I have always been a fan of the Windows Media Audio format, over that of MP3 and of the many other compression technologies available. The only downside was the lack of portable player support. I refused to get an iPod due to the need to change from wma to something else, but Microsoft have come along with a possible answer…
Until now, Microsoft have hoped that third party players made by companies such as Creative, would push the format and rival the mighty industry leader in the portable music market, Apple. However it has been nothing more than a pin in Apple’s side, causing a little discomfort, but nothing to seriously trouble them.
With the Zune, Microsoft are obviously fed up with the lack of alternatives to the iPod, so now we have a very splendid looking portable music and video player with some great key features. Of course Windows Media Audio/Video support as well as wireless connectivity, a great big screen, media extender capabilities and available in the US for $249.
Now to carry my apple analogy forward, maybe Microsoft’s Zune will be the worm burrowing away into the heart of Apples core, but I just hope that the Zune will really deliver what I and many others require in a portable player. May also encourage Apple to boldly push on and innovate as well with this new competition that may finally see some of their market share diminish.
Forbes have an interesting article with some of the benefits and downsides to the Zune, if you care to have a look.