Feeds

Microsoft matches Apple with Zune pricing

Tune for tune

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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.®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms firm here
Is goTenna tech a goer? Time to grill CEO, CTO
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.