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. Read the rest of this entry »

The Zune As A Game Machine

Currently an important gaming convention is on in San Fransisco called the Game Developers Conference. Here many hugely entertaining games have been unveiled. For gamers there is more exciting news however. The Zune is to now assume a new avatar as a portable gaming machine.

The games for the Zune were developed using XNA. This is Microsoft’s solution for game makers which has resulted in a large number of new games from independent developers. There is only a slight possibility of seeing Xbox Live Arcade games on the Zune in portable versions. The Zune has processor limitations. XNA however, is a home development solution. Anybody with more gray cells than the average human can develop super cheap games for the Zune, perhaps even free ones.

For Apples iDevices, it already runs a limited gaming scheme. Some games like Sonic The Hedgehog appear on iTunes. This is the next battleground between Microsoft and Apple. The games for the Zune are not likely to appear until the end of the year. In our estimation, they will be launched in Europe only by 2010.

However, this is a great development in the sense that the XNA game studio will be a bridge between the PC, Xbox and Zune as far as gaming is concerned.

Zune In Canada Spring 2008

As the competition between Zune and iPod intensifies, the Zune is being made available in Canada, this spring. In the United States the Zune is readily available and sells for between $149 and $249. The new redesigned Zune is selling better than ever before.

In case you are wondering whether you should buy the Zune or the iPod, Microsoft Zune’s director Jason Reindorp has a few answers. The Zune has different features from the iPod according to him that distinguish the Zune.
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Zune – From Microsofts Mistakes to Microsofts Success

Microsoft needs to be highly commended at the job they have done with the new Zunes. When the first Zunes came out they were nothing more than an ugly unstreamlined plastic brick that doubled up as a music player. Now that story has changed.

The new Zunes are 4gb and 8gb and based of Flash. There is also an 80 gb Zune classic. The new Zunes are red hot sexy and great looking. The five way rocker switch control has given way to a touchpad that you can scroll and set volume by sliding your finger across it. Read the rest of this entry »

PlayForSure To Be Rebranded By Microsoft

In the race to be No 1 in the market, Microsoft is rebranding PlayForSure. This is an effort to move ahead of Apple and iTunes.

The Rebranding will see the cessation of the PlayForSure logo and the use of a “Certified for Windows Vista” logo in its place.
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A Unified Zune-Xbox, on the Way?

According to J. Allard from Microsoft, the Zune is likely to get more integrated with the XBox. This is a logical step since both are Microsoft products and are served by the same back end software.

In the future envisioned by Allard, people will be able to rent and buy music, movies, games or videos and play them seamlessly on mobile phone, portable media player or on their home entertainment center. To achieve this without problems to the consumer is the goal.
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How the Microsoft Zune Scores Over The Apple iPod and Vice Versa

My last post saw strong opinionated comments from iPodders. You are welcome. However just to set the record straight, I would like to mention the ways in which the Zune is superior to the iPod and vice versa.

The iPod is not set up to support subscription music services. The Zune scores in this department. The iPod can only be used to play music that is bought or stolen. With the Zune on the other hand you have access to a huge music library with the Zune Pass. With the Zune Pass you can save hundreds of dollars on music.
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Apple iPod Vs Microsoft Zune

The Apple iPod is under attack from a shark called Microsoft. Recently the upgraded Zune player and an approach that targets social networking sites are Microsoft’s new weapons agains the Apple iPod. Microsoft is hitting Apple where it hurts the most. People are puzzled about the hardware and subscription service of the Zune, but Microsoft’s new aim is to be be with their users all their time.

In order to further this strategy, Microsoft has taken over Facebook and other technology companies important to their strategy. The Zune is now marketed by cell phone carriers and the smart card includes the music widget concept.
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Apple and Microsoft. The Neverending Story.

The battle between the Apple and Microsoft seems to be one that will unfortunately be inevitable as more and more generations of the two players are produced.

The US Patent & Trademarket Office on March 1, 2007 granted Apple regarding the double shot effect that we see in the Brown and the Black Zunes today. Unfortunately, Apple applied for such a patent back in 2005 – a year before the Zune was even announced – and with the patent now being granted, it seems as if Microsoft may hit a hard sales block.

Zune Doubleshot Effect

If excluding the Wi-Fi features, Microsoft has been revered for their creativity with the double shot effect. But unfortunately, with the patent now being released nearly five months after the release of the Zune, it makes us wonder if we’ll see such an effect with the next-gen Zunes.

[Patent Link]

Win a FREE Zune from Microsoft!

Microsoft must’ve thought that we were in need of more of those free Zune contests. πŸ˜‰

Make MSN your homepage… And you could win* a Zune!

So, for just the heck of it, I entered. Why don’t you? Odds are like in the nano world probably πŸ˜€ but you never know whatΒ  could happen!

Best of luck to all who enters!

Zune Phone Confirmed. It’s Coming.

FCC, probably one of the major “leak portal”-if that’s the way you want to put it :D-just gave it away once again! According to MarketWatch, something similar to a Zune Phone may be in the works. CrunchGear was also able to find clues on a possible Zune Phone back in Monday, but it seems as if it is now true and confirmed.

On Monday, Microsoft filed a mysterious FCC application that seemed to somewhat resemble a wireless device able to work as something like a VoiP.

According to CrunchGear and the FCC filings, this “mysterious device” will actually be using OFDM (orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing) rather than WiFi or Bluetooth. OFDM is actually going to be a widely used modulation scheme in the 4G standards in near future. Despite the fact that current companies such as T-Mobile are still struggling with 3G standards, as Sprint/Nextel have actually announced plans to build a 4G network on a 802.16e mobile WiMax standard, it seems like the Zune Phone may just be the device that may lead the way…

If what CrunchGear is speculating is correct, that’d be great! πŸ™‚ At least some competition for the upcoming Apple iPhone and at least some sort of a new upgrade to the Zune in a sense, right?

I’m looking forward to it at least. πŸ˜›

Zune.net Updated.

Zune.net has actually been updated as of yesterday and is in full throttle currently. Nothing too exciting, but you can have more control now over your account.

Zune.net Update

Since the support section seems to have dramatically changed, could this be an indication that finally, Zune users will be able to receive some quality support from Microsoft? Not sure about it as of, since it’s only been a day since the update. Hopefully it will though.

Unconfirmed: Zune Phone Coming.

Zune Phone seems to not be too far away. With the Apple iPhone planning on being released in mid-2007 this year, we’ve been hearing all sorts of news on when Zune Phone will be released or if it ever will be released. But according to CrunchGear, it seems as if the Microsoft team is once again in their round table, working their minds to capture and seriously compete against Steve Job and Apple’s iPhone.

But considering how only idea clouds are being formed as of, there aren’t really specific launch dates (although we’ve heard a ready to be sold at 2007 Holidays news) or even specifications on the Zune Phone.

Despite this fact, a Zune Phone looks as if it’ll be more of a smartphone that’ll co-work with the Zune AND the Zune Marketplace. Windows Mobile running on the Zune Phone seems like an unlikely decision by Microsoft. Probably an interface similar to the current Zune’s UI? After all, people are quite fond of the revolution that Zune has brought in terms of MP3 interface.

More updates on the Zune Phone as they’re released. But with the iPod coming in June and hopefully the Zune Phone coming in late 2007, I wonder how many will bite the Apple rather than wait for the Zune Phone…