There is a lot of hype around the release of the Zune player. Microsoft claims that their portable media device is a real iPod killer. But the reality may not be that easy. There are 3 reasons though that makes us believe that the Zune can succeed. Two of them are already announced but the third one is more on our wish list for now.
With the introduction of the zune in November, Microsoft brings the portable media players on new grounds. The Wi-fi feature will enable users to socialize within their music universe. The social web as took all the attention on the internet in the last year or so. With the Zune, a part of that trend becomes “portable”. Exchanging a song or a video may look boring but doing it with the Zune and at the speed of a Wi-fi network will be very attractive for young people. On a negative note, the drm feature (Digital Rights Management) could eventually generate frustration among Zune users.
The subscription base Zune Marketplace could be a real skyrocket feature. Being able to access an online database of new music without having to download it first to your computer will make the Zune a real and first “portable media device”. The other important aspect of the Zune Marketplace is the ability to download as many songs as you want for a flat fee. If we can access the Zune Marketplace thru a public wi-fi network it will be a real technology and music orgasm!
This feature as not been announced by Microsoft (yet!) but it would be like a cherry on a sundae to have it. Imagine if your Wi-fi portable device could connect thru internet to access a VoIp network. This feature should not be very difficult to develop because most of the required hardware is already there (besides the microphone). A VoIp phone would be a lot easier to release compared to a real mobile phone which requires a lot more integration work and approvals.