Zune: Microsoft confirms portable multimedia player is on the way

Zune: Microsoft confirms portable multimedia player is on the way

Summary: Billboard magazine has confirmed that Microsoft has a new portable entertainment platform that includes both hardware and software in the works. The brand name fo the platform is Zune (logo pictured right).

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TOPICS: Microsoft
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MSzuneLOGO.JPGBillboard magazine has confirmed that Microsoft has a new portable entertainment platform that includes both hardware and software in the works. The brand name fo the platform is Zune (logo pictured right). CNet's Jasmine France has a lot of the details including some of the information that can't be had from BillBoard unless you're registered with the site.  In coordination with the release of the new, there are also two new Web sites available on the Web.  One called comingzune.com with a teasing animation and the other the Zune Insider blog by Cesar Menendez who left Microsoft's XBox team to work on Zune (one of the worst kept secrets in the industry).  According to Rice's summary:

The first implementation of this will be the portable music player and digital music service....Additional Zune-branded devices will follow, including a portable video player and, potentially, a portable game device....the initial music device will contain a hard drive and the much-discussed Wi-Fi connection for wireless Internet access....Zune users will be able to view each other's playlists, recommend music, and sample tracks in what Stephenson describes as a multifaceted music discovery experience. This capability will extend to the Xbox 360 game console, PCs running Windows Media Center, and mobile phones using the Windows Mobile operating system....The article also suggests that the existing MSN Music service will not be part of the Zune ecosystem and that, while it will be supported by Microsoft, it will probably be "left to die on the vine."

So, in addition to keyboard, mice, and XBoxes, Microsoft is adding more hardware to its portfolio.  The first thought that comes to mind giving the connectivity these devices will have is how much easier it will be for content providers to work the DRM levers (for example, revoking a device's ability to playback a certain song).  The more such devices can make contact with the Internet, the more the DRM system can work in real-time. 

The second question that comes to mind is, "What about all of Microsoft's PlaysForSure hardware partners like Creative Labs, Samsung, and iRiver?"  Their entire strategy is built around the notion that Microsoft is creating an ecosystem that each can equally play in and that Microsoft won't be competing against them. But if Microsoft is coming out with hardware, then something has changed. Either Microsoft can't count on these partners to help it compete against Apple's iTunes and iPods, or, the hardware it's coming out with is more of a reference design that its existing partners can build from. 

Only time will tell.

Topic: Microsoft

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11 comments
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  • The only thing that matters to me is if the service is laden with DRM

    If this service is laden with DRM technology, it will at best have limited success. I personally wouldn?t be interested. If [url=http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=3360]Yahoo?s trend of selling MP3?s[/url] continues, then I will wholeheartedly support Yahoo?s music service. Any service that sells non-DRM?ed content, I will throw money at it.
    P. Douglas
  • I'd guess that's because you've never created

    anything anybody want!!!

    If you make your money from creating something that millions of
    people want and then you make no money from it because
    everybody gets it for free, then you probably would like DRM a lot.
    mlindl
    • Leave content busines if unable to sell content without DRM

      As far as I?m concerned, if you can?t sell me your content without trying to shove DRM down my throat, then don?t bother try selling me your content. Try another occupation. (And I really mean it!) Artists have been able to successfully sell their content in digital form without DRM for many, many years. Don?t tell me all of a sudden they can?t. [url=http://www.zdnet.com/5208-11048-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=21657&messageID=412903&start=-1]They are a number of ways content providers can minimize piracy, and dramatically increase their income without the use of copy protection technologies[/url]. (Please read [url=http://www.zdnet.com/5208-11048-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=21657&messageID=413255&start=-18]here[/url], [url=http://www.zdnet.com/5208-11048-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=21657&messageID=413380&start=-18]here[/url], and [url=http://www.zdnet.com/5208-11048-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=21657&messageID=413489&start=-18]here[/url] as well.) I suggest they do these things, rather than infuriate their customers with DRM.
      P. Douglas
    • Leave content busines if unable to sell content without DRM

