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For six years, the Internet Nexus served as my technology blog, but I've since started blogging at the SuperSite Blog instead. If you're looking for the blog, please head there. --Paul

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Zune to Debut at $250 on November 14

Me, in WinInfo:
Reportedly surprised by Apple's recent iPod price cuts, Microsoft this week announced that its upcoming Zune MP3 player will be priced at $249.99, the same price as the iPod model it most closely resembles. Microsoft also said it now plans to ship Zune in the US on November 14.

Microsoft will be bolstering the device with a new online service called Zune Marketplace, where Zune users can browse and purchase songs for about 99 cents each. Unlike Apple's iTunes service, however, Zune Marketplace will also offer a $14.99 monthly subscription called Zune Pass that gives subscribers access to all Zune Marketplace content.

The big differentiator, so to speak, is that Zune will include wireless capabilities that will allow Zune users to share music with each other. Microsoft has yet to describe this feature in much detail, but the company has said that Zune users will be able to actually transmit protected content to other users, at least for a temporary time period. "This is just the beginning," Stephenson said.

One issue that Microsoft is being upfront about is that the company will lose money on the first generation Zune. Microsoft says the Zune is a "multiyear strategy," like the Xbox, and that the company is in this business for the long haul. Starting next year, we'll see a number of other portable devices using the Zune brand.
This has the makings of a disaster. $14.99 a month is too much for a subscription service. The Zune is incompatible with both iTunes and every single WMA-based service on the planet. What the heck are these people thinking?
[ Posted at 12:46 PM | Permalink ]


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