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iPod Has Nothing To Fear From Slow-Starting Zune

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the but-we-knew-that dept.

422

narramissic writes, "Looks like Apple's iPod has nothing to fear from Zune this holiday season. In a research note published Tuesday, PiperJaffray senior research analyst Gene Munster writes that 'during its launch week on Nov. 16, Zune held the seventh spot on online retailer Amazon.com's top 10 best-selling MP3 players list, and it fell from that spot to 13 on the list only five days after launch, on Nov. 20.' Even worse, only 8% of retailers surveyed by PiperJaffray recommend the Zune to customers, while 75% recommend Apple's iPod." The article notes Apple's 5-year headstart in the portable player market and Microsoft's stated intention to invest heavily in the Zune over the next several years.

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422 comments

The Zune is brown (3, Funny)

The evil doctor Matt (847030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024062)

The Zune is brown... Grandpa used to tell me, "No matter how much you polish a turd..." Poor MS hopefully Zune 2.0 ditches DRM, plays all formats and breaks all of the rules iPods live by. Untill then... It's the iPod for me!

Re:The Zune is brown (2, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024174)

The Zune is brown..

You would think that they would have been popular with the UPS delivery guys.

iPod? (1, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024446)

My 1983 Walkman has nothing to fear from Zune!

I didn't think they could, but they managed. (-1, Flamebait)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024416)

In making the Zune brown, and coining the term "squirt" to refer to the act of wireless sharing with it, Microsoft has done the impossible: they have made a product that is simultaneously shittier, and more gay, than an iPod.

Re:I didn't think they could, but they managed. (1)

The evil doctor Matt (847030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024498)

O no! I got the Zune Squirts!!!! Here all this time I thought IBS was caused by eating McDonalds!

Re:The Zune is brown (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17024448)

So you automatically associate brown with "turd", eh?
Pretty misanthropic attitude considering that over 3 billion people have a brown shade of skin.

Re:The Zune is brown (1, Troll)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024708)

And fifty years ago, the Zune would be hanging upside down from a tree with a fork up its... erm... USB port?

Re:The Zune is brown (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17024804)

Ha ha. Niggers.

Re:The Zune is brown (-1, Flamebait)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024860)

Pretty misanthropic attitude considering that over 3 billion people have a brown shade of skin.
Are you sure they aren't simply not bathing?

Did they plan on this? (4, Interesting)

TrippTDF (513419) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024068)

Did M$ plan on having a flop out of the gate, planning on 2nd and 3rd generations to really go after the iPod? M$ never gets anything right the first time, so maybe it's not a big deal to them that it flopped?

Re:Did they plan on this? (1, Insightful)

rhartness (993048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024194)

M$ never gets anything right the first time
...and what about the X-Box?

What about it? (2, Funny)

undeaf (974710) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024330)

What about the console that lost 4 billion?

Re:Did they plan on this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17024332)

(That was Bungie getting it right.)

How much money has Xbox made for MS?

Re:Did they plan on this? (5, Informative)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024426)

What about it? It lost 4 billion dollars [forbes.com] and finished a tiny bit ahead of the Gamecube [wikipedia.org] in market share.

Re:Did they plan on this? (5, Funny)

badasscat (563442) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024944)

What about it? It lost 4 billion dollars and finished a tiny bit ahead of the Gamecube in market share.

Yeah, MS seems to have perfected the business model of losing billions of dollars and coming in a very distant second.

The Zune's got the Sansa in its sights!

Re:Did they plan on this? (3, Interesting)

The evil doctor Matt (847030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024652)

What about this angle... Make a useless piece of crap, enable lots O' DRM, give kickbacks to RIAA, lose lots of money... Take 2: Well sorry RIAA, we lost too much money and your way hurt our business model. This time around we are going to use no DRM, have a 200GB drive, play lots of formats and enable wireless sharing between all users. We'll also throw in the ability to download demo's and free singles at music stores for FREE. Maybe we'll also integrate it with Vista so that you can store your user profile and bring it with you. Then we'll add some motion controlled rings that you can wear to interact with the player... O yea don't forget the wimax connection nationwide and the ability to use it with our new VoIP system... Just imagine the possibilities...

Re:Did they plan on this? (4, Funny)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024832)

Also, each one comes with a free pony.

Re:Did they plan on this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17024850)

XBox is a loss leader. It is part of a long term strategy. This is nothing new. Other companies have done similar before.

Most likely Zune is also planned to be a loss leader (at least initially) as part of a long term strategy.

That said, Apple is a different beast from most of your electronics companies. Apple has a pedigree of innovation (at least when Jobs has been running things). Micro$oft may be in for a battle against a smarter and more nimble adversary.

