Microsoft Zune: the Good and Bad of the MP3 Player
In the music world, the iPod has been the greatest launching of the last decade. Millions of people now have this mp3 player that has revolutionized the music habits of people all over the world. However, clearly other companies would be interested in taking away at least part of this market. That is the main reason why Microsoft launched the Zune player earlier this year.
Microsoft is betting that the Zune player will be able to break the domination of Apple in the music player segment. They want to have a share of this market and be able to sell music as well as hardware as Apple as doing. They are also worried about the growth of Apple in the computer segment.
Advantages for mp3 users
The fact that Microsoft want to have part of the mp3 player market is great for consumers. Now we have competition, and from two big players in industry. The prices of mp3 players will probably much cheaper than they normally are now.
Moreover, Microsoft is determined to take a part of this segment even if they don't have much profit. They are more interested in keeping their computer market growing, and avoid the advance of Apple. This means that they will be willing to sell products far cheaper than it would be the normal price.
What are the iPod advantages?
So, what is the best of the iPod? Although I don’t think this question can be completely settled in rational terms (think of all the programming languages wars, or editor wars, or the operating system wars…) we can try to give a few reasons why the iPod will still be leading the pack during the next few years.
- Better integration with external devices: with millions of devices following the iPod standard, from cars to clothing, you will have a much better chance of playing your music from an iPod than from anything else in the market.
- Well tested: the iPod has been around for more than five years, it has been stressed to the maximum by millions of people. The Zune might be pretty good, but few people really know if it works well.
- Integration with iTunes: one of the main reasons why the iPod is such a satisfying product is the great software running on the desktops. The iTunes is without question one of the best music players and organizers that has ever been written. Microsoft, on the other hand, has the tradition of designing clumsy, unreliable software. If you are looking for something really easy to use, you will probably keep with the iPod-iTunes combination.
Of course, things can change over time. It is completely possible that Microsoft will bridge the gap over the next years. However, even then some people will still prefer the simple quality of the products delivered by Apple. In other words, as with the Mac, the iPod will probably always getter a large number of followers.