Will it be shit-brown?
Zune phone rumours have been doing the rounds for years, but now an accurate rundown of the gadget’s hardware may finally have been uncovered. A “trustworthy source who requested anonymity” told ZDNet that the phone – known by several names, including 'Zune Phone' and 'Pink' – will run Windows Mobile 7 and feature an ARM v6+ …
So Microsoft decided to list the specs of current smartphone models, and label it "the Zune platform". Brilliant. What's next, I wonder? The Zune Book? 1024x600 res, 1 Gb mem 160 Gb hdd and atom processor. Ta-da! See, two can play at that game.
But seriously, I think Apple has already shown that the hardware is becoming increasingly irrelevant. It's the software that is now the deciding factor. And, given Microsoft's track record, I think it's safe to say their new pink/brown Zune will blow chuncks like nobody's business.
Sounds more like this is a recommended hardware platform for WM7 itself, rather than any particular device. Why the hell should Microsoft waste time and money with the actual production of a phone when HTC does such a damned good job at it already? A 3-year old HTC hardware design, like the phone (an original HTC Touch modified to run Windows Mobile 6.5) I have in my hand RIGHT NOW already beats the tar out of the iPhone in every noticeable way, except for the absence of the accelerometer chip and the absence of a trillion wankery apps that I'll use once.
Microsoft need to learn when to stay down...seriously! The Zune was comprehensively ignored by mostly everybody and Microsoft are still using the branding hoping to resurrect it? Give me a break. I'm hoping they learnt their lesson from the brown debacle and choose to release it in colours people want.
They need to listen to their target market. Even if this phone were to be technically perfect, there is far too much negativity associated with the Zune to make it viable. They're trying to use the Zune monicker much as Sony do with the Walkman, and look how successful their phones/mp3 players are these days. Nobody wants or buys them. They do however buy iTouch's and iPhones. Both are easy to use, not so fiddly one need a degree and a little stick to prod the screen with to use them. Compared to these two devices, all others seem positively stone age to the buying public most of which are technically bereft.
I'm a developer, and I only would buy and use an iPhone. I had more than enough of the "superior hardware" of HTC years ago, trading up to first a BB 8800 and then some iphones then a 3G. FYI, the build quality of HTC is anything but superior and so is their utterly appaling usability. This is also a factor putting me off a Google phone as well as the OS lacking polish. The App-Store whether you like it or not, is a game changer, with over 1 billion downloads and counting. Nokia, BB and the rest are racing to try and catch up in this respect and on many other fronts and have yet to offer any convincing reason why i should upgrade from my 3G.
some of you might disagree, but I think Zune MP3 players were much better than iPods. I'm not saying better looking but better features. The desktop app was really nice and I cannot believe it was coming from MS hands. Their monthly subscription service is way more interesting than Apple iTunes model. I personally like more then menus on Zune.
Robin, as a developer.... do you really think iPhone is the best development platform? Really?
I like the zune too, the zunepass is really nice. I don't care what the rest want to say , I get the songs I pay for because I download them 10 a month and that is what my 15 pays for plus I have a slew of other free songs in the millions to download and listen to for the month......so whoever say using the zunepass is stupid, is stupid.
To clarify: for desktop, I am a dot net developer for SharePoint, but for mobile the best development platform is the one where what you develop might actually be paid for by someone. The App store on iPhone/Touch is how it should be done, easy to browse and purchase from the device in seconds in a vetted environment with QA (though sometimes draconian) with a huge user population who are very used to such micro-transactions and a well documented and updated API, seems like a good option. More than anything, Apple's approach is joined up especially the universality of the App store being able to be used on touch/iPhone and the maturity of it which gives users confidence.
Its the complete opposite of the almost schizophrenic offerings from competing parties especially regarding the DRM switching. Who is going to invest heavily in music if they fully expect the music/apps provider to go bust and pull the plug on all its servers and then switch to a different model?
I'm not knocking the Zune on its software which I know was very good and a bit different, but seemed like a wasted effort when Microsoft hardly tried very hard to get it to be mass-adopted overall. No world-wide launch, patchy support for it within MS itself and a 'follower' mentality meant that generally people wouldn't have one as a gift. The name is PR whacky and some decisions like the brown model have become its lasting legacy. Why they are maintaining the brand for the future is nuts as its a toxic asset outside of the MS faithful as far as I can see.
Its very difficult to dethrone Apple because their users and branding are entrenched and so many iPods get sold on the back of recommendation and 'cool' factor. To compete with this you have to get everything right, and MS didn't do that. they are however in good company as Sony have spectacularly failed in this regard also. Whilst the pedantic IT profs and linux users might find fault with iTunes, very few users do outside of IT, simply because the DRM is unintrusive for the most part and *overall* its significant component of the iPod offering which is unmatched and frequently overlooked.
I think this clinches it for Apple in this regard.
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