Re:Did they plan on this? (4, Insightful)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024918)

I downloaded the Zune SW with Firefox (that was an experience in itself). I then downloaded it with IE 6. Both on a XP box SP1. I was curious... the IE 6 download quikly, the firefox took a good 2 minutes.... now here is the interesting thing: the splash screen for the installon a SP 2 box has a background like a scene from Woodstock. The background on a SP1 box install that says "Zune needs an update" Your version of Windows or Zune software may need an update. Windows Vista support is comiong zoon (It can't tell XP SP1 from Vista?)... Ok the Background picture that honestly looks like.... a young oriental women being raped. Try It I am NOT making this up...

Maybe (4, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024076)

if it could have squirted ogg, it might have done better.

Re:Maybe (5, Insightful)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024484)

Don't kid yourself. It might have sold better in the FOSS-supporting Windows market, but that's not a huge market. The Zune would have been helped by having PlaysForSure compatibility, and Linux/Mac compatibility. Ogg is going to be at best 1% of the market, and it's going to be the 1% least likely to buy anything Microsoft.

Honestly (5, Insightful)

MiKM (752717) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024112)

Did anybody seriously expect the Zune to gain a lot of market share?

Slow News Day (0, Troll)

clanky (871867) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024120)

In related news, hydrogen based cars seem unlikely to replace traditional automobiles this year, due to their almost centurylong head start. Sigh. Oh slashdot, how far you have fallen

Well... ok (3, Interesting)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024122)

How many Windows iPods were sold a few weeks after they hit the market?

Re:Well... ok (2, Funny)

BeerCat (685972) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024200)

How many Windows iPods were sold a few weeks after they hit the market?


Enough, obviously.

iPod historical sales figures (5, Interesting)

amightywind (691887) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024288)

How many Windows iPods were sold a few weeks after they hit the market?

I had every intention of flaming you, but you are right. These sales figures [mac.com] show that it took over a year for iPod to really take off.

Re:iPod historical sales figures (1)

onecheapgeek (964280) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024502)

It looks to me like it took almost 3 years for the iPod to become a solid revenue stream, based on the brown line and dots (coincidence?) that represents iPod sales and revenue...

But in the interest of not nitpicking, you are correct. The iPod wasn't the instant success everyone seems to think it was.

Re:iPod historical sales figures (5, Insightful)

Smallest (26153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024726)

part of that long ramp-up is the simple fact that it took time for people to catch on to the idea of a portable MP3 player - from any manufacturer. Zune doesn't have that particular problem; the market is well-established.

Re:iPod historical sales figures (1)

smallferret (946526) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024912)

Another thing to remember is that the iTunes Music Store for Windows was introduced on October 16, 2003 [wikipedia.org] . That's about when you start to see a steady increase in iPod sales and revenue, according to your graph.

Re:Well... ok (4, Interesting)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024432)

That's a totally different issue though. Back then, MP3 players were relatively rare. Today, almost everyone has at least played with one (if they don't own one), and there are tens of millions on the streets (in the US alone). Back then, iPod sales were slow because MP3 player sales were slow.

Re:Well... ok (1)

AddressException (187785) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024678)

Exactly. I'm sick of the comments saying "aww the Zune is only the 1st gen", and "iPod wasn't an immediate success". These things are totally irrelevant folks!

Zune is competing in an established market, in 2006 -- and is doing very badly.
Deal with it.

Re:Well... ok (1)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024772)

The thing to look at is market share, not units sold. You want to see how many iPods were sold relative to the number other PMPs sold.
I'm fairly sure the iPod was not dominating the Windows PMP market 2 weeks after the Windows iPod hit the shelves.

Re:Well... ok (1)

pestilence669 (823950) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024606)

Many. Users up to that point were using Mac iPods and buying 3rd party software just to make them work. The Windows upgrade was a highly requested model. AFAIK, no one requested the Zune.

Zune (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17024130)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these!

and squirting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17024262)

with drm squirting "back and forth" Zune ))<>(( Zune.

Re:and squirting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17024456)

Btw, for an explanation of the Zune "DRM squirting" emoticon, see:

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bac k+and+forth [urbandictionary.com]

))<drm>((

Zune has so much promise (5, Interesting)

Buzz_Litebeer (539463) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024148)

Unfortunately the Zune seems to offer very little, and the feature that it should be known for takes a LONG time to implement. Sharing a song with another zune is as easy as the path the pinball takes on the sesame street number song.

It takes like a minute to share (squirt) a zune song

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpHzQYKDlWU [youtube.com] [youtube.com]

The thing I was wondering is this. I do not mind the squirting feature, it seems neat and probably could have been implemented in a more intuitive way (IE have a squirt button instead of traversing 3 menus and a submenu) but the idea itself is "ok." Though I do have a problem with "squirting" a song in reference to a player that looks like it was molded in shit.

