Is Apple Afraid of the Zune
I have nothing against the Zune. This article is based on what Microsoft has made public before the release of their mp3 player.- Is Apple afraid? Not trying to be a fanboy here but the quick answer is no. What's the real question you might say? The one and only speculation Microsoft wants us all to cling on: Is the upcoming Zune the iPod killer? Hmm let me ponder on that one really quickly. On a side note, I'm sitting on this airplane, Vancouver bound, behind an annoying teen fighting with his seat and working away on my macbook.
To my left, a business man who has been drinking his tea and watching me for the past hour clicking away on my mouse. I'm editing on Final Cut Pro some projects, getting a DVD Studio Pro theme ready and planning the soundtrack while he is. well he's still staring at me. I guess not to be overshadowed, he quickly pulls from beneath his seat a slim ThinkPad (or should I say Lenovo?) and starts it up. While we both wait for his Vista to boot, I'm rendering and exporting my soundtrack at blazing speed - hmm he seems envious.
The thing takes so long to boot that he whips out the paper to catch up on some news while the OS winds up. Ok, it just stopped and now he's logging in - my FCP project is done and I'm now just catching up myself on some current events via vidcasts. He watches again in envy. I could be smug about it but I decide to let him show me what he'll be working on. Like the classic old tale of PC vs Mac, he launches Excel and starts typing away (more actually simply scrolling up and down, gazing at the screen) on some account management summary file. I don't think he actually has any work, just didn't want to feel left out.
I can get that. I won't even comment on the work that he might have been doing since I don't understand jack squat in Excel files and management lingo but I couldn't help to feel that his machine was more like a thin book (yep, he's reading PDF files just now) and mine is more of playground with cool gadgets, a creating tool on which I can do almost anything. I'm not implying that his Lenovo couldn't do most of the stuff I just did but I don't feel like those users have that incline. If they did, they would get a Mac (oh boy, sorry I sound like a fanboy now). The side note is over and I now understand why that man caught my attention.
The perfect analogy. Although PC's are fast, sturdy, universally used and have proved in the past to be able to compete in the arts department, they still need to get an OS that works, features in their hardware that will make you go WOW, and a brand new way of thinking about design and usability - theirs users and their aspirations will drive their future. The Zune is a cool little device that Microsoft will pump full of hype and promise of apparently some great new features that Apple has obviously already been planning for the months to come (has anyone seen the new iPhone and iPod Touch??).
I can only feel like it's a little too late for Microsoft, the iPod is here, if they want to capture the world's attention with an MP3 player, they surely have to think outside the box and not just remake the blueprints. Will the Zune be grabbing some precious iPod market share even with the $20 you're left in your pocket after buying it? Not likely. Will it mostly interest Xbox users? Of course which is one of its biggest ray of hope. I'm still working on my macbook and I think he's done with his "work", well maybe not done since his battery just died - yep, he's back to the newspaper.
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