Paul Thurrott over at the Windows Supersite Blog posted this up in reference to Microsoft's apparent strategy so far when it comes to Windows Mobile and Zune.
Steve Jobs like to quote hockey legend Wayne Gretzsky's famous line -- don't skate to where the puck is, skate to where it will be. Let's just hope they remember that, and this comic, and really bring it next year with iPhone 4.0 and the 4th generation iPhone, now that Android 2.x and webOS are on the ice.
So, yeah, Windows Mobile and Zune. In all the excitement over the Droid (and Pixi), Microsoft went and snuck in some new, competitive updates.
First, the iPod touch's rival, and media darling, the Zune HD got a firmware update that enhanced the browser (though we still get shivers at any mention of IE6, mobile or otherwise) and paved the way for 3D gaming. (Check out the video, above). As with previous games, they're free, but you might have to watch a 15-30 car commercial before the game (or calculator app) launches.
On the eve of Microsoft releasing its new Zune HD platform (the one targeted at competing with the iPod touch), Windows Super-siter, Paul Thurrott is reporting that the still nascent plain vanilla Zune platform (the one targeted at competing with the iPod touch and classic) is being abandoned. (Shades of PlaysForSure?)
Despite frequent, repeated denials from Microsoft that they aren't making a Zune Phone to pit against Apple's iPhone juggernaut, our sibling site WMExperts keeps compiling evidence that Microsoft might be doing just that.
The latest is that Pink (as it's code-named) has an ad agency, will be based on Windows Mobile 7 but have it's own proprietary UI layer, should be available next year-ish, and provide Zune, My Phone, and Windows Marketplace for Mobiles functionality.
Okay, if you buy an empty iPod Classic, have never owned a CD or bought a piece of music in your life, and are determine to immediately fill that 120GBs to the brim, then $30K iTunes will cost you.
However, if you've already got a sizable CD collection, or music collection of any kind -- even your own compositions -- or want to carry around class lectures or other forms of audio or -- hey -- video maybe, well, it can cost much, much less. Maybe even less than the $15 a month Microsoft would rather you cough up to them for a ZunePass subscription.
Personally, I still think Microsoft's only hope at this point is an XboxPhone, but what do I know, I don't run the largest, richest, most talent-laden software company in the world... that runs itself, and everything it produces, into the ground due to paralyzing politics and committee. So, excuse me if I'm nonplussed by the rumors of a new Zune HD, which while not an iPhone clone, or even an iPod classic or nano clone, looks to be positioned exactly opposite the iPod touch. A strategy which has proven so successful for Microsoft thus far...