So they have some possibilities for cool features! They have wireless... why do they not leverage it in more interesting ways.

As you can see in the video they can see other zune players, in fact it seems incredibly intuitive.

Now lets say that it is true wifi and could probably support 5 or 6 streams coming out of it... why do they not have some kind of "Zune broadcast" feature were people can look at zunes, see what they are broadcasting or who they are listening too, and let people tap into the music that way... maybe even have some sort of re-broadcast peer to peer feature were each zune re-broadcasts what it is playing if someone wants to listen to the same song...

This way if you knew a lot of zune friends you could have them sample the song before you squirt it into their zune... though even talking about the zune and squirting makes me kind of uncomfortable.

Also, since it has wifi, why do they not provide a program that lets your computer do the same thing... IE submit to someones current audio stream.

This is even "better" than bringing an ipod to a club and having them plug it in, you just bring your zune in, start your stream and the DJ could link into it. OR you could go to your house, have your computer plugged into a nice sound system, and have it plug into what your zune is playing, this would allow you to use the zune as sort of a music remote control were you have a nice interface in your hand.

Or it could be used the other way around, the computer could transmit music and the zune could log in and see the music being transmitted... Microsoft even has Media center edition which would be perfect for this kind of thing, or it could be a plug in to their current media player. This way people could come over, log their zunes into your computer network and listen to music rocking down the line.

Maybe internet radio, walk into a wifi cafe, set up your zune, and listen to radio streaming from a remote radio station that is on-line, NPR for example (though you might want to find one to your tastes ofc).

How about wireless synchronization with podcasts? Walk into a wifi area and hit "sync" and have it sync with all the podcasts you are behind on and then tell you which ones you haven't listened to yet.

Maybe they could work with an online video provider similar to youtube and hook up a method to stream user videos to the zune in an easy fashion, something that would nearly be a killer app for anything.

Imagine a youtube branded mediaplayer with wireless access (maybe even work with phone companies for EVDO support) were someone could log into youtube and download youtube videos right to their phone.

I mean, the possibilities are ENDLESS and OBVIOUS. You merely have to think "man what would I love to do with a wireless capable player that can be locked into a major brand and legally buy music for" etc... and it seems Microsoft chose one interesting feature to focus on and implement poorly (squirting) and then made it so that the player broke every compatibility rule that you can think of, and made a SONY mistake were it changes format and requires that you re-purchase to play.

In the end you have to ask yourself "WTF"

and note, all of this is without the criticism of making blood contracts with record companies etc... it is saying "here are the things you made me hope you would provide, then you provided... this"

Re:Zune has so much promise (1)

businessnerd (1009815) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024320)

Great list of ideas. Going with just one or two of any of those ideas would be a huge improvement over what they released. All of those ideas are perfectly feasible with the current technology available. It's just a matter of someone offering it in the proper form factor. In fact, just today I read that Verizon has taken your youtube idea already. You can now log in to youtube through Verizon's Vcast service and both view and submit videos from your Vcast enabled Mobile phone.

Re:Zune has so much promise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17024536)

It takes like a minute to share (squirt) a zune song

Did you even watch the video you linked to? It took less than 20 seconds to transfer the file...

Re:Zune has so much promise (2, Interesting)

Buzz_Litebeer (539463) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024768)

Actually, upon reviewing it, it took about 40 - 45 seconds with two people demoing and hitting the buttons in correct order.

One person sent it, then the other sent it back.

I could easily see doing it in a couple of seconds, just click on the song playing or in a list, hit "send" and then send it.

Or why even do that, just put it as "share" and share it with whoever wants it in the room. They could log into your zune list and just grab the song if they think it is neat. Think of the ultimate collaborative experience.

Re:Zune has so much promise (1)

iamwhatiseem (554133) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024646)

Hmm...the ability to connect to each other and see eachother...sooo how long will it take before a "zune" virus is scripted and your player gets infected simply by being in the same room with someone else having one?

Re:Zune has so much promise (1)

EllynGeek (824747) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024756)

I give it a couple of days. Oh sorry, I see that was a rhetorical question. Never mind!

Re:Zune has so much promise (1)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024934)

The obvious feature to me would be some kind of short-range instant messaging. Of course, entering text with so few buttons could be tricky.

Re:Zune has so much promise (1)

CheechBG (247105) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024970)

Broadcasting music openly to local peers via wireless? Allowing (possibly) anonymous connections via wifi?

if MS caved so badly as to give the RIAA a kickback on every unit sold with the premise that they would be used for illegal means, why on earth would you think they would enable such features that almost beg for copyright infringement (as the RIAA sees it)???

