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Advantage iPod over Zune -
September 22nd, 2006
Is Zune - Microsoft's answer to Apple's iPod - a belated response to Apple's stranglehold in the on-the-move entertainment market? It does seem so and is a position that Microsoft rarely finds itself in because it has become so used to dominating whichever market it is in. But this time, Steve Jobs has done a brilliant job of coming out with a typical Apple product - the iPod was snazzy, small and sleek-looking - which left consumers delighted.
But here is what latecomer, Microsoft has to say about the iPod. Corporate Vice President, Microsoft, Bryan Lee told CNBC, "Ipods are great if you want a solitary experience but I want to share my experiences with my friends or my playlist and I really want to take it to the next level."
That is where the Microsoft media player, Zune, comes in. It has a 3 inch screen, 30 GB of memory and a $299 price tag. They are working closely with the company's joint venture - online music store URGE. But Zune offers something that the iPod doesn't - Wi-Fi capability - which lets Zune users wirelessly share songs with each other. In this world of online social networks like You Tube and www.myspace.com, this could be the perfect social accessory.General Manager for Marketing, Microsoft, Chris Stephenson says, "It allows people to share music. It allows people to discover new music. It allows people to share photos and this is what Zune is - it's a social brand."
Zune is going up against iPod which accounts for 75% of the world's MP3 market and has had 1.5 billion songs and 45 million videos in less than a year were downloaded from its i-Tune website in less than a year. Here's more: 60 million iPods have been sold earning Apple $13 billion in revenues since 2001. Apple is not taking it easy other as they have come up with new products, which is part of its plan to take over digital entertainment.
So, Microsoft's move into this space has been seen by experts, more as a defensive move than an offensive one - rather like them introducing the Xbox to counter the Playstation, which they perceive may displace the PC altogether.
At the moment, Zune is priced more expensively than the iPod but researchers say that it could bring in $3 billion to Microsoft in its first year. But word on the street is that - it's far too optimistic a figure. So, it's advantage Apple for the moment!
It's better to let someone think you are an Idiot than to open your mouth and prove it.
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