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This Time, Microsoft Makes Its Own Zunes

Microsoft is building a factory in China in order to produce the next generation of Zunes. While the original Zune was a Toshiba Gigabeat with an altered body and one extra feature, Zune II will be all Microsoft from the ground up, letting them control every aspect of its design and manufacture. Hopefully Microsoft plans to put the same obsessive effort into getting the right parts and designing the player perfectly, just like Apple does.

It is expected that Microsoft will be producing two types of Zunes, a sequel to the original hard drive-based Zune but with larger capacities, and a Flash memory-based Zune with a smaller capacity, designed to compete with the iPod Nano. If Microsoft truly plans on building out brand loyalty in the long run, it’ll start delivering on those early promises of wifi features, and continue to support the first-generation Zune with as many new features as possible. Apple supports older iPods, up to a point, and Microsoft has to do no less to compete.
(via DailyTech > Neowin)

May 17th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Zune, Windows Media, Apple, General | 2 comments

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  1. I really don’t understand this move. I can’t think of a single competitive advantage Microsoft gains for the Zune by making it itself. MP3 players are commodity electronic products. The competitive advantage comes from features and the UI. Check out the Ad Supported Music Central Blog:

    Comment by Marc Cohen | May 17, 2007

  2. MP3 players are not commodity products for Apple, they make a lot of money off them. Having control over the entire process gives Microsoft the opportunity to make a better product, whereas before they relied on the engineering skills of Toshiba, which are not that great to write home about. With the amount of care and price controls Apple puts into its players, no one can compete with them without the same attention to detail.

    In short, if Microsoft didn’t do this, it wouldn’t have had a chance.

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | May 17, 2007

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