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  Microsoft slashes Zune pricing ahead of Apple iPod event
Time: 11:24 EST/16:24 GMT | News Source: AppleInsider | Posted By: Byron Hinson

Hours before Apple Inc. is expected to introduce new iPods at a special event in San Francisco, rival Microsoft Corp. has announced that it is dropping the retail price of its 30GB Zune music player to $200. Electronista points to a posting on Microsoft's Zune Insider blog making note of the $50 cost reduction: "It's part of the normal product lifecycle, something we’ve had on the books for months," wrote Microsoft's Cesar Menendez. "We just got some research back and customer satisfaction with the 30GB device is really high (around 94 percent) and we expect even more consumers will now want to discover the Zune experience at the new lower price."

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#1 By 2960 (68.100.112.199) at 9/5/2007 12:36:35 PM
Not gonna help :)

TL

#2 By 2960 (68.100.112.199) at 9/5/2007 12:38:30 PM
BTW... If all MS software was as good as that BS generator they are using, we'd never need a patch!

TL

#3 By 28801 (65.90.202.10) at 9/5/2007 1:26:13 PM
MS just doesn't understand hardware. The Zune is such an ugly POS, I don't see how they have sold any.

#4 By 3 (86.1.34.106) at 9/5/2007 1:52:04 PM
Got to say that Apple just blew this Zune price drop out of the water with their price drops - $200 drop for the iphone and $250 for a 120GB ipod and then showing all the wi-fi features the zune should have had in the past year in one brand new device.

Once again the Zune has dropped behind by two generations when they could have moved ahead over the last year.

#5 By 1896 (68.153.171.248) at 9/5/2007 1:58:26 PM
I cannot specifically comment about the Zune because I do not have one... yet.
In general terms I found that MS hardware is very good; besides mice and keyboards I liked the line of routers and other Network adapters, the MS phone etc.. What is, unfortunately, also true is that MS abandon its hardware products too soon.

#6 By 13030 (198.22.121.110) at 9/5/2007 2:21:20 PM
From the article: The price drop comes shortly after Mindy Mount, the corporate vice president and CFO of Microsoft's entertainment and device division, said that she grades the Zune a "B-" in its current state, noting that the player is doing well, saleswise, for "a product out in less than a year and a half," but that the company is still developing the brand and trying to expand its identity.

The Microsoft zealots here gave the Zune an A+. As you can see, it's ok to tell the truth when a product is not the best.

#7 By 7754 (206.169.247.2) at 9/5/2007 2:30:26 PM
Judging by the sluggish response of Apple's site, I'd have to say no one really cares.

Byron--you're totally right. $400 iPhone and $300 touch-iPod... the Zune is outclassed. On the hardware side, I really like the Zune's finish, but Apple has very nice hardware overall. If they had introduced it about 3 years earlier, they would be doing quite well, but at this point, they've got a lot of catch-up to do.

I wish someone would come up with an audiophile- or musician-oriented device, though. In particular, one of these would be really sweet if it offered a high-quality stereo mic/line input and recording software.

#8 By 3653 (65.80.181.153) at 9/5/2007 4:13:55 PM
those new ipods (not the iphone ipod) look like squatty albino turds. I wonder if they are smaller because of reduction in chip sizes, or because they no longer have to hold nbc/universal content? ;-)

fritzly - i wave at another msft router owner. that hardware was so nice. Not that anyone knew about it.

#9 By 116 (72.177.124.25) at 9/5/2007 11:28:22 PM
+1 on the MS routers. I had two of the wireless g models. I was pretty pissed when they abandoned them. I don't see how they couldn't make money on those guys.

#10 By 9589 (71.49.188.113) at 9/6/2007 12:18:59 AM
I own a Zune. I have put much of my music and pictures on it. Also, I put tech .mp3s and videos on it to listen to when driving in my car. I plug it into my car stereo system and it sounds terrific.

My only complaint as an Audible.com subscriber is that I can not download and install audio books from this vendor to the Zune.

#11 By 37 (76.210.78.134) at 9/6/2007 7:07:00 AM
"Got to say that Apple just blew this Zune price drop out of the water with their price drops - $200 drop"

I got to say that Apple just blew off their most hardcore fans with a 33% drop in price. In a months time they went and dropped the price $200, screwing over the 1 million people who have purchased an iPhone for $200 more.

No doubt that people pay for being early adopters, but at no time does early mean that a mere month later the prices drop 33%.

With the iPhone, it's a clear case of Apple not meeting their sales goals.

Talk about taking it up the wazoo.

This post was edited by AWBrian on Thursday, September 06, 2007 at 13:19.

#12 By 23275 (24.179.4.158) at 9/6/2007 9:26:26 AM
#11, How they ever thought that the Internet side of the iPhone house was going to be able to live up to the marketing is the real wonder here... - when so many better means exist for less.

