New Zune HD – US only

The new Zune HD

The new Zune HD

We don’t hate the Zune. Actually, more accurately – we don’t want to hate the Zune. But Zune don’t make it easy for us. Firstly, they don’t make the thing available to us.

According to the press release this week for the latest one called Zune HD, the 7th model in 3 years, looks like they are sticking to American shores.

Giving it a chance, lets have a look. The new hook is the touchscreen. It’s Zune‘s challenger to the iPod Touch. Throwing in wi-fi capabilities and a browser is a good move. The final touch is the HD functions – access to HD radio and the ability to output HD video to other devices (like your TV). No word on capacities, but we assume 16 or 32GB. We’ve not heard on price either but Zune has a habit of following Apple here too.

It’s an interesting match for the iPod Touch. But we don’t think it’s enough to beat it, or even dent it. The big one is the radio function. But HD radio is small beans. And will it be enough to tear someone away from Google maps, or the 40K apps that are available to Touch users? iPod Touch‘s message these days is all about the apps – the funnest iPod ever. Zune have not announced anything in terms of games, but one can assume they will.

We like the iPod Touch design better, but the Zune doesn’t look too bad either. We could go either way depending on the functionality. Price is the big unknown. If Zune undercuts Apple significantly in this economy, it could finally get Zune into the game.

It’s all a moot point as outside of the US Zune is a joke and will continue to be. There is no excitement, no vibe. And if Zune continues to simply try to match, rather than exceed Apple, then they are going to lose. There is no vision. Nothing to be excited about or to believe in. A joke.

Slightly more interesting was the announcement that Zune is selling videos internationally on the Xbox platform. This could mean big things if they could follow it with music.

We’re not writing the Zune off just yet, but they have a long way to go.

Official Zune HD site – http://www.zune.net/en-us/mp3players/zunehd/default.htm

Certified financial planning for the Zune

Microsoft is really gunning for Apple. And their weapon of choice is price. It’s almost scare tactics. A series of ‘Laptop Hunter’ ads have been floating around, pitting PC laptops against Macs. Now, the fight is being taken to the Ipod/Zune arena.

(You know Zune, right? Craig Ferguson put it best. “Bill Gates is trying to break the iPod‘s Stranglehold on the iPod market.”)

Some crazy accounting here. I like how this guy, ‘Wes Moss’, is a certified financial planner.

Wes, by the way, was fired from the Apprentice – http://www.theapprenticerules.com/candidates/profile-wes-moss.html

OK. Let’s stop here. This is not a Microsoft bash. Although – they make it so easy.

Our problem is that this ad, and Microsoft‘s whole schtick at the moment, is misleading.

This whole price, price, price scare is – well, scary.

Putting on some dude from the Apprentice as a Financial planner, playing into families fears of the economy to stomp their wares. It reminds me of when politicians yell higher taxes into the sky in hopes of making people vote with their wallets.

And the mathematics just ain’t true. In dire economic times, does anyone want to add a new monthly bill to the burden? Who doesn’t already carry at least some music library with them? Don’t I need a new, not terribly cheap Zune to take advantage of this? And once I cancel my subscription, I can only keep 10 tracks a month. As Zune only reaches Canada and the US, if a customer moves, they have lost most of their library and have paid far more than a buck a song.

Zune is not here in Europe yet and everyone knows why. They are already struggling at home, and they don’t have what it takes to get out into the world. They really have to lift their game if they want to survive.

Our favourite Zune bashing video after the jump

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