      As far as I?m concerned, if you can?t sell me your content without trying to shove DRM down my throat, then don?t bother try selling me your content. Try another occupation. (And I really mean it!) Artists have been able to successfully sell their content in digital form without DRM for many, many years. Don?t tell me all of a sudden they can?t. [url=http://www.zdnet.com/5208-11048-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=21657&messageID=412903&start=-18]They are a number of ways content providers can minimize piracy, and dramatically increase their income without the use of copy protection technologies[/url]. (Please read [url=http://www.zdnet.com/5208-11048-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=21657&messageID=413255&start=-18]here[/url], [url=http://www.zdnet.com/5208-11048-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=21657&messageID=413380&start=-18]here[/url], and [url=http://www.zdnet.com/5208-11048-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=21657&messageID=413489&start=-18]here[/url] as well.) I suggest they do these things, rather than infuriate their customers with DRM.
      P. Douglas
    • Leave content busines if unable to sell content without DRM - 2

      As far as I?m concerned, if you can?t sell me your content without trying to shove DRM down my throat, then don?t bother try selling me your content. Try another occupation. (And I really mean it!) Artists have been able to successfully sell their content in digital form without DRM for many, many years. Don?t tell me all of a sudden they can?t. [url=http://www.zdnet.com/5208-11048-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=21657&messageID=412903&start=-18]They are a number of ways content providers can minimize piracy, and dramatically increase their income without the use of copy protection technologies[/url]. (Please read [url=http://www.zdnet.com/5208-11048-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=21657&messageID=413255&start=-18]here[/url], [url=http://www.zdnet.com/5208-11048-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=21657&messageID=413380&start=-18]here[/url], and [url=http://www.zdnet.com/5208-11048-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=21657&messageID=413489&start=-18]here[/url] as well.) I suggest they do these things, rather than infuriate their customers with DRM.
      P. Douglas
    • Leave content busines if unable to sell content without DRM - 3

      As far as I?m concerned, if you can?t sell me your content without trying to shove DRM down my throat, then don?t bother try selling me your content. Try another occupation. (And I really mean it!) Artists have been able to successfully sell their content in digital form without DRM for many, many years. Don?t tell me all of a sudden they can?t. They are a number of ways content providers can minimize piracy, and dramatically increase their income without the use of copy protection technologies. I suggest they do these things, rather than infuriate their customers with DRM.

      Please refer to the following links for more information.

      http://www.zdnet.com/5208-11048-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=21657&messageID=412903&start=-18
      http://www.zdnet.com/5208-11048-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=21657&messageID=413255&start=-18
      http://www.zdnet.com/5208-11048-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=21657&messageID=413380&start=-18
      http://www.zdnet.com/5208-11048-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=21657&messageID=413489&start=-18
      P. Douglas
      • Problem with Links

        Sorry about all the messages above and incorrect links. For one reason or another, I'm unable to reference comments I made in [url=http://blogs.zdnet.com/carroll/?p=1571]this Znet article[/url]. Please go to the article, and read my comments under the titles:

        [b]Make Heavy Use Of Embedded Ads

        DRM Systems Really Need To Be Avoided

        I don't believe DRM can ever work

        I don't see a problem not having copy protection[/b]

        Thank you.
        P. Douglas
    • Isn't it odd then....

      ---If you make your money from creating something that millions of
      people want and then you make no money from it because
      everybody gets it for free, then you probably would like DRM a lot---

      Doesn't it strike you as odd then, that the vast majority of cds are sold with no DRM? Heck, the book I wrote doesn't have any DRM and I don't want it to ever have any.
      tic swayback
  • What? It wil only use proprietary DRM software?

    Gee, where are the complaints about that?

    France backed off of interoperatiblity laws between MP3 players
    because it would increase theft of music rather than decrease it.
    But it will be interesting to see if France forces Apple and Microsoft
    to use each other's DRM software in case somebody makes the
    mistake of buying a Zune and then wants to switch to an iPod later
    on.
    mlindl
  • The Zune Rabbit

    I guess this little cute rabbit in the comingzune spot will be the new Search-Dog.

    I made a small cartoon at:
    http://geekandpoke.blogspot.com/2006/07/zune-rabbit.html

    Bye,
    Oliver
    owidder
  • Zune player already for sale

    Can this be true www.zune-player.net offers the zune player for sale already !
    dublinmark