Zune: New Avatar

Microsoft launches the Windows phone this fall. In the ReMIX conference (France) they claimed that the phone would sell thirty one million units in 2011. That’s a bounty. In comparison Apple has seen fifty one million phones off the shelf since launch. Apple uses only one carrier in the United States and Microsoft is likely to use several. Some may not have a QWERTY keyboard.

The phone will be offered with the Zune so that it serves as a phone, desktop application and music service. The Zune pass may be $5 cheaper. This will allow you to download almost any music track to the Zune. The Zune pass has not tilted the balance in favor of Microsoft. Zune has been popular only in North America. If it is globally available, every year a few million users would opt for the Zune instead of the iPhone or Android.

Since Microsoft has made an overly optimistic prediction, it is going to have to work extremely hard to reach anywhere near their stated goal. Meanwhile Ballmer may be able to save the day if he works smart. Smart is to realize that the failure of Microsoft in the mobile world may be a future failure of Microsoft.

The heads of Zune, Xbox and Windows mobile have announced their departures. Some think that Microsoft should go back to its cloud strategy. With a decade wasted in non-movement, here are some

ideas that may work. One is to lose the non performing products. The other is to give the customers what they need. Microsoft needs to understand its position as a company. It also needs to grow out of its own shadow.

It sounds easy, but it is not. They have their work cut out for them as we await the Windows phone.