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Microsoft Plays the Zune Tune

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Microsoft plays the Zune tune. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. After years of watching Apple Computer achieve dominance in the digital music business with the iPod and iTunes….Microsoft has taken the task of competing with Apple into its own hands. Its new 250 dollar music and video player is called Zune…and it works exclusively with Microsoft's Zune software and music downloading service. The most unique feature? Built in WiFi connectivity. Senior director of product management Scott Erickson…

"You can send music, you can send pictures between friends and between devices. So by adding things like a great screen, having the ability to send and to share information and to share content with friends and family, it makes the experience more social and much more enjoyable."

Songs sent wirelessly to other Zune users will only play three times…or for three days. What Microsoft has left out is the ability to download TV shows recorded on Media Center PCs…or the upcoming Windows Vista. And songs purchased from the Zune store, can't be listened to on other players, even those that were sold with the Microsoft Plays for Sure logo. Will the company take sales away from Apple? Erickson says…

"We're not really talking about specific market share. It's not really the goal. What we're saying is, customers told us they wanted a personal experience. So for us, at least for the initial phase, is really to see if we can accomplish that. Can people look at Zune and say, yeah, this is exactly what I've been looking for."

The Zune players are available in brown, white or black. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.