Feeds

MS to spend big bucks and lose money pushing Zune

Re-uses Xbox business model

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Microsoft has pledged to spend "hundreds of millions" of dollars establishing its Zune music hardware and services combo while losing money on the package for the next few years. It'll take the company 3-5 years to make a significant impact to the market, it reckons.

So Robbie Bach, head of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices division, told financial analysts at the software giant's annual Wall Street conference. Bach, of course, also looks after Microsoft's Xbox efforts, and so he's used to the long game: take a short- to medium-term hit promoting the platform in the hope of riches to come.

'Long' is the word - Bach told analysts the Xbox business won't go into the black at least until 30 June 2007 - end of Microsoft's FY2007.

Zune shares other aspects of the Xbox approach. Bach confirmed the device and the service that feeds it music will not be part of Microsoft's Plays For Sure initiative. But lest PFS partners feel Microsoft is biting the hand that feeds it, he was quick to stress PFS' PC centricity. Zune will sit alongside PFS in the same way Xbox sits alongside the PC: related but different horses for different courses.

That said, he admitted Zune will "work with the same [PFS] interfaces", suggesting a Windows Media Player connection, which is a very PC element. Still, all the expectations are that Zune will be able to access Microsoft's answer to the iTunes Music Store directly.

If the device - or one of them; Microsoft is planning a series of hardware products, Bach indicated - can indeed work with Wi-Fi networks, as some observers have speculated, it's not hard to see Microsoft building the kind of branded network that Nintendo and - starting today - Sony is too. Take your Zune to a 'Zune Spot' Wi-Fi hotspot and download content for free and without the need for a PC.

If Microsoft is indeed planning such a move, we wonder if it's a trial run for a handheld Xbox. Certainly, Bach's division has been claimed to be working on such a machine, but it's difficult to say whether mobile Xbox rumours indicate the existence of such a device or are merely misinterpreted evidence of Zune. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe
I'll have a handset delivered. Judge us after you try us...
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.