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It's the software, stupid

So stuckintraffik and I were arguing about the Microsoft iPod killer a couple of months ago, and he bascally won the argument when he said Apple's big win with the iPod had less to do with the device itself than the whole iTunes music download system, which was the killer app for the iPod just as HALO was for the XBox. Well, lookee here. Apparently the Zune is going to have WiFi capability, and judging from the WaPo article the record companies have thrown in the towel on file sharing since they're not making horrified noises about people peeping at each others' Zune playlists and swapping music.

Worse news for Apple may be that the boys in Redmond are planning on leveraging the Zune with some social networking software a la MySpace, allowing people to build music communities that integrate with their Microsoft Media Centers and XBox 360s and presumably with their Windows Media Player software. I'm not writing off Apple by any means, but I daresay people aren't laughing so much at the idea of Microsoft horning in on the MP3 player market any more.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
stuckintraffik
Jul. 26th, 2006 08:03 pm (UTC)
Eh. My arguement, as you may recall, wasn't solely around iTunes, although that's a big part of it, but in the marketing of the iPod and the way Apple has branded it onto the conciousness of America. It's like the Kleenex of tissues, a noun that has become largely synonymous with the group. I think MS is still going to have to go a long way to get in on this market. But that's just my two cents.
wombat_socho
Jul. 26th, 2006 08:15 pm (UTC)
Da, now that you mention it you did have a lot to say about how Apple used a lot of the vibe from the Mac to help sell the iPod as the new, cool, and trendy gadget to have.

I agree, MSFT has a long way to go with the Zune, but they have a long history of come-from-behind wins. They probably won't kill the iPod, but I don't think they're going to lose money hand over fist en route to carving out a chunk of the market, either. Especially if they play the old licensing game the way IBM did with the original PC.
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