Friday, September 15, 2006

Zune Phone

I wrote a blog on Zune media Player by Microsoft. Seems like Microsoft is taking one more step in becoming (Multi) media Hardware vendor. There is very interesting statement,

In response to: The software giant’s Zune people at the event were asked whether that was any indication Microsoft might evolve its media player into a cell phone at some point.

“We’re definitely exploring the possibilities,” Chris Stephenson, general manager of global marketing for Zune, told reporters.

What what we need to find whether Zune will have softphone capability or full functional phone. What does this mean,

-> Softphone capability: A software client will provided, which can be sold through current or new telecom operators or MSN Live service can be used as platform to provide end to end communications. In this case. Zune will take advantage of in built WiFi capability to connect to network.

-> Full functional phone: Sold through wireless operators channels and will have all the air interface support. This will need change in basic Zune architecture, as in that case it will be phone first (regulatory commitments) and media device as add on features.

But every thing will come down to one thing, whats the OS of Zune. As I wrote earlier, I am hoping, it will not be Windows. But I may be wrong (I am hearing some version of Windows Mobile is coming as part of this player).

Hey, I am waiting for iPhone now and seems like Nokia Internet Tablet is getting tough competition (what competition.. to me Microsoft can create market.. and Nokia will sell its product.

Most interesting thing all are missing is changing landscape of personal computing devices. In 90's Apple