It's the same drill on the messaging side of the house - which in iPhone world, is not just a joke, but a really bad one. People will not accept anything less than full Exchange integration and direct push. And that's a big period - end of story on that one.

That leaves the phone experience and the iPod functionality - and most foilks already have a good phone experience and even a great one [by the way, iPhone needs a whole new flock of reviewers.... I mean... when we speak of phone experience... where were the UConnect BT reviews????? - what kind of lame cars were reviewers buying? My Moto Q 9m passes mapping data, the contact and directions to my car automatically - and it is anything but rare these days. It is common to see hands-free capability].

The iPod side of the coin is real proof that competitive parity does exist - iPhone eats away at iPod, and Touch iPod dines on iPhone - even Apple itself can't help but prove out how parity works and by doing this, they are showing others exactly how to feed on them. It will get a lot flatter in that space and a lot faster than Apple can launch new products. They can't sit still, but they can't afford to toss new products out, either.

Now... all that negative air loosed we are still left with "Apple" and like Microsoft, Apple has remained in the game as a leader. So bumps, bruises, missing features on this or that aside.... Apple will keep swinging and figure this out and it will only get better. That plus noted, we have to apply the same very adult gloves to Apple as we do Microsoft - when MS dumps on its customers with the likes of WGA and abandoned V1 extenders, we are rightfully angry and vocal - when a company as seasoned as Apple does similar things, we ought not spare them our wrath. They are plenty big enough and tough enough to take their lumps. for now, Apple's biggest challenges are the hit iPhone will cause to its IDE - core, webkit, etc... iPhone is showing just how lacking their tools are as compared to others - Microsoft's, for example, and that, if any one part signals more bumps ahead, is what iPhone really communicates. iPhone opened that door - but the problem is, all it revealed is that no one wanted to go through to the other side - further isolating the entire platform.

This post was edited by lketchum on Thursday, September 06, 2007 at 09:28.

#13 By 2960 (68.100.112.199) at 9/6/2007 9:54:52 AM
You guys know I like iPods over anything else.

You also know I like Apple, but it's just not in the cards as I have to dedicate myself to PC's due to my work, and have for 15 years now.

No matter how much you might hate MS business practices, they do keep ya employed :)

Anyway, where was I... Oh, iPods...

That all said, I am actually VERY disapointed in the iPod Touch for one basic reason:

16GB...

Are you friggin' kidding me?

My Pink Floyd collection (27 CD's) won't even fit on an an iPod Touch (I use lossless formats).

I currently have an iPod 4GB Nano, and an OLD 10GB 2nd Gen player. Both still work perfectly.

I was really wanting the new iPod Touch as the next player, but I really, REALLY have to think about it now.

I figured it out. I would have to drop down to 256K MP3 to fit my 200 or so CD collection on the iPod Touch.

And to steal a famous phrase, "If the Floyd don't fit, I cannot get" :)

Is it just me, or is the REAL bargain here the 160GB iPod Classic?

It has the new OS. It has the new interface. It has 40 HOURS of battery life. And I can store my ENTIRE CD collection, with dozens of GB to spare, on the 160GB drive.

Along with my MS Office installers, utilities, Windows updates, software installers, etc... :)

At $349 for the 160GB version, the iPod Classic just seems like the CONSIDERABLY better buy here.

So what if it doesn't have WiFi.

TL

#14 By 13030 (198.22.121.110) at 9/6/2007 10:28:21 AM
#13: My Pink Floyd collection (27 CD's)...

I knew you were cool. Rush and Pink Floyd are my two nearly complete rock collections.

I figured it out. I would have to drop down to 256K MP3 to fit my 200 or so CD collection on the iPod Touch.

I've got hundreds of CDs and I can't imagine taking the time to transfer then to a digital file on another device. How do people do this other than by brute force?

#15 By 7754 (206.169.247.2) at 9/6/2007 11:09:57 AM
I would have to drop down to 256K MP3 to fit my 200 or so CD collection on the iPod Touch.

Have you tried AAC? Unless you have a really superb set of headphones, golden ears, and complete silence around you, I think you'd have a tough time telling the difference between the lossless version and the newer (AAC, WMA) compressed formats above 200-250kbps. On the earbuds, lossless formats are really overkill (unless you're using the device as a means to transfer the files, I suppose); the earbuds themselves probably "distort" the sound more than the format at that level of encoding. I can totally appreciate the desire for lossless formats if purchasing music online (when it's your only copy), but if you already own the CD, there's little reason to encode the iPod copy in a lossless format. Even with classical music--where the need for lossless encoding is arguably greater, as the goal behind the capture is on fidelity and the natural, unadulterated sound with minimal (if any) post-processing, unlike most other genres where the "original sound" is typically already altered--it still is quite difficult to tell the difference beyond 250kbps in the newer formats, and once you add in ambient noise, distortion due to the quality of the components/earphones, ear "age," etc., the differences heard (if any) are probably wrongly directed at the encoding format. If you really want to feel like you're paddling around in "Signs of Life," fire it up on a good home system.

Nonetheless, 160GB for $349 isn't too shabby. :)

#16 By 7754 (206.169.247.2) at 9/6/2007 11:13:10 AM
ch, are you a drummer also? Seems like there are a lot of Rush fans around these parts. They're playing this weekend in St. Paul. :D

#17 By 15406 (216.191.227.68) at 9/6/2007 12:56:29 PM
Another drummer here. If you like Floyd & Rush, you should definitely check out Porcupine Tree.

http://www.porcupinetree.com/

#18 By 54556 (67.131.75.3) at 9/6/2007 1:09:34 PM
my Floyd collection spins ar 33-1/3

#19 By 3 (86.1.34.106) at 9/6/2007 1:30:36 PM
No one with pink floyd albums should even own an MP3 player! or any player for that matter!!!!

#20 By 54556 (67.131.75.3) at 9/6/2007 1:41:45 PM
I don't as long as you don't count my Palm T|X, which I don't use to store audio. You probably don;t want to tallk about my Teac reel-to-reel, huh?

#21 By 2960 (68.100.112.199) at 9/6/2007 1:51:55 PM
#14,

When I rip my Cd's, it only ever gets done ONCE. I do it in Windows Media Lossless.

From that point, whenever I need a set of MP3's, AAC's, OGG, or whatever, I just point dBPowerAmp to the folder of Lossless files, and let 'er, ahem, rip :)

In the morning, I have a nice, fresh batch of whatever format ready to go to whatever device I created them for.

#15,
AAC is ok, but I prefer lossless formats.

#19,
I have become comfortably numb :)

TL

#22 By 2960 (68.100.112.199) at 9/6/2007 2:06:15 PM
BTW.... For all you Floyd/Gilmour fans, Davids new Concert DVD is released in around 2 weeks.

David Gilmour: Remember That Night - Live from the Royal Albert Hall (2007)

DVD - http://www.amazon.com/David-Gilmour-Remember-Night-Albert/dp/B000OYC7A8/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-7344121-5744903?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1189104773&sr=8-1

BluRay - http://www.amazon.com/David-Gilmour-Remember-Albert-Blu-ray/dp/B000UD08HW/ref=pd_bbs_sr_9/102-7344121-5744903?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1189104773&sr=8-9

No HD DVD. He just had to be a friggin' SONY artist, dammit.

IMHO David is one of the most gifted guitarists that ever lived. He is THE definition of "Less is more".

None of that shredding crap. Playing 200 notes a minute does not impress me one single bit. It's not music. It IS technical talent, but I have no need for technical talent.

My second favorite is another guitar god that never, ever gets the credit he deserves. Don Felder.

I would be amazed if half the people here even knew that name (without googling it).

TL

#23 By 2960 (68.100.112.199) at 9/6/2007 2:06:29 PM
BTW.... For all you Floyd/Gilmour fans, Davids new Concert DVD is released in around 2 weeks.

David Gilmour: Remember That Night - Live from the Royal Albert Hall (2007)

DVD - http://www.amazon.com/David-Gilmour-Remember-Night-Albert/dp/B000OYC7A8/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-7344121-5744903?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1189104773&sr=8-1

BluRay - http://www.amazon.com/David-Gilmour-Remember-Albert-Blu-ray/dp/B000UD08HW/ref=pd_bbs_sr_9/102-7344121-5744903?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1189104773&sr=8-9

No HD DVD. He just had to be a friggin' SONY artist, dammit.

IMHO David is one of the most gifted guitarists that ever lived. He is THE definition of "Less is more".

None of that shredding crap. Playing 200 notes a minute does not impress me one single bit. It's not music. It IS technical talent, but I have no need for technical talent.

My second favorite is another guitar god that never, ever gets the credit he deserves. Don Felder.

I would be amazed if half the people here even knew that name (without googling it).

TL

#24 By 15406 (216.191.227.68) at 9/6/2007 2:12:13 PM
#23: "All of You" came up on my playlist just yesterday.

#25 By 7390 (24.191.94.91) at 9/6/2007 10:44:44 PM
I am not a fan of apple, I have never owned an Ipod

I was waiting until the Zune 2 to get a new mp3/video player. Currently I have the creative Vision M (30 gigs)

but in all honesty I can't see the Zune 2 competiting with the new Ipod (except maybe on the harddrive size)

granted, I don't know what MS has planned for it but my god, apple is killing them.

the Zune2 better be one of hell of a machine just to survive as a viable option

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