New Zune HD’s to come with Windows Phone 7?

  • September 13, 2010 7:34 pm

If there’s one thing Microsoft has stuck by even in the face of adversity in recent times, it’s the Zune. The sort of ugly step child in Microsoft’s more consumer-focused lineup hasn’t quite caught on in the mass public’s eye. Yet Microsoft keeps trudging along with the occasional Zune update. You’d be a fool to deny that Apple has been knocking things out of the park over the last few quarters. On that note, what (if anything) can Microsoft do to one up the iPod Touch, iPhone, or just Apple in general? So far, they’ve proven that they can’t beat the iPod (and some would argue they aren’t trying to).

What can they possibly do next? How about throwing Windows Phone 7 on it? It’s an intriguing idea and a good start. Though honestly, it needs to be done if Microsoft has any hope of remaining anywhere close to the iPod Touch in terms of relevance. I mean, the iPod Touch is running full blown iOS — a smartphone OS. The current Zune HD is running nothing more than a PMP OS that is quite limited. Seeing as how Windows Phone 7 pretty much packs the Zune interface within the music app, this rumor isn’t such a stretch.

I can see both sides to this story. On one hand, a more complex and versatile OS will really help the Zune branch out if Microsoft does so choose to go that route. At the same time, a simple PMP is what so many people crave and list it as one of the reasons they avoid the iPod Touch in particular. Though in the end, I’d imagine more people would gladly take a more well rounded, robust device instead of a single-use device these days.

What do you prefer: A more single-use PMP-only Zune or an iPod Touch-esque uber device?
 
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  • Jonkie

    Just like an iPod Touch is really an iPhone without the phone.

    Microsoft’s Zune HD2 will be a Windows Phone 7 phone, without the phone.

    So Microsoft will be manufacturing its own Windows Phone 7 hardware devices. Wait until the OEMs find out about this.

    Then it’s only a minor step away for Microsoft to add the 3G component, and then it is manufacturing its own phones.

    Microsoft did this before, with the Kin, which was a disaster. It will have to do it again if the OEMs lose interest in Windows Phone 7, which may go the same way as the Kin.

  • jake

    What makes you think they are trying to keep up with Apple? The Zune HD can do many more things than the iPod touch. No one cares to realize though because iPods are bought because of the brand name.

  • Mike

    “Many more things”. Please follow up with something that substantiates that. The iPod Touch as over 200,000 apps. Zune HD does not. iPod Touch as Mobile Safari. Zune HD has some kind of mobile IE experiment. iPod Touch as 960 640 display. Zune HD 480 x 272. I’ll give you the Zune HD”s HDMI out. But that’s hardly the sole purchasing decision a shopper has to make.

    On the audio front — the main reason MP3/PMP players exist — the Zune HD is actually pretty awesome. With low to mid-range headphones (and even some high end ones) I’d say the Zune HD sounds slightly better than the iPod Touch too. But the claim that it offers “many more things” doesn’t make sense.

    I don’t think Microsoft is necessarily trying to keep up with Apple either. At least if they are, they’ve failed miserably for several years now. It must take some kind of work to fail constantly. If you look at the Zune HD as only an MP3 player, well then, it’s pretty awesome.

  • Rob

    So the Apple / MS argument never dies. Comparing ZuneHD to iPod Touch is like comparing apples to oranges.
    Having used different iPods including the touch, and owning a ZuneHD for two years I will confidently say the ZuneHD is a better media player as it truly is a media/music lover’s device. Zune HD only has shortcomings when compared to a device it was never meant to compete with. Admittedly it could have really used Youtube functionality and perhaps a better apps collection if they wanted to attract some younger customers.
    I won’t bore non-believers with specs and details but instead i’ll just say it is an awesome player and overall it’s what I prefer over any other player.
    I just want to add that it took a long time for Apple to build an app store so throwing comments around about apps really doesn’t say much at all. Design, feature, and functionality-wise, Zune HD raised the standard by using a new processor, OLED display, HD radio, HD out, and a fully integrated media marketplace.
    At this stage in the game it is about preference and brand loyalty. I wouldn’t expect an iPod touch user to adopt the Zune HD because there is really no reason for them to do so. I would hope that a smart first-time shopper looking for the best device would at least try the Zune HD to see what it has to offer.
    Competition is healthy and it’s sad to read so many posts that are all about bashing anything other then what they use.
    There are so many players out there but from what you see people post about, you’d think there is only the iPod and “that other player that failed, the Zune HD”.

  • Lala

    The old iPod touch, the one that came out about the same time, did not really have a superior resolution. You’re comparing old tech to new.

    “On the audio front — the main reason MP3/PMP players exist — the Zune HD is actually pretty awesome. With low to mid-range headphones (and even some high end ones) I’d say the Zune HD sounds slightly better than the iPod Touch too”

    agreed.

    “I don’t think Microsoft is necessarily trying to keep up with Apple either. At least if they are, they’ve failed miserably for several years now. It must take some kind of work to fail constantly. If you look at the Zune HD as only an MP3 player, well then, it’s pretty awesome.”

    I don’t think they ever planned to take Apple by storm. But if they get the Windows Phone OS on it, it’ll do much better.