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Microsoft prices Zune at $249.99; Due out in November

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Thursday, September 28, 2006
News Categories: Digital Media


Microsoft has finally announced pricing and a release date for its much-hyped Zune media player. The company said it will charge $249.99 for the device—essentially the same as Apple’s 30GB iPod, which retails for $249. Microsoft will launch both the Zune and its companion digital music service on November 14th. The Zune music service will charge 99 cents for individual songs and $14.99 per month for a subscription service. Scott Erickson, senior director of product management for Zune, admitted that the Zune player will not make money for Microsoft immediately. “In total we won’t be making a profit this year, but we will of course work toward becoming a profitable business in the future,” he said.

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Mmmmm. Let’s see. Version 5 of an Apple product or Version 1 of a Microsoft product at the same price? What would you choose?

Posted by Aceon6 in New England, USA on September 28, 2006 at 6:55 AM (PDT)


M$ is sooooooooooo dead.

Posted by dunnypop on September 28, 2006 at 7:00 AM (PDT)


Do any of Microsoft’s ventures plan on turning a profit this year?

Posted by joe on September 28, 2006 at 7:58 AM (PDT)


Let’s see, Version 5 of an Apple product or Version 5 of an OEM product with Microsoft’s name stamped on it, for the same price but the latter with wireless, a larger screen and optional subscription service. Maybe not such an easy choice after all.

Posted by JGitz on September 28, 2006 at 8:14 AM (PDT)


Ugh. It’s ugly. It’ll flop.

Posted by chad_l on September 28, 2006 at 8:20 AM (PDT)


It’s thick, it’s bulky, it has a faux click wheel, and it includes battery draining Wi-Fi.  Not to mention it even comes in brown.  Oh yeah, these things will just fly off the shelves….

Posted by SJR on September 28, 2006 at 8:23 AM (PDT)


Attention a n a l y s t s, while there is a certain market leading company is making a lot of money off their product, M$ *again* tries to buy marketshare at the expense of their shareholders. Thinking about it, is M$ still loosing money from the X-Box? I mean the first one?

Posted by Bad Beaver on September 28, 2006 at 8:51 AM (PDT)


i hear it does NOT play for sure

Posted by khyberny on September 28, 2006 at 9:47 AM (PDT)


I, for one, and many others like myself can’t wait for the Zune to hit the market.  I have had NOTHING BUT TROUBLE with APPLE products. I have never had any problems with Microsoft product I have purchased.  None. Zip. Zero.

I spend a fortune on Apple products only to have them fail. All the Appple accessories to plug into my car, my home etc, only to have them break months after my purchase. Any updates for my iPod have been a nightmare to install and fix.  And I have the same problems with updates to iTunes.  I’m not an Apple sheep.  There are many like myself who will see what Microsoft has to offer. 
Brown?  Awful marketing but there are people who will buy them.

Posted by maddman on September 28, 2006 at 10:21 AM (PDT)


“Appple accessories to plug into my car”

which one is that?  apple doesn’t make any car accessories i know about.  maybe you’re more angry at third party manufacturers?

if you hate apple so much, you hang around ilounge because _______?

Posted by zip22 on September 28, 2006 at 11:04 AM (PDT)


Don’t Microsoft employees have anything better to do than troll Apple websites?  I guess the Zune marketing has begun.

Posted by A on September 28, 2006 at 11:26 AM (PDT)


I fed my 30 GB iPod an iPod Nano. When my 30 gig pooped, a Zune came out. It was the brown Zune. Can somebody help me put my life back together?

Posted by FoodForDinosaurs on September 28, 2006 at 11:48 AM (PDT)


Are people actually saying that this product would fail because on of the colors is brown? Have you forgotten that the nano comes in lime green and light blue?

Posted by What? on September 28, 2006 at 1:38 PM (PDT)


won’t it be fun to watch this Zune not even beat SanDisc or creative?
It will be enjoyable for me, I hate Bill Gates and Co.

Posted by deedubya on September 28, 2006 at 2:01 PM (PDT)


“Attention a n a l y s t s, while there is a certain market leading company is making a lot of money off their product, M$ *again* tries to buy marketshare at the expense of their shareholders. Thinking about it, is M$ still loosing money from the X-Box? I mean the first one?”

You have to keep in mind with videogames people have multiple systems. Portable Audio? People use one. I might think about Zune if the music were a lot cheaper, but it would be difficult for them. Hopefully Microsoft could create a program that works BETTER than iTunes. Anyone that still uses iTunes for their iPod is missing out what other programs offer.

Posted by nojok3 on September 28, 2006 at 3:00 PM (PDT)


when the first Zune pictures were released I thought “ugh ... brown?!?”. Having seen some better photos on the Zune insider blog, I think the brown with the green hilights is actually quite classy. If I was buying a Zune I’d get a brown one.

my NZ$0.02 (approx $0.013) is that price is going to be the major factor. I’m a fairly long-term Mac user, and love the two iPods I’ve owned. The look good and are well made. based on the pictures of the Zune, and what I’ve read, I think the Zune looks pretty good, and if it worked under Mac OS (which I gather it doesn’t at this time - it does play AAC files though, allegedly) I certainly wouldn’t rule out the possibility of getting one if I needed to buy a new DAP. Esp. if it was $50 cheaper than the Apple alternative, and there were an equal number of accessories for it.

Oh - not that it really effects or concerns me, but the fact that the Zune DOESN’T play ‘Plays For Sure’ is so funny. Nice one MS

Posted by Lawrence Mikkelsen in New Zealand on September 28, 2006 at 4:04 PM (PDT)


man that thing is ugly

Posted by hb on September 28, 2006 at 4:54 PM (PDT)


I just want to see how the actual marketplace reacts, rather than a bunch of bloggers and commenters (like me).

Will brown Zunes sit on store shelves? Or will brown look fantastic in person and be the surprise “it” color for the Zune?

My prediction? I expect the Zune to have a fairly weak holiday season, as it cannibalizes sales from all the other non-iPod music players. Microsoft will call this “better than expected.”

After a weak holiday season, I expect Microsoft to see sales growth for a while. (Ignoring the post-holiday slump, of course, which also affects iPods.)

The second thing I’m interested in is MIcrosoft’s next step for Zune. The iPod/iTunes experience is MUCH more than a 30GB hard-drive based music player. Will the Zune store catch up to iTunes in terms of content? Will a flash-based Zune be released to compete with the iPod Nano? What about the iPod Shuffle?

What about something new entirely?

I love my iPod, and have no interest in the Zune. But I’m excited to see what lies in store over the next six months.

Posted by BJ Nemeth on September 28, 2006 at 5:47 PM (PDT)


These are lifestyle products.  The Zune has no style and no culture (life) to go with it.  Therefore the Zune is dead from the start.  Why does Microsoft think it can compete in this niche?  I predict Microsoft will exit the music industry within 1 year.  Swing and a miss.

Posted by CO on September 28, 2006 at 8:25 PM (PDT)


Reminds me of a fugly TV from the 70s in miniature!

Posted by Laer on September 29, 2006 at 12:04 AM (PDT)

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