Attack of the iClones: No ZunePhone but... ZunePod touch HD?

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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...

Dear Steve Ballmer: Please, scorch the earth, start from scratch. Stop worrying so much about Apple and Google and start investing in Microsoft. Start making wonderful experiences for customers all your own. Build an integrated ecosystem from the ground up where Server, Windows, Xbox Windows Phone, and Zune all share a single unified brand and delightful cross-compatibility. Take a lesson from Palm. Spend your years in the desert if you have to, but at least walk in a single, considered direction.


Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • Im so effing tired of these copycats. I can only imagine how apple feels getting their ideas ripped off like this. Microsoft your sh!t.
  • ...@ above comment and all to follow suit..."here we go again."
  • LOL.
    It does kind of look like the iPhone/iPod Touch but it's hard to create an original touch screen device that does NOT look something like the iPhone/iPod Touch line.
    I wish them well with this design because it DOES look nice. My best friend is a " Zuner" and he buys a new Zune every 6 months because he keeps breaking his. I don't even know if Microsoft had a 1 year warranty.
  • Everyone copies each other and I am glad they do because it makes sure everyone stays on top of their game.
    Good to see Apple finally "copying" and "pasting" the idea of copy and paste, picture messaging, video, and their version of backgrounding "push applications".
  • I love Apple just as much as the next guy, but don't act like their sh*t don't stink! They copy ideas just like everyone else. And since I also follow some of the Window's guys closely (Ed Bott, Paul Thurott, Mary Jo Foley) I can say that Microsoft, while "worried" about Google and Apple, are beginning to position themselves in unique ways.
    This new Zune looks promising. And I hope it give Apple a run for their money. Their last iPod Touch update was insulting while the Zune platform seems to be advancing in significant ways. Apple seems to be finally adding radio to the iPod which is something Zune has had for some time. So who is copying who? Answer: both companies are.
  • @Badda Bing the Zune wasn't the first to have radio on a mp3 player , I wouldn't say that apple copied microsoft in that situation.
  • Those DARE they copy Cowon so blatantly, and listening to their customers who've been begging for a touch zune forever? what total BS.
  • No zune is a copycat!!!!
  • this looks pretty cool. i would say that if they really come up with some spectacular software than this could turn the tide. i love my zune, and i think its a great device. i would like to see the brand become more sucessful, we will have to wait and see. i think ever since the xbox became so popular after its second release microsoft has figured out the concept of long term investment. who knows, 5 years from now we may be looking at ipods like we look at playstations today. microsoft is a smart company with very deep pockets and the key to their sucess has been that they love to do market research. the first product is always their testing platform so that when they release their flagship its good enough to beat the competition. the xbox was a good machine, but it took the 360 to really incorporate alot of smart ideas. so we could see a very smart integrated device. if they release a zune that can sync with your phone so that you can use it as a touchscreen phone they will definitly beat the touch and the iphone. people want a touch screen phone, but they dont want to pay alot of money for it. if they figure out a way to make it so that your phone stays in your pocket and the zune can send and recieve calls and text messages they will see a definite boost in sales. everyone has a razr, so if bluetooth could connect their zune with their razr they would be able to keep the same cell phone plan while still having the advantages of a touch screen platform. also depending on whether this will be flash based or not is a big deal. i think if they have a touch screen with 120GB than people will want to pick the zune over the ipod.
    from the pictures, this looks pretty damn cool. it seems to offer speakers which the touch does not. also if it offers that there is a good chance it may have a microphone or camera. i like the zune, and if they come up with some reallllly cool features at a low cost (250 for a 120GB touch screen) than they may have a pretty good chance at taking some market share.
    apples update sucked, and i dont think they're gonna have much of anything this year, so this is the oppurtunity microsoft needs to put its name out ther so that in a few years it will be able to release products that are better than apples.
  • I think an XBOX phone would be the only reason I'd leave my iPhone alone.
  • I'm just glad I've never actually seen a Zune, Xbox, WinMo phone, or computer virus. :lol:
  • @derp, the touch does have a speaker. It's not great but it is there.
  • Why do we even spend anytime talking about zunes? They flat out suck n will remain doing so...
  • Cosign this article. MS seems to have list it's ingenuity. They know all about integration and cohesiveness in their products. Their very good at making software and unifying a platform. From Active Directory, to Exchange, Sharepoint, SMS, etc. Even the progression of the Xbox and how they have it integrated into Windows Media Center. The main problem is they're too busy trying to play catch up instead of starting from the ground floor and rebuilding the brand from scratch.
  • Zunes just plain work better. I have not had a single problem with my first generation Zune. But my old ipod would constantly freeze and lose all my music.
    I will buy a zune phone the second it is released, if it ever will be.