6/2/09
11:23 am

Will Zune HD Compete With the iPod Touch?

With new information about the Zune HD coming this fall from Microsoft, it is obvious that the new device is targeting the iPod Touch. But will it measure up? Not likely.
While the Zune HD will feature a touch screen and Touch-like interface, it really won’t be too different from existing Zunes. If Microsoft believes that the success of the iPod Touch has to do with the touch screen, they are mistaken. It has to do with apps. Plain and simple.
The iPod Touch is a device for someone that wants an iPhone, but without the phone. And the app store is the reason this demand exists. Microsoft will surely not have an app store, at least not when this new Zune is released. And even when they do get around to creating one, it will be more like the Xbox marketplace than the app store.
What’s the difference? Well, if you own an Xbox you know that the marketplace has tons of games and video content. But what goes there is strictly controlled by Microsoft and they only let a few things through, about one game per week the last time I checked.
Contrast that to the app store that has dozens, if not hundreds of apps added each day. There are tons of junk apps, but also lots of innovative ones. Many apps are created by individuals with no budget. Things like that don’t find their way into the Xbox marketplace.
So for those that want a cooler, newer Zune, the new Zune HD will be welcome. But don’t think it will compete with the iPod Touch.