Seriously. (4, Insightful)

windex (92715) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024150)

The iPod has remained relativley the same across all releases. It still does then what it does now. It still works in generally the same way.

If Microsoft wants to touch that, they need an interface most people understand and prefer to the iPod, and they need to STICK TO IT. Ease of use and knowing the tricks to an iPod are part of what keeps people buying them again and again. Knowing Microsoft every revision of the hardware will be wildly different from the last, breaking any device-bound loyalty people have.

CNN review of the Zune (3, Funny)

roscivs (923777) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024154)

Somebody posted this in a previous Slashdot story, I thought it was worth repeating:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=T10L9ybstps [youtube.com]

Basically it ends up being an advertisement for the new iPod shuffle. Interesting to see how "the masses" are reacting to the Zune.

Re:CNN review of the Zune (4, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024406)

If that review is any indication, I don't think "Zuned" is going to mean what Microsoft wants it to mean. Rather than hearing, "Dude, I just Zuned you a song" you're going to hear, "Dude, CNN just Zuned Microsoft."

Besides the iPod Shuffle tangent, my favorite part of that video was, "Why don't they get some decent design people to make things look better?" Ouch!

iPod has something to fear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17024162)

Over the years, Microsoft has launched many products. Some of them have been complete duds. On the other hand, some of them have been not-as-good-as-the-competition when they launched but they ended up killing the competition anyway. Remember Lotus-123 and WordPerfect? Both were market leaders and were better than the first versions of their Microsoft equivalents.

Re:iPod has something to fear... not (1)

Old VMS Junkie (739626) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024398)

Zune, meet Bob. Bob, meet Zune.

Re:iPod has something to fear (4, Interesting)

BeerCat (685972) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024476)

Microsoft duds - Bob, Windows at Work. Fair enough.

OTOH, Office succeeded more because it was a bundle for less than the cost of WP plus 1-2-3. Oh, and all components looked the same (thanks to being Windows based), and worked more similarly, so learning one meant that learning another had already started. And there were "extras" (Org Chart and so on). Despite how good technically 1-2-3 V3 and WP5.1 were, they were arcane to learn.

As for Zune, well it looks as though Microsoft used Taco's review of the iPod and stopped all thought there. No WiFi - well ours has. Smaller than an Archos - well ours is bigger. Lame - well...

Re:iPod has something to fear (1)

jmyers (208878) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024508)

But, the Microsoft product was cheaper than and compatible with the competition/de facto standard.

Re:iPod has something to fear (1)

jmyers (208878) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024694)

If the Zune were an ipod killer the way excel was a lotus 123 killer it would at least...

play all existing content (mp3s, etc) including itunes purchased songs and play for sure, etc
it would cost $99
wireless song sharing would be fast and simple
have a simple a straightforward music store with cheap songs

Shock, Amazement. (-1, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024168)

Zune has half-assed wifi and an FM radio. iPod works great, looks great, weighs less, is smaller, and has a superior interface by all accounts. The WiFi could be a killer feature if it didn't suck, but it does, which means no squirting, which means there's really no fucking point to even having it. Oh yeah, and it's a Microsoft device which doesn't play PlaysForSure content. If that's not pathetic, I don't know what is. Oh wait, the fact that every Zune comes with a $1 licensing fee to some assholes who don't deserve a dime.

Re:Shock, Amazement. (2, Insightful)

Saige (53303) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024532)

The WiFi could be a killer feature if it didn't suck, but it does, which means no squirting, which means there's really no fucking point to even having it.
Yeah, cause of course, they're not going to add any features in future firmware updates that would make more use of the WiFi.

Except it will most definitely happen. Will people still be bashing the WiFi a year down the line when, say, you can wirelessly sync with your PC, have your friends all grabbing your music stream on their Zunes so you're all listening to the same thing at the same time, grab songs from WiFi kiosks at a concert or a music store, etc? The key is getting the WiFi in the Zune and working at launch - and enhancing the functionality in the future.

Is it fair to say that the current limited set of WiFi functionality isn't that impressive, and isn't enough to justify buying one at this point? Yes, it is. Is it fair to say that it wasn't worth putting it in there just because of how it's being used at launch? Hell no.

words to remember (0, Redundant)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024170)

Looks like Apple's iPod has nothing to fear from Zune this holiday season. In a research note published Tuesday, PiperJaffray senior research analyst Gene Munster writes that 'during its launch week on Nov. 16

Yes, the report went something like: "No iTunes. Less space than a nomad. Lame."

pink and brown Zune (1)

mah! (121197) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024208)

There's the pink [engadget.com] Zune and there's the ... ahem ... brown one reviewed here [microsoftshitbrick.com] (slashdot's explicit URL printout gives it away though :-))

Re:pink and brown Zune (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17024392)

Interesting choices...pink or stink.

