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Microsoft’s Zune could be an iPod killer? October 22, 2006

Posted by mariobc in Entertainment, Microsoft.

Microsoft has decided to scrap its current software based approach to mp3 players (Plays for sure) and enter the hardware market directly with its own music device: Zune.


Plays for sure (PFS) is an interesting approach by Microsoft to control the mp3 market through its Windows Media software. The idea was to offer an alternative to Apple’s iPod by offering a seal of quality grouping all non-Mac providers of soft and hardware (a little bit like the Intel inside – but Windows Media inside).

However early compatibility problems (like the early Plug&Pray) and the continuing radical success of Apple have surprisingly caused Microsoft to change gears, launch its own PFS-incompatible Zune and start the mp3 war all over again (they keep PFS, but with who will support this if Microsoft itself is taking a different system).

The new ZUNE clones the closed-standard strategy of Apple. Like with gaming consoles, Microsoft seems to be betting on a few players controlling the music player market with a closed software and hardware solution. Given that Apple makes no significant money from selling songs, but cashes in on the devices, Microsoft is probably also recognizing Apple’s strategy as the best, at least for the early market situation.

Will Microsoft succeed and turn around the market?

I will put my bet on Apple this time – Microsofts golden age is over!



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