The Last Piece of the Puzzle: Zune

Here we are at Wired Zune reporting after Microsoft’s Financial Analyst Meeting 2006! And! We have some great Zune! Yes Zune! New for YOU!

On the day before the meeting, Wired Zune made a prediction that Zune will be a hot topic discussed about in the meeting. We even said that Robbie Bach will be one of the ones that will tell us the most information. We were right.

Microsoft’s president in Entertainment & Devices Division made a few points.

Microsoft will be viewing their new portable media player, Zune (Yes, Robbie said Zune!), as not some device that they’ll slap together in a few months. Although this Fall in United States, Zune will be released, Microsoft will be investing in this product as if it was a long-term project. Unlike other products by various companies, Bach clearly said that Microsoft will be involved in the hardware, software, and services related to Zune to maximize the customer’s experience to the greatest level.

Bach also stated that Zune’s investment and the strategic approach to the portable media entertainment market will be very different compared to Xbox and Xbox 360’s approach to the gaming industry. He also stated that Zune will be the system that will complete the story on what Microsoft intends to do.

One of the first things that Bach feels Zune will help “complete the story” is its sense of trying to create a community.

Bach says, “I think the number one thing I would point to, and I talked about this briefly earlier, is community. When you go to any music site today, what do you do? Well, today, you can buy music, but it’s hard to meet your friends there, it’s hard to share music there, hard to share music experiences there, hard to find out information about your favorite bands, and what they’re doing, and where their next concert is, and how you can get there. That whole community aspect, which is what we do on Xbox Live, absolutely applies in other entertainment spaces as well. And so we think community is a fundamental part of what has to happen here, and a place where we have real experience, both from our Xbox experience, as well as from our Windows Live and MSN experiences, where we can drive some very exciting things here.”

What other manufacturers failed at, was this sense of community. But with Zune, Bach hints this sense of what possibly could be Xbox Live style with Zune. Zune Live (ZuneLive.com is registered by Microsoft). This is just a high speculation from Wired Zune and many other insiders. But no doubt, whatever Microsoft has up their sleeves regarding this feature will no doubt bring the sales up.

Another thing Bach hints about Zune is the video feature. The first few generations of iPod did not have this feature. But it seems as if Microsoft will be targeting what Bach feels is something that even if you weren’t a Hollywood director, you can create. Videos. “Video now is not just a list of things that are produced by Hollywood, it’s video that’s produced by individuals around the world. It’s family videos. It’s friends’ videos. It’s funny community videos. It’s a user-created content. And so figuring out how you can help people discover the world of what they want, and then enabling them to share it with their friends are two sort of sides of the same coin that are secret to what we have to do with Zune and the services that we’re going to drive there.”

Bach clearly feels that everything that Microsoft has so far drawn on their canvas, will be somewhat done when Zune is showcased in Fall.

“We have Xbox Live, MSN, and our Windows Live initiatives expanding. Put all of those things together, and then take Zune and put it in the context of that. It enables us to complete the picture. It enables us to have the full entertainment and connected entertainment experice that we want to have. And so that’s why Zune is important, and it is a way we’re going to differentiate ourselves, because the experience of having Zune in that connected environment is going to be a dramatically better experience than you get just from having a portable music player.”

Zune seems like it won’t be your average portable music player. Although we do not have a finalized specifications of Zune yet, it seems like Zune will surprise quite a lot of us in Fall. But will Microsoft stop from there?

Well, Robbie Bach says, “There will obviously be more on that as we go forward in the marketplace, but we’re very excited about the entry there.”

Zune. Will it be the last piece of puzzle that will finalize Microsoft’s part in our daily lives?

Only time will tell.

Keep checking back at Wired Zune for further updates regarding the meeting and info about the upcoming, Zune!