Blame The Xbox 360 Mess (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17024210)

One of the Microsoft Zune people was talking about the company's original plans for the product on one of the company discussion/bitch boards a few months ago. He stated that the originally the Zune was going to be funded/subsidized with 360 money but that plan went up in smoke with the mess the 360 turned out to be - the massive extra cost for all the defective consoles and the low sales of the console(worse than the first Xbox).

He indicated that the profits from the 360 were supposed to give used to undercut Apple's iPod prices by a significant amount. But that the continue massive Xbox losses made the Zune come out at a higher price than originally intended. And that the days of Microsoft just throwing billions away to gain marketshare were over.

Give it time... (3, Interesting)

gentlemen_loser (817960) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024216)

Let me preface this by saying that I am actually a fan of Apple and I hope that I am dead wrong on this. But look what they did with the XBox, Web Servers, and Browser. Microsoft always tends to start slow with a crappy product and take heavy losses. Over time, they'll leverage Vista and everything else they can to turn the Zune into a household name. Apple is in a good position at the moment, but all it takes is one mistake.

In my opinion, Sony screwed the pooch with the PS-3 and MS took advantage of it. With the war chest they have, they do not need a better product. They only need to be able to win a war of attrition.

Re:Give it time... (1)

arifirefox (1031488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024360)

yes but that may have to do with the fact they basically own the pc. xbox was also like a pc so they took all the hardware and developer advantages of the PC gaming world. (and nintendo could win the next round because of its controller) Zune is different because it is pure consumer electronics, like speaker systems and TV's. Yes, they tried there. remember the WebTV?

Re:Give it time... (1)

Bassman59 (519820) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024648)

Zune is different because it is pure consumer electronics, like speaker systems and TV's. Yes, they tried there. remember the WebTV?

WebTV wasn't developed by Microsoft - they bought WebTV in an attempt to get into the living rooms of computerphobes.

This purchase showed that Microsoft was capable of buying crappy ideas, in addition to developing them in-house.

Re:Give it time... (1)

o517375 (314601) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024390)

My thoughts exactly. Just to add, Microsoft is better off "sneaking" its products into a market rather than taking over instantly. They take a few small losses up front, but blow the competition away later. Let's face it, the markets they are entering are fairly mature and humdrum. A media player? A game box? Old technology re-wrapped. There is time to burn.

Re:Give it time... (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024584)

In my opinion, Sony screwed the pooch with the PS-3 and MS took advantage of it.

And that's why the PS2 is outselling the XBox 360?

Not exactly what I'd call taking advantage of a situation...

Re:Give it time... (4, Interesting)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024808)

But look what they did with the XBox, Web Servers, and Browser. Microsoft always tends to start slow with a crappy product and take heavy losses.

Xbox: Anytime a company is willing to take billions in losses to get marketshare, the product should be able to place better than 2nd place to the PS2.

IIS: Even though it is bundled with Windows Server, it still is second place to Apache.

IE: Ahem, didn't they get sued by leveraging their monopoly on this one?

So far none of the examples succeeded on their own merits.

Re:Give it time... (1)

gentlemen_loser (817960) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024946)

So far none of the examples succeeded on their own merits.

If by success, you mean taking first place, then I agree with you. However, if by success you mean, "becomming relevant enough to harm competitors by taking advantage of their monopoloy on the desktop", then we disagree.

Not Surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17024218)

I blame it on Microsoft's alienation of the all-important Hebrew-speaking [livejournal.com] market.

not now but .... (1)

pha777 (764875) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024234)

Hmmm ... I don't like MS.


But remember the Netscape vs. IE. Al last IE got the market. Not a good product but has more than 85% share.


Could MS do the same with Zune?


Re:not now but .... (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024298)

Also, did Apple come running out of the gate with their first iPods being the best seller? I don't think they did, took them a little bit to outdo the competition. I'm not saying MS will or will not get significant market share eventually; I'm just pointing out the fact that it may take some time to tell (a year or two perhaps?) and MS knows that.

iPod in 2001 (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024690)

Well, it's difficult to compare the iPod and Zune launch, because the first batch of iPods were Mac-only. This limited their possible sales to a relatively small number of units, compared to later on when they really took off. At first, a lot of people saw iPods as a way to get people to buy Macintosh computers (and I know some people that were nudged in this direction), and I knew some diehards when it was first released that absolutely refused to acknowledge the possibility of an iPod as a product in its own right, separate from the Macintosh platform.

With the exception of our own CmdrTaco, the market was a lot less hostile to the iPod when it was originally released than they're being to the Zune.

