From The Blog

Displaying items by tag: Zune

Microsoft has a history of making solid products that go nowhere. If you look at their history this is very clear from Windows Phone to Zune and more. They build it, fail to focus on penetrating the market and then scrap it despite the many talented people on the teams for each of these. Now history is repeating itself in the form of HoloLens.

Published in In Other News
Monday, 09 September 2013 06:58

Microsoft Pushes Xbox Music Out to Android and iOS

Xbox Music

Microsoft is an interesting company. Over the years they have built more than a few very solid products (including operating systems), but because of a lack of real leadership and marketing ability many of these products have remained in the shadows. One of these has been the Zune music service Zune Pass. This service was put into competition with Apple’s iTunes at the height of Apple’s power and consumer influence. Microsoft updated the service when they launched the ill-fated Zune HD that allowed for unlimited downloads and streaming with a simple monthly fee and still failed to get the service to take off.

Published in News

Microsoft has “discovered” that users today that typically need to use multiple services to get all they want. They often will use one for buying and downloading music and another one for streaming. Because of this, Microsoft has decided to offer their solution. The Xbox Music “all-in-one” music service allows its users to stream music free of charge, unlimited for first six months and after that up to 10 hours monthly, with an unlimited streaming option if they pay a subscription or buy and download desired songs.

Published in News

Microsoft has announced that they are getting rid of the Metro name for the Windows 8 “start screen”.  The sudden shift on the eve of the launch (the final version has been released to OEM partners and other manufacturers) is unusual and Microsoft’s answers for this change are not adding up. The original term Metro can be dated back to the UI used for the Zune players and in particular the ZuneHD. This style of slimmed down icon-free user interface that many people liked about the now discarded media player. After receiving good feedback on the Zune (and with many comments asking for a “Zune Phone”) Microsoft pushed some elements of the Zune UI into their Windows Phone product.

Published in News

Going as far back as the initial Build release of Windows 8 we picked up a change in Microsoft’s business plans and their push in the market. It was not a subtle shift as some will have you think. It was the type of shift that borders on the desperate. It is like seeing someone that knows they have run out of time grasping at anything to make something stick. At that time we knew that something had to change and it brought back a conversation I had with a couple of investors while waiting in line for an nVidia press conferences at CES in 2011. The conversation was about modular components and how manufacturers could create an independent revenue stream by allowing for modular upgrades and online services.  For some reason we ended up talking about Azure and how it had become something of a failure for what Microsoft had wanted it to be.

Published in Editorials

Microsoft’s Xbox Live network is down and many are not happy about this as the service has been down since around 11:00 am today (July 6th 2012). This issue appears to be affecting users of the Xbox Gaming Consoles, Zune players and also the websites for Both Xbox Live and Zune. We have a feeling that the issue is probably due to upgrades or updates that are in progress as Microsoft nears the launch of their new Windows 8 OS with its integrated features.

****** Updated both the Xbox Live and Zune Services are back online ******



Published in News

MS-MythOk, it seems that no matter what we do, we keep getting pulled back to this topic. We have to say this in plain and simple terms. Microsoft did not develop surface due to lack of confidence in their partners. This is a ridiculous notion to present and it is one that keeps popping up in the news. I am not even sure how this rumor got started as to say that Microsoft wanted to show their partners how to build a tablet is sort of comical considering their past hardware efforts. It will end up hurting Windows 8 sales as well as Microsoft parnter sales.

Published in News

music01A few years ago we had hope for Microsoft in the phone and mobile media player market. There was a new device on the tablet with a new SoC (System on Chip). This we had one in the lab and it was looking very promising in terms of performance and even style. Then something happened; Microsoft. For those of you that have been around the IT game for a while you will know what I mean here. As for the device; I am talking about the ZuneHD. This was (and still is) arguably the best media player that I have ever owned.

Published in News
Tuesday, 04 October 2011 21:11

Why Microsoft continues to fail

ZuneHD-MenuOne of the things that continues to annoy me about Microsoft is their constant failures. These failures are not due to product failures. The products they make are pretty solid; no it is because Microsoft fails to understand the market they are competing in. In the Operating system market Microsoft truly only has one competitor. I know I am annoying the Linux guys when I say this but Apple is their only real competition when it comes to the desktop OS. The same thing can be said for their Productivity suite Office. Even Mac owners use Office for Mac. Again I know there are multiple open source office products but even the most popular of them cannot compete with Microsoft sales in this area.

Published in Editorials

ZuneWith all of the hubbub about Spotify and other new music services it seems that Microsoft would like to get in on some of that MP3 love. To do this they are launching a new $10 Zune Pass service. Now, this is not a price reduction, but it is a new level of service. With the $15 price tag you get unlimited downloads, complete with DRM, and 10 song credits per month. You can use these to download DRM free songs that you can use in almost any way you like.

With the new $10 plan you get the same unlimited downloads, but you lose out on the 10 song credits. We are fairly certain that this will not bring in a ton of new Zune owners, but it certainly is a step in the right direction for Microsoft at this point. This news was accompanied by a rumor that Microsoft will be adding more video services to the Xbox 360. Some of the ones that are being tossed around are Comcast, HBO Go, Crackle and many more. The thing that makes this even more interesting is that is Microsoft is working on this for the XboX 360 then it is already planning to drop these into Windows 8’s Media Center.

Now I wonder if I can get confirmation on that Microsoft Run Media Service that I was hearing about. Maybe this report is not so much Microsoft adding these services in but offering an aggregation service for these and dropping this into Windows and the Xbox… Remember, Microsoft has already said they are working toward integrating Xbox and Windows, so this idea is not that far-fetched. We will work to find out more on this.

Discuss in our Forum

Published in Leaks and Rumors