Feeds

Microsoft matches Apple with Zune pricing

Tune for tune

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Microsoft is to retail Zune, its first digital music player, at the same price as feature-equivalent iPods.

Microsoft today reveal a 30Gb Zune device will be priced $249.99 compared to a 30Gb iPod that is priced $249.00. Songs for Microsoft's player will start at just under a dollar - just like individual tracks on iTunes.

The only difference is you must use special Microsoft credits instead of actual money to purchase songs. Credits come in units of 80 that cost $1 and in a stroke of marketing genius one track will cost 79 credits. The alternative is to pay a $14.99 monthly subscription to the Zune service, which Microsoft promised will hold "millions" of songs.

Consumers will be invited to shell out between $19.99 and $99.99 for Zune accessories like AV cables and adaptors, cradles, dock, bags and "special" headphones.

Having matched Apple, Microsoft will make a loss on each Zune player sold. This is not the first time it has taken a loss on hardware -just ask the Xbox division.

Scott Erickson, who heads up Zune product marketing, justified the price by telling Reuters that Microsoft "needed to put a comparable price on Zune, even if it meant that the company will suffer a loss from the devices this holiday season."

With identical pricing, storage and video capabilities, Microsoft is gambling on Zune's ability to share music over a wireless connection to get an edge on Apple. Microsoft's price announcement came with the promise Zune is "putting the social into digital media."

If this is the sharing age, though, then the Zune makes Microsoft look like the Grinch. Zune users will get just three days in which to listen to other users' songs up to three times - that's it. Neither, will Zune play Microsoft-protected Windows Media audio or video purchased or rented from Napster, Rhapsody, Yahoo! and other online media services.

With a November 14 launch planned, Microsoft should be able to say it got a consumer product out in time for the Holidays.®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
BT claims almost-gigabit connections over COPPER WIRE
Just need to bring the fibre box within 19m ...
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.