Re:not now but .... (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024760)

Out of the gate, iPods were Mac-only, back when Apple was still flailing with the Macintosh platform. iPods didn't start supporting Windows, as far as I can remember, until sometime around the summer of 2003. It didn't take them any time to outdo the competition, if by "competition" you mean MP3 players. MP3 players were just badly designed and not widely used. It took them a while to refine iTunes, get to the Windows market, and generate enough hype to overcome the general reticence of people to ditch walkmen/discmen in favor of the new, complicated, high-tech world of MP3 players.

Prior to the iPod, MP3 players were impractical and hard to use, and generally didn't have enough storage to be worth the trouble. The software for loading music on them was generally terrible, and the data was going through USB1, so that 32MB or flash memory wasn't getting new songs very often. The people who bought them and used them were usually hacker/geek types, which to this day isn't really the target audience for iPods.

You can argue with any one of my points, but it's hard to deny that the situation isn't different.

Re:not now but .... (1)

moosehooey (953907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024424)

Maybe if they start giving them away for free when you buy windows.

Re:not now but .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17024660)

I wouldn't rule that out, or if not for free then heavily discounted.

Ugly (3, Insightful)

42Penguins (861511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024250)

The thing is just plain ugly. Aside from the technical concerns (DRM, extremely limited wi-fi, sideways viewing) just look at it: brown, gray, or dull black. And it's blockier than even the 1G iPod.

As superficial as it sounds, Apple has right idea for a big seller: make it shiny, make it smooth.

Re:Ugly (0)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024362)

Apple fanboy are we?

Aside from the technical concerns (DRM, extremely limited wi-fi, sideways viewing)

Point me to a version of iTunes without DRM from Apple please.
While the Zune has limited Wi-Fi, iPod has NONE.
Sideways viewing : That's a design decision, not a technical concern. I think they were right in assuming that video is viewed better on it's side, as the screen is wider this way. Judging from the DS and the PSP and the somewhat popularity of portable DVD players, I think it's actually Apple who's got it wrong.

Re:Ugly (1)

42Penguins (861511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024594)

As for DRM, I was referring to the incompatibility with PlaysForSure. Will the new scheme supercede the old? Will PlaysForSure eventually be applied to Zune? Who knows! All of my music is ripped from CDs, whether purchased or borrowed. I just think it's absurd to have 2 systems from the same company appealing to the same consumer group in the same market that can't play nice.

Not exactly a fanboi, but a nano goes a long way to sway one's opinion. (It has frozen a few times, granted, but a reset takes care of it.)

The XBox business model? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024306)

This product doesn't exist to make a profit for Microsoft. They're not expecting to beat Apple just yet.

What they're going to have, is a proof that Microsoft is a contender in the mp3 player market. This is just a very expensive piece of marketting for their next generation player.

Bah. (-1, Flamebait)

emor8t (1033068) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024348)

The thing I never got about Apple (Ok, one of many things) is why people are so stone cold in love with them. Not that I am die hard MS, but the whole marketing effort of theirs is based on "Ohhhh Look Shiny!" Sure, the Ipod is easy to use, but it is also boring. It's a white box, how innovative is that? And they act like they have made fire. I couldn't have been less impressed with my Ipod. There is no ability to customize it, nothing interesting about it. It works well, but what MP# player doesn't? They all "play" mp3's. I recently had a iRiver, and that thing sounded great compared to my ipod, same headphones and all. I don't get the hype. But then again, Mac users are a bunch of die hard sheep anyway, so it doesn't really matter if it was a shiny metal turd.

Re:Bah. (5, Funny)

killjoy966 (655602) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024674)

Sure, the Ipod is easy to use, but it is also boring. It's a white box, how innovative is that? And they act like they have made fire.
Since when has fire been any more exciting? For starters, it's an incredibly dated technology. It doesn't do anything for me that I can't accomplish with a flashlight or space heater. I mean, sure, it's hot and red (red hot even?) but how innovative is that? And my cavemen neighbors act like they have made sliced bread.

Re:Bah. (1)

MysticOne (142751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024742)

I think it's because Apple gives us what the majority of us want. They give you a product that's easy to use and consistent. Microsoft has never been able to grasp this concept. It may not do absolutely everything under the sun, but I'm pretty certain the majority of people couldn't care less. You see the same problem with current mobile phones, and that's why people have been waiting to see if Apple would enter that market as well.

Re:Bah. (2, Interesting)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024800)

But then again, Mac users are a bunch of die hard sheep anyway, so it doesn't really matter if it was a shiny metal turd.

What do Mac users have to do with it? The vast majority of iPod owners are using Windows.

Smug Apple fans better be careful... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17024350)

Netscape, WordPerfect, Lotus 1-2-3...just some of the former "dominant" products of their times whose fans scoffed at the initial Microsoft offerings that started out weakly. And we all know who got the last laugh. "Nothing to fear"? Don't count on it.

