Feeds

Microsoft matches Apple with Zune pricing

Tune for tune

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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.®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
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.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.