Greg's bite: the Zune dies a lingering death
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Greg's bite: the Zune dies a lingering death

By Greg Mills
A non-announcement from Microsoft, sort of a "no comment confirmation" has the Zune going the way of the dodo bird. Ironically, many in the press blame Apple's iPod for killing the Zune. I submit that iPod was there first and that the ill conceived clone that was Zune was inferior and doomed to fail in the market place from day one.  

The lesson Microsoft has yet to learn is that while you can copy revolutionary products, there is no guarantee such cloned products will succeed in the market place. It wasn't that Zune was so inferior in its hardware, it was the lack of the magic that Apple put into the entire iPod experience that doomed it. I asked my 11-year-old daughter if she preferred an iPod or a Zune and her answer was, "Daddy, what's a Zune?"

Having the cash flow to make massive mistakes in tactical direction, but being able to survive over 12 years of shiftless management due to the lucrative Windows OS franchise, Microsoft has repeatedly floundered badly. I think the "launched and quickly canceled" Kin phone is sort of the Zune principal in action.  

As I have mused in past posts, it takes an entire infrastructure to make the Apple iOS device magic happen. Good hardware, good software and a well stocked digital store are all required.  Fire requires heat, air and combustable material to ignite; the lack of any element prevents combustion. The iOS magic has great hardware, great software and a well stocked music and app store. 

One could argue that Microsoft got one or two elements of Zune close to right, but struck out with the inconsistent store element of the platform infrastructure. The reality is that Microsoft never caught up with Apple in the digital download business and still hasn't gotten it right. The tiny app store for the Windows 7 phone platform is facing the same problem. Getting developers on board has been hard due to the competition that now goes beyond just Apple and includes Google's Android platform. Is there room for three major smartphone platforms? Nokia sure hopes so and has bet the farm on Windows 7, a wager a lot of Nokia stock holders won't join.  

Should Apple find some satisfaction in its patent infringement suits against all the Android handset companies, Microsoft may find enough traction in the coming market void to repeat the coup that Windows OS for the PC enjoyed. Google's Android OS release followed Apple's iOS closely enough that the patents Apple had filed hadn't yet been made public. Basic patents for touch screen gestures and the logical OS features of the Apple iOS that have been granted may turn out to the be Waterloo for Android. 

If there are basic elements of Android handsets that Apple can prove are infringements on its patents, Google may have suddenly have big problems in its smartphone business. Damages and injunctions from Federal Courts to stop selling Android handsets would cripple that platform quickly. It may turn out the copycats at Microsoft stuck their foot into the infringement trap as well.  

Steve Jobs, on the day he launched the iPhone, stated that Apple had patented iPhone technology carefully and completely and that Apple would defend its technology vigorously in court. After the bad experience Apple had in court trying to stop Microsoft from stealing the Mac OS blind some years back, it is probably a good idea to think they are better prepared this time around.  

Federal Courts are a lot like glaciers. They move very slowly, but they do move downhill and grind down obstacles very finely. Apple has a lot of technology claimed in its patent portfolio and backs it up with over 50 billion dollars in the bank. Plus, they have a lot of very skilled attorneys just chomping at the bit to attack infringers. The Federal lawsuits have already been filed and will hit the fan soon.  

Then comes the iPad. I figure Apple now has an 18-month head start at this point and continues to innovate. Samsung may be planning to sell its Galaxy Tab at break-even or even a slight loss, just to stay in the game. The way I hear it the Android OS on a tablet is sort of like a Windows PC in that it crashes all the time.  

I never will forget the disbelief a customer of mine showed when I told him I hadn't rebooted my MacBook Pro for six weeks. He had done everything right, and his PC crashed on him at least twice a day.  I will have to admit that just about every time I have had a Mac crash, is was running a Microsoft program such as Word. I refer to that happening as a "Microsoft moment."  I just scanned my dock and realized I am running nothing from Microsoft any more. My app file on my MacBook Pro only had the Silverlight video codec on it.  

What we do know about the iPad competition is that all Apple's competitors have bought iPad 2s and are eagerly reverse engineering it. What Apple makes appear deceptively easy isn't easy at all. The elegance of the minimal design and slick, logical customer experience is hard to match and impossible to beat in any significant way. As Bill Gates once famously said, "Companies that fail to obsolete their own products are doomed to see the competition do it." 

That's Greg's Bite for today.