My Experience (1)

greysky (136732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024372)

I wandered in to Radio Shack the weekend before Thanksgiving, and the salesperson there was trying his best to push the Zune on me, even though I told him I already had an iPod and was looking at the iPod accessories. All he had to say positive about it though was that the audio quality was "pretty good".

Sales will be slow.... (1)

Sir Holo (531007) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024474)

...until Microsoft decides to "suck all the air out of the room" (i.e., buy up all of the shelf space in stores), just as they have done with their software products in the past.

People buy from the front shelves, not the bottom shelf in the back.

Re:Sales will be slow.... (3, Insightful)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024782)

I dare them to buy the front shelves in the Apple Stores. (There's a reason Apple has a retail chain.)

Re:Sales will be slow.... (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024844)

People buy from the front shelves, not the bottom shelf in the back.

So, how do you explain the popularity of things like the Wii and PS3, before they were even on the shelves at all? How do you explain the popularity of the iPod before it was on the "front shelves."? How do you explain the popularity of Dell computers, which aren't even on shelves at all - yet is the most popular brand of PC?

ball in Apple's court (2, Insightful)

arifirefox (1031488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024488)

Apple will have a chance to have wifi and FM tuner for the next ipod. If they do it, they can thank MS for the ideas

Console market comparison (3, Informative)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024520)

Well, you can't compare them directly, but what about the 10 year head start Nintendo had over Sony? Ten years later, Sony has shipped over 110 million PS2's since March of 2000 (http://www.scei.co.jp/corporate/data/bizdataps2_e .html/ [scei.co.jp] ) while Nintendo sold "only" about 21 million Gamecubes since its release in September 2001 (pdf warning - http://www.nintendo.co.jp/n10/news/061026e.pdf [nintendo.co.jp] ). That's a pretty big difference for a company that once held a dominant position in the console market but only sold/shipped one-fifth the number of consoles in the last generation.

Like I said before, you can't compare the markets directly for a number of reasons, but you shouldn't count out a company that has a seemingly infinite warchest and is willing to spend it to strong-arm their way into whatever market they'd like.

Re:Console market comparison (1)

MysticOne (142751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024842)

If I'm not mistaken, though, Nintendo is still turning a pretty decent profit. So while they're not number one, they're still incredibly successful. Didn't Microsoft sell the original XBoxen at a loss? And Sony's selling the PS3 at a loss as well? They may make it up eventually in numbers, but it just seems like some really silly business tactics.

On top of that, are there any figures anywhere that shows how profitable each of the consoles have been to their respective companies?

Microsoft zuned this up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17024558)

I can see the chairs flying... not a pretty music.

Merchant Support (5, Informative)

DLG (14172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024568)

In the simplest terms, the Zune will not be receiving the best response from the merchants who might be pushing it during this holiday season.

a) These merchants all have 100's of iPod Accessories. The nature of this is that if you sell a 299 dollar IPod, it will also create the sale of some other device, perhaps a speaker system or a nice little protective wallet, or some addon. Even if they would work fine with the Zune, the packaging all says 'iPod'.

b) No impulse upgrade available. Someone comes in for a 30 gig iPod and may be talked up to a 60. The shuffle buyer ends up with a Nano. Maybe the Nano buyer ends up with a video iPod.

c) The Zune is a new product from Microsoft. To most vendors that implies support issues. The worst thing for them would be to have to deal with returns. Microsoft waiting till this close to Christmas is probably to try to get enough of these into the market before the inevitable bug/virus/hardware issue comes up. They would prefer to fix it after Christmas to see big numbers.

d) Grandma buys the Zune for her kid because a salesperson said 'its like the iPod but better!' and the kid returns the Zune for store credit to get their iPod.

Basicly the profit margin can NOT be high enough to sell this at this stage. The question is WHEN.
---

I will not propose any suggestions of how they could improve things. Clearly the fact that they have a wifi and fm radio in the box and an upgradeable firmware/software means they could improve these gradually. But the fact that they came so strongly with DRM that even makes my recording of my sister's karaoke performance self destruct ala mission impossible, does not bode well to the idea of a flexible portable mobile media center.

The fact is that Microsoft should be big enough player to dictate to the RIAA how things are going to be rather than the other way around. Even Apple, substantially smaller, bullied them effectively.

I haven't tried the Zune, but i also didn't buy an iPod until the Nano came out, and since I can fit my Nano in my shirt pocket and forget it is there, I don't see any comparison to Microsoft's offering.

Re:Merchant Support (2, Interesting)

seven of five (578993) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024904)

The fact is that Microsoft should be big enough player to dictate to the RIAA how things are going to be rather than the other way around. Even Apple, substantially smaller, bullied them effectively.

