Darren Waters

Zune adds TV shows: Excited?

  • Darren Waters
  • 6 May 08, 14:12 GMT

080506_ap_zune211.jpgSo the Zune will now have a video marketplace in place, so users can download TV shows and watch them back on their player.

The thing is: With Zune availability limited to the US, does any one really care?

Jupiter analyst Michael Gartenberg says: "Microsoft has yet to provide seamless content flow from screen to screen across the range of devices supported by Microsoft technology."

The Zune marketplace does have NBC shows - which were pulled from iTunes after the firm fell out with Apple. But that's hardly a big pull for consumers.

When the Zune was first sold in the US many people expected Microsoft would use the limited launch to learn some lessons before aggressively competing with Apple and the iPod worldwide.

That's yet to happen. Why?

Is Microsoft still learning lessons? Has it all but surrendered global domination to Apple?

Apparently the Zune IS heading for Canada. So is that the first step towards an all-out assault on the iPod?

I'll leave the final word to Michael Gartenberg: "Microsoft still has a long way to go before Zune becomes a credible iPod alternative for mainstream consumers."


  • Comment number 1.

    I couldn't care less. Microsoft always seem to lag behind...! Not a big fan of the iPod myself either, but it seems to be much better than I can ever imagine the Zune being.

    And presumably the TV shows will be full of DRM so it'll be a horrible customer experience.

    Honestly, I don't understand why they bother with DRM. If I buy a CD from a shop, it's got no DRM on it. And if I record a TV programme that's done with no DRM (99% of the time...)

    If a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and in this case the chain has several links missing, why bother having the incomplete chain there at all? All it does is get in the way and irritate customers.

  • Comment number 2.

    Until the Xbox 360 can be used to purchase TV shows, tunes etc, and place them on the Zune, and allows you to sync between it, your PC and your Zune... then Zune may as well be any other Windows media based music player.

  • Comment number 3.

    Quote "The thing is: With Zune availability limited to the US, does any one really care?"

    By "any one" do you must mean any one outside the US?

    And with the size of the TV market in the US, do you really think Zune cares about any one else?

  • Comment number 4.

    I certainly don't care about the Zune. If I were to make a list of media players I would like to buy, it would come right at the bottom.

    I live in a completely Microsoft-free household now - my family has three Macs and one Linux-based PC. Microsoft have missed so many boats and are becoming ever-more irrelevant and desperate. Google, Apple and the Open Source community are far more important in the technology world now.

  • Comment number 5.

    I would care, if the Zune was released over here.

    However, I did import one, and I absolutely love it. The first version of the software was ropey, but the second version, and even moreso with today's update, is ruddy well brilliant. It's hard to differentiate between MP3 players right now, but the Wi-Fi and large screen on the Zune are notable.

    Oh yeah, and I adore the interface. Yes, it's a wonder it came from Microsoft.

  • Comment number 6.

    I also imported a Zune, and I love it, in fact I upgraded to the 2nd gen version, as I needed more space.

    As is the way with these things, they launch in the US and expand later, remember how long it took for the Apple to launch iTunes in the UK.

    Microsoft have talked in the past about merging the music/video stores across platforms, and I hope that Zune having TV shows is the first step, and that we see more progress with the Xbox spring update.

    As for asking if anyone cares, well I don't as I can't use it, but if I was in the US, I'd be excited as it would be another way to watch the content I want. I just hope that the Zune gets a European release this year, and they expand the Zune and Xbox video stores.

  • Comment number 7.

    Whilst in San Francisco in January this year, Comp USA was having its closing down sale and everything, even the shelving and fittings were being sold... Inside the front door was the Zune POS display, which did not look like much had been touched since it had been installed!

    The Apple Store on the next corner was packed out with iPods/iPhones shifting in large numbers...


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