The Microsoft iPod killer, the Zune, is on the way. I don’t know all the specifications, but one point seems to be highly interesting is this device will haves WiFi connectivity. And some nice built-in feature to play with.
It seems that Microsoft smart idea is to use the wireless connectivity to promote viral distribution of music content. You will be able to send some digital content to somebody else, and than later, at home, pay for it (of course).
It seems that the idea of a social network community – first based on music-will emerge. I do not know of extensible is the zune, but I guess that if you could add some custom application than it could be a good platform for multiple social application, just like the phone is. Your mobile phone and your media player will be probably the only two devices that young will carry.
Of course, they could eventually merge. That’s the dream of the manufacturer. However, nobody succeed to make a phone as cool as an iPod or as a Zune yet.
With wireless capacities, a media player will go one step further in the direction of mobile phone.
There is still a lot of interesting issues to follow. Most of the time, these players are closed platform without any possibility of software extension. This seems to change. Apple just announced some games for his iPod, so an SDK should exists (even if it does not seems to be public yet), or the iRiverU10 is able to read some FlashLite content.
The business model of these platforms will also be interesting. Advertising based like on the internet? Or end user subscription? Without micro payment means like on mobile, it will be hard to sell content to younger peopleâ€¦
Anyway, the Zune is in my view the first young oriented connected devices (the NintendoDS or PSP are not playing in the same category), and this opens some interesting optionsâ€¦.
Pictures from TechCrunch