How To Make Zune An iPod Killer: Turn It Into A PDA?
from the um-okay dept
Microsoft’s Zune was supposed to be the latest in a long line of would-be “iPod killers”, however, like such stellar previous attempts like the Dell DJ, it hasn’t been met with much enthusiasm. A column runs down the criticisms leveled at the Zune (poor hardware, poor usability, compatibility problems — in other words, pretty much everything), and says that to make the Zune more desirable, Microsoft needs to make it “more like Windows”. That conjures up all sorts of possibilities in the mind, but the writer somehow takes that to mean making the Zune more open to customization and modification, as opposed to “Apple’s strict gadget lockdown”. He says Microsoft should create a development environment for the Zune, giving out free developer tools and fostering the creation of new applications and uses for the Zune. Which sounds pretty much exactly like… the development environment Microsoft’s created around Windows Mobile PDAs, and last time we checked, that ecosystem wasn’t exactly helping Pocket PCs destroy the iPod. While it’s inevitable that convergence will see music and other media playback features rolled into devices like mobile phones, standalone devices will continue to thrive until converged devices can offer a comparable user experience to players such as the iPod — and that’s where Zune falls down. And never mind that Microsoft’s willingess to accede to record labels and favor their interests over those of users means the iPod’s probably safe for a while yet. Microsoft’s corporate culture makes it hard pressed to come up with something that can compete favorably against the iPod. Perhaps instead of trying to create an iPod killer of its own, its time would be better spent improving its software so that a hipper and more nimble company could build one instead.