, which severely compromises the iPod's current primary focus. In fact, I can't see how they could achieve it for $249, period.

Now, if you think Apple need to change the primary focus of the current HDD iPod from music to video, or to take on each equally, you need some good evidence for that. As far as I can tell, Archos haven't exactly set the world alight with their video players.

I think Apple could make money with a portable device whose primary function is video, but it will necessarily cost more that the 80 gig ipod, and will be physically larger (to accommodate the larger screen and to maintain decent video-playback capability).
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post #70 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCQ

Apple dominated the market for PCs with a Graphical UI for years.

I'm not sure about that. Apple's share of the overall market was never more than about 25%.

Trying to qualify the statement with "with a Graphical UI" is totally irrelevant. I wouldn't be surprised that if you looked at the computers with GUIs, more than 50% of them were Apples, but whether a computer had a GUI or not, it was still a computer and part of one market. One which Apple never, ever dominated.
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post #71 of 175
Complete failure.
post #72 of 175
If for the sake of a large screen, Apple ever implements a touch-screen on the iPod in place of the click-wheel, I will not buy it.

Those of you who've used PDAs or the 3rd G iPod know how GARBAGE those digital buttons are.

Apple should keep the current general iPod layout for its iPod, but if (when) the company introduces a portable video player, then the product should carry a different name and have an entirely new design (large, high-res LCD, 100Gb+ storage, etc.) that is primarily designed for video.
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post #73 of 175
Holy crabcakes!... I'm going to sell my Microsoft stock... it's dead in the water, and getting deader every day.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

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post #74 of 175
MS has/will have greater costs for the Zune than Apple has. These include paying for:

1. Larger screen component
2. Wifi chip/antenna component
3. FM radio component
4. Toshiba hardware design (instead of own design)
5. Lower production volume
6. Greater dependence on retail outlets

Given Apple's margins, I still find it hard to believe that these extra costs will cause MS to lose money on each unit.
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post #75 of 175
Apple should release a new ipod on nov. 14 just to fuck with microsoft.
post #76 of 175
Zune supposedly sports a resolution of 320x240, and outputs at 640x480. The screen on the zune appears to be widescreen, is MS just going to stretch the pixels to make video fit the screen size?
post #77 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatsFan83

Zune supposedly sports a resolution of 320x240, and outputs at 640x480. The screen on the zune appears to be widescreen, is MS just going to stretch the pixels to make video fit the screen size?

It's likely an optical illusion, I'm pretty sure it's a 4:3.
post #78 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM

It's likely an optical illusion, I'm pretty sure it's a 4:3.

yeah it is 4:3.


I was kind of disappointed that it was $250. Unless their Marketplace sells movies and tv shows too, I might have to get an Ipod.

and what is up with $15 for subscription! I wanted $10.
post #79 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by intlplby

to me the only logical reason i can see for this is not to compete with the iPod, but to protect windows...

the iPod for many people is a contributing factor to making "the switch"

microsoft realizes this.... forevery Zune player they put out, that is one less person that gets to experience the "Apple Euphoria"

I doubt that; I've had my iPod for almost a year, and it by itself wouldn't make me switch, since there is a version of iTunes for Windows, and neither do most Windows users that have iPods - the iPods are where Apple is making their money, not in PC marketshare. The Zune doesn't look that bad; the name sucks, and I have no use for WiFi, but the rest of the features are stand fare for WMA-based players anymore.

Vista on the other hand, yeah, that makes me want to switch. Just waiting on Apple to drop the piss-poor Intel graphics from the Macbook and Lepoard to come out.
post #80 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM

It's likely an optical illusion, I'm pretty sure it's a 4:3.

Yup, there's a very powerful horizontal-vertical illusion: Vertical lines seem longer/larger than horizontal ones. These two lines are the same length:



And one of my favorite illusions of all time, the shaded rectangles are exactly the same size and shape. Look at those rectangles - that's why the Zune screen seems stretched longer than the iPod's.



In any case, I like the orientation. The iPod is rectangular, and it would make sense to have the screen oriented the same way as the iPod's shape.
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