Bullying? The labels are making more off itunes than Apple is. I think Jobs found a workable arrangement that attracts customers, pays the labels, and manages to not lose Apple much money. If the labels made a bigger cut of the same amount Apple would lose more. If Apple jacked up the prices to appease the greedy labels it would probably drive customers away, encourage more p2p, and the labels would end up getting a lot less.

The real reason... (2, Interesting)

necro81 (917438) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024600)

The real reason (tongue in cheek) that the iPod has nothing to fear boils down to the ineptitude of many people who sell consumer electronics. FTFA:

Moreover, some MP3 salespeople hadn't even heard of Zune, even though the players are being sold at their stores, he wrote in his report.

Quotes from retail clerks cited in Munster's report range from them claiming they don't know what the Zune is, to comments that Zune is a good option if a customer does not use Apple's iTunes software.

"To be honest, I don't really know much about the Zune," one clerk is quoted as saying in Munster's report. Another said, "I don't suggest the Zune because it is really heavy," according to the report.

If these are the people that Microsoft is relying on to sell the Zune to the masses, they are seriously outgunned by the hordes of iPod lovers.

AmEx is flogging it (1)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024620)

They have a (semi-?)annual "Wishlist" promo, where you can pick up cool stuff for cheap prices by madly clicking on a flash graphic and being one of the lucky first n people. Sharp 37" HD AQUOS(R) Flat Panel LCD TV for $900, 2007 Porsche Cayman Coupe for $5,000 and so on. Anyway, the Zune is one of the offers this year. Think it was up for 150 bucks. I still don't find it appealing. Picked up a 60G Zen on eBay for not much more than that many months ago, and it still seems better.

Best Reason to Avoid the Zune (1)

parkov (634632) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024654)

Best reason to avoid the Zune, from a Chicago Sun-Times article [suntimes.com] :
Apple has stood firm against this, insisting that low, uniform prices keep sales high and discourage the iTunes Store's users from downloading music illegally.

I'm certain Microsoft will cave on this one. It has already given the music industry the other thing the industry has been demanding from Apple: a kickback on every player sold.

"These devices are just repositories for stolen music, and they all know it," said Doug Morris, CEO of Universal Music Group. "So it's time to get paid for it."

iPod vs Zune / XBox 360 vs PS3 (2, Insightful)

Van Cutter Romney (973766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024676)

What real advantages does Zune really provide over the 5.5 generation iPod? Basically none. I went to Staples to check out a Zune and it is nearly twice as big as the iPod 30 GB and atleast $20 - $30 costlier. The wireless sharing capability is the only big feature but also cannot be used until the people I know have a Zune. And that too is a let down because you can't keep music for more than three days. It is similiar to the problem Sony is facing against XBox 360. Its new, doesn't have as many games as the 360 and way much costlier. Gee, I'd rather go for the 360.

I love it when people complain about DRM (1, Insightful)

MSFanBoi2 (930319) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024706)

And then talk about loving the iPod.

Pot --> Kettle --> Black

iTunes anyone?

Read about it, then tried it for myself (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024862)

I read someone else's impressions [waynehartman.com] of it and went to Best Buy and have to mostly agree with what he says.

I too felt that the Zune felt cheap and the button interface left much to be desired. Like the reviewer, I too own an iPod.

When the future's not really hard to forecast... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17024896)

The only MP3 player you will ever need. (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17024938)

On the go alot? Don't care if you have massive quantities of albums with you at all times?

Get a Rio Carbon! I've had my 5-gigger for roughly 3 years now. I used to use it when working on cars (I was a professional mechanic) dropped it upwards of 20-30 times. Thing still works PERFECTLY. Drag-and-drop, no software required. Hooks up using a standard mini-USB cable, 20 hours on one charge, can also be used out of the box as a portable hard drive...small as shit. Easily controlled using one thumb, MUCH faster interface than the clumsy "touch-ring" Ipod.

On the road alot? Still want those 20gigs?

Get a Rio Karma! Same easy to use interface as a Carbon, COMES with a docking station that A. Has USB 2.0 and Ethernet hookups (so you can hook it directly into your network, turning it into a digital jukebox) and B. Has RCA line-outs so you can hook it up directly to your stereo. Have had mine for about 2.5 years, works perfect, looks fantastic, and fits inside the palm of your hand (i.e. won't overlap the base of your fingers...yes I know not all hands are equal size, but my hands are fairly small)

Oh and did I mention? Both the Carbon AND the Karma can play nearly any audio format!

Seriously. I never understood the whole Ipod thing. To me, they have always been and always will be overpriced "look at me" gadgets designed for a generation too stupid to know that no matter how much reflective plastic you cover shit with, it is still shit.
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