IDG News Service - Microsoft's ZuneHD, set to go on sale Tuesday, will not feature an open application store like its competitor the iPod Touch.
It will come with some unique features, though, like an HD radio tuner, and with software that has been well-received by users. Those capabilities will determine whether the ZuneHD sells well -- and whether Microsoft decides to keep selling its own music player, said Matt Rosoff, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft.
After observers noticed a Marketplace folder during earlier demos of the ZuneHD, many had hoped the new device would feature an open application store like the one accessible from the iPhone and the iPod Touch. Marketplace is the name of the open app store that will be available on Windows Mobile 6.5 phones, to be released in early October.
But the Zune Marketplace will be a closed store, meaning third-party developers won't be able to easily build applications for it. The new device will include the same casual games that came with earlier Zunes, plus a few other applications like an MSN weather application and a calculator, said Brian Seitz, group marketing manager for Zune. In November, Twitter and Facebook applications will become available, as well as a "Project Gotham" racing game, he added. Zune customers will be able to download the applications they like for free.
Seitz said the timing wasn't right to include the Windows Mobile Marketplace application, which isn't due out until next month, with the ZuneHD, but he also said it's not certain that a similar open Marketplace will come to the Zune in the future.
"Down the line, if there's an opportunity for us to snap into what they're doing from a mobile application perspective, I'm sure it's something we'll look at," he said. However, Microsoft may decide it makes more sense to limit the applications in the Zune market and offer them all free, he said.
He acknowledged that people are likely to criticize the decision. "I'm not saying we won't get dinged for that because I know we will," he said.
That's for good reason, Rosoff said. "When you look at it as a head-to-head comparison with the iPod Touch, people will see it as a shortcoming," he said.
Microsoft will also debut new Zune software on Tuesday that customers use on their PCs to manage their music. It will feature the "smart DJ," which allows the user to pick an artist and then automatically creates a playlist of similar songs.
Microsoft will also start offering people who subscribe to Zune Pass a way to access the Zune music collection from a browser. That means subscribers will be able to listen to music from the entire catalog from any PC, including one at work, rather than only from a PC running the Zune software. A Zune Pass subscription lets users stream any song from the entire Zune catalog and download 10 songs each month.
- Why Projects Fail CIOs are expected to deliver more projects that transform business, and do so on time, on budget and with limited resources.
- The New Business Case for Video Conferencing: 7 Real-World Benefits Beyond Cost-Savings This whitepaper provides insight into the value of video conferencing in today's business environment, and how organizations are using visual collaboration to find...
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Client Management Tools The client management tool market is maturing and evolving to adapt to consumerization, desktop virtualization, and an ongoing need to improve efficiency.
- Audit Ready and Asset Optimized: The Solid Promise of an Intelligent Software Asset Management Solution In this paper Frost & Sullivan examines the benefits of enterprise-grade Software Asset Management solutions, and how these solutions serve as the convergence...
- Live Webcast Best Practices: How to Improve Business Continuity with Virtualization VMware solutions include a range of business continuity capabilities to help ensure availability for applications across your virtualized environment. Learn More>>
- Live Webcast
Transforming Finance, Procurement and Supply Chain Effectiveness with Cross-Functional Analytics
Date: May 6th, 2014
Time: 1 PM EDT
Attend this Webcast to find out how Oracle's packaged analytic applications enable line-of-business managers to examine all...
- Live Webcast LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All Knowledge Center White Papers | Webcasts