(Greg Mills is currently a graphic and Faux Wall Artist in Kansas City. Formerly a new product R&D man for the paint sundry market, he holds 11 US patents. Greg is an Extra Class Ham Radio Operator, AB6SF, iOS developer and web site designer. He's also working on a solar energy startup using a patent pending process for turning waste dual pane glass window units into thermal solar panels used to heat water see: www.CottageIndustySolar.com Married, with one daughter, Greg writes for intellectual property web sites and on Mac/Tech related issues. See Greg's art web site at http://www.gregmills.info He can be emailed at gregmills@mac.com)

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Kill the Plumber World guide - How to ou...
You already know how to hop around like Mario, but do you know how to defeat him? Those are your marching orders in Kill the Plumber, and it's not always as easy as it looks. Here are some tips to get you started. This is not a seasoned platform... | Read more »
Planar Conquest (Games)
Planar Conquest 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $12.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: IMPORTANT: Planar Conquest is compatible only with iPad 3 & newer devices, iPhone 5 & newer. It’s NOT compatible with... | Read more »
We talk to Cheetah Mobile about its plan...
Piano Tiles 2 is a fast-paced rhythm action high score chaser out now on iOS and Android. You have to tap a series of black tiles that appear on the screen in time to the music, being careful not to accidentally hit anywhere else. Do that and it's... | Read more »
Ultimate Briefcase guide - How to dodge...
Ultimate Briefcase is a simple but tricky game that’s highly dependent on how fast you can react. We can still offer you a few tips and tricks on how to survive though. Guess what? That’s exactly what we’re going to do now. Take it easy [Read more... | Read more »
SoundPrism Link Edition (Music)
SoundPrism Link Edition 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ***Introductory price for a the first few days after launch - if you're reading this, get it while it's fresh out of... | Read more »
Pre-register now for hack and slasher An...
Fincon, which won Facebook's Studio to Watch award in 2015, has announced that pre-registration is now open for the massive 3.0 update for its award-winning hack and slasher Angel Stone. Angel Stone is a post-apocalyptic action RPG in which the... | Read more »
Google has named Piano Tiles 2 as its Be...
Google has named Piano Tiles 2, which launched back in August last year, as its Best Game of 2015. If you're yet to play it, now's a good time to do so. It's a sequel to the hugely successful viral hit Piano Tiles (Don't Tap the White Tile) but... | Read more »
Sago Mini Trucks and Diggers (Education...
Sago Mini Trucks and Diggers 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Drive a dump truck with Rosie the hamster! Pile dirt high and dig deep in the ground with diggers, cranes and... | Read more »
Day One 2 Journal + Notes (Lifestyle)
Day One 2 Journal + Notes 2.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Lifestyle Price: $4.99, Version: 2.0 (iTunes) Description: **New Release Sale—50% off for a Limited Time!** Capture life as you live it. From once-in-a-lifetime events to... | Read more »
Pull My Tongue (Games)
Pull My Tongue 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Meet Greg. A hungry little chameleon that loves popcorn! Help feed Greg by pulling his tongue through a series of fun puzzles... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Watch Super Bowl 50 Live On Your iPad For Fre...
Watch Super Bowl 50 LIVE on the CBS Sports app for iPad and Apple TV. Get the app and then tune in Sunday, February 7, 2016 at 6:30 PM ET to catch every moment of the big game. The CBS Sports app is... Read more
Two-thirds Of All Smart Watches Shipped In 20...
Apple dominated the smart watch market in 2015, accounting for over 12 million units and two-thirds of all shipments according to Canalys market research analysts’ estimates. Samsung returned to... Read more
12-inch 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for up...
B&H Photo has 12″ 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $180 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.2GHz Gray Retina MacBook: $1499 $100 off MSRP - 12″ 1.2GHz Silver... Read more
12-inch 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook on sale fo...
B&H Photo has the 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook on sale for $1199 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model... Read more
Apple now offering full line of Certified Ref...
Apple now has a full line of Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are... Read more
Free GUI Speedometer – The Ultimate Digital D...
Miami, Florida based RMKapps has announced the official release of GUI Speedometer 1.0, their digital dashboard display developed for iOS devices. GUI Speedometer allows users to track their precise... Read more
FutureCalc: Ergonomic iOS Calculator App For...
London, United Kingdom based Independent software developer and entrepreneur, Hovik Melikyan has announced the release and immediate availability of FutureCalc 1.0, his new ergonomic calculator app... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
Apple’s ‘Next Big Thing’ Drought And Mature M...
Apple’s first fiscal quarter 2016 financial results yielded both good news and bad news. In the positive column, Apple made another boatload of money, reporting record quarterly revenue of $75.9... Read more
Lifeproof NUUD For iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus...
LifeProof NUUD was designed to defy more than the elements. It defies logic itself by combining legendary four-proof protection and screenless technology to survive mountaintop missions and seaside... Read more

Jobs Board

Restaurant Manager - Apple Gilroy Inc./Apple...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
Simply Mac *Apple* Specialist- Service Repa...
Simply Mac is the largest premier retailer of Apple products in the nation. In order to support our growing customer base, we are currently looking for a driven Read more
*Apple* IOS / OS X Level 3 Support Analyst -...
Needed: Apple Support Analyst (OS X / IOS); 50k-60k/yr +…Horizon Technology Partners has an immediate opening for an Apple IOS / OS X LEVEL 3 Support Analyst. Your Read more
*Apple* - Software QA Manager - Apple Inc. (...
Changing the world is all in a day's work at Apple . If you love innovation, here's your chance to make a career of it. You'll work hard. But the job comes with more than Read more
Restaurant Manager - Apple Gilroy Inc./Apple...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.