Apple makes huge profits selling iPods at $249.00, but Microsoft claims it will incur losses selling a similarly-spec'ed product priced at 99 cents more.
There must be a socialist running the Zune division. Must be.
Unless, of course, "taking a loss" is Microsoft PR's spin to cover up something else. Like maybe to give the impression that this is a really expensive piece of equipment (really expensive = better than iPod) but we are being generous to the consumer by choosing to price-match.
It occurs to me that Microsoft would be bankrupt, dead, and out of our memories like a latter-day Ashton-Tate, if the convicted monopolist couldn't rely on that guaranteed flow of royalty income from hardware vendors pre-installing the increasingly uninteresting Windows and Office software.
End of Sept: Microsoft's PR firm is starting to have success at planting pro-Zune articles in publications, such as the poorly-argued Why Microsoft's Zune scares Apple to the core by Mike Elgan in ComputerWorld.
I'm thinking, how is the Zune better than my Palm T|X, other than with the 30GB hard drive? As a music player, the T|X has:
- storage for 2GB of music (about 32 CDs worth).
- removable storage in further increments of 2GB.
- built-in speaker.
- can share MP3 files by infrared, Bluetooth, and WiFi without 3-day limits.
- can run a variety of playback interfaces (I have two loaded).
- accesses MP3 and other files via WiFi networks from desktop computers.
- streams Internet radio stations.
(That last item, Internet streaming, has become popular in my house. I plug the T|X into our living room stereo system, and my wife and I listen to Radio Paradise while reading in the evenings in front of the fireplace.)
In addition to music playback, the T|X:
- also plays back photographs, movies, et al.
- directly shows photos and AVI movies from digital cameras (SD cards).
- 480x320 3.9" color screen.
- can act as a universal remote (with the addition of extra cost software).
- also functions as a PDA, GPS (with hardware addon), eBook reader, Web browser, email reader, world clock, etc.
All for about the same price as a Zune + its overpriced accessories. The base price for the T|X is higher (US$299), but the one I got included USB cable, keyboard, and international power supply (with adapters for all countries).
Palm needs to market their PDA as an all-purpose entertainment device!