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Ipod Vs. Zune

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Autor:  anton  30 March 2011
Words: 1726   |   Pages: 7
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The year was 2001, a year that most Americans will remember as the year the changed our lives forever. It was the year that the World Trade Center was attacked by a terrorists group out of the Middle East called Al Queda. War was in our future and our outlook out the United States went from being the invincible superpower to a country susceptible to any kind of outside terror. What we do forget though is that there was something else that was about to change our world forever in a technological way. Apple was really hurting in the computer industry. Microsoft was about to release its XP operating system which would revolutionize the way we use computers. Apple had no way of competing with them, but something was in the making that would make them a powerhouse in the industry once again, and it was only 4 inches long.

The downloading of music was still fairly new to us but the only problem was that what we downloaded would only be listened to on our computers. We had no way of listening to it portably. Apple noticed this and decided to create something that would let us take our MP3’s anywhere we wanted. This device would be the IPOD. Standing at just 4 inches tall, this little giant changed to way we listened to our music. You were now able to connect it to your computer using a USB cable and bring your entire music library with you. You could bring it to the gym, work, on the morning jog, virtually where ever your heart desired. Ever since 2001, the IPOD has been the out right leader in the MP3 player industry, taking up about 71% of the industry. Microsoft was having it though and needed to enter this new world, but could they do it.

Microsoft has always been known as a leader in computing. If you look at just about every computer in this country, Microsoft has some sort of influence on it, whether it be from the operating systems or Microsoft office. What they didn’t have though was a reputation in the electronic entertainment business. In 2002 the Playstation 2 was just released and was a huge success. Microsoft noticed that people were big into video gaming and that it was where the money was at so they decided to take a dip into this new world that they had no previous experience in. The XBOX came out not to long after that, and while at first it was very popular because of the company it was created by, it shortly fizzled out in our eyes, while the Playstation 2 left them blowing in the wind. This eventually lost money for the company but they didn’t let that stop them because just last year they released the XBOX 360, the “next generation” council. Kudos to them though because they released it a whole year before Playstations “next-gen” council came out. On November 17 though, Playstations released their highly anticipated Playstation 3, and while it is still too early to do any comparisons to the two, experts believe that the 360’s days will soon come to an end once again, leaving Microsoft in a distant second.

It is now 2006, the IPOD has been out and in our lives for 5 years and has been ahead of the pack since it inception. Microsoft though has once again had enough and on November 16 they released the Zune, their first player into the world of digital music. The only question is will it be able to overtake the IPOD as the worlds leader or will it just end up being another XBOX and be that “other” MP3 player.

At first look the Zune is a very attractive device. It is bigger then the IPOD, standing at 4.4 inches tall and the screen is 44% larger but they both have the same amount of pixels. (Wikipedia, 2006) It also offers something that the IPOD doesn’t and that’s wirelessly sharing music with another Zune with a radius of 30 feet which is an eye-catching feature. Another feature is that it allows you to implement a user-specified image as wallpaper which makes it very personal. But if you look at all of the other specs it’s pretty much the same as the IPOD.

Skeptics say that the Zune may be a huge flop during the holiday season. Ted Schadler, an analyst for Forrester Research said “I’m very skeptical about its ability to take hold in a market that already has a dominant player.” (, 2006) This isn’t very good news for Microsoft. The only feature that they’ve been pushing really hard is wirelessly sharing music. Another set back is that it’s bigger and heavier and more difficult to use. (, 2006) Once again though I think they bit off more then they could chew. You can only transfer music from Zune to Zune and you have to be within 30 feet of each other, which right now may be a problem since most people don’t have them. Also once you transfer your song to another person’s player, that person can only have it for 3 days or listen to it 3 times, which ever comes first, before they have to pay for that song. Frankly I don’t see the point in it because what’s so good about that feature if you have to end up paying for it anyway.

Another issue that the Zune has is that there’s only one version of it, whereas the IPOD has 4 different versions, ranging from size of memory to the size of the actual product. Also another factor is the price range. The Zune will cost you about $250 bucks, comparable to the video IPOD, but not comparable to the smaller IPOD Shuffle which is about the size of a quarter. Is there hope for the Zune in the future though?

ABI Research conducted a survey earlier this month that suggests IPOD users could be won over by rival products’ (, 2006) The article also states that 58% of IPOD users planning to purchase a MP3 player would consider buying the Zune, according to the survey of 1,725 respondents. (, 2006) So we can truly understand the difference lets make a comparison


7.9 User rating from users 6.4

Hi-Speed USB PC Interfaces Wi-Fi, Hi-Speed USB

30GB Storage 30GB

2.4in x 0.4 in x 4.1 in Dimensions 2.4 in x 0.6 in x 4.4 in

4.8oz Weight 5.6oz

320 x 240 Resolution 320 x 240

$219-$250 Price $234-$340

(, 2006)

These are just some of the specs that experts have been looking at when comparing the two possible head to head contenders.

It was said on that “Microsoft typically arrives late—In this case five years after the IPod’s debut.” ( So you would think that after seeing what the IPOD has done they would be able to take their example and improve it dramatically…but did they.

The Zune definitely has some potential to be a serious contender but as we have found out in the past with the XBOX they may just end up being another “me-too” product. We will know for sure in the upcoming months whether or not the Zune has the staying power and influence to compete with the IPOD, but as we know it today the IPOD will always and forever be the industry’s leading competitor. As we all know though Microsoft likes giving us surprises.

Wong, Grace. “Zune vs. iPod, round 1: Holiday shoppers.”

Lewis, Peter. “Microsoft Takes on iPod”.

Elgan, Mike. “Opinion: Why Microsoft’s Zune scares Apple to the core”.

Marchetti, Nino. “The Battle fo Two MP# player Titans : Microsoft vs. Apple.”

Marchetti, Nino. “The Battle fo Two MP# player Titans : Microsoft vs. Apple (cont.).”

Briggs, Brian. “MP3 player Showdown Apple Ipod vs. Microsoft Zune.”



Kim, James. “The Zune vs. the world.


* = no specific author was given.

-Although not all sources were cited, all were read and greatly helped in production of this piece. MD

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