Not Zune Enough?

Since the release of the Microsoft Zune®, how has it impacted the Apple iPod stronghold on the MP3 Player market? Will it impact the new iPhone’s release?

Microsoft’s Zune®As of last quarter Microsoft’s Zune® only held 2.1% of the market while Apple’s iPod® had been dominating for the last 9 months at 39.4%. The strong contender at this time is SanDisk’s Sansa®.

What’s the future for the Zune? It looks like Microsoft entered into the arena a little late and the question is should they continue to poor millions into the Zune with all the ground they need to make up? Should Zune limp along or go the way of the Apple Newton? (Which is still going strong in areas despite being dropped in 1998)

Granted, there are some cool features to the Zune: Wi-Fi, built in FM radio, file sharing, landscape mode, and Xbox integration to name a few. But, the marketing engine seems to be on idle. Could this be in lieu of announcements this week?

Zune to Come – Not
Last week, Microsoft filed with the FCC for what looks to be a phone. Microsoft says that the intended use of the device is “consumer broadband access and networking.” Unlike Apples iPhone the Microsoft creation would rely on VoIP. Some have speculated that this will be the next evolution of the Zune. Yet President of Entertainment and Devices at Microsoft, Robert Bach, has recently squashed those ideas.

And what about the latest release of Windows Mobile? Version 6 looks to be a major milestone for phones that support the operating system. This seems to be a much smarter move for Microsoft since they hold a much larger share of the market. The tables here are flipped as Apple enters into the fray.

Zune Fated?
Last week Steve Jobs, of Apple, posted a proposal to the music industry on the Apple Web site. Others outside of Apple concur that DRM free music would be advantageous to all. How will this affect the Zune? The outcome remains to be seen.

For those that are fans of the Zune, they have a good and solid product. The future is unclear at this time but Microsoft should have some interesting news over the next month that will give clearer direction for Zune enthusiasts. For now, the fact is, this MP3 player is struggling. Is it wiser for Microscoft to focus its energies elsewhere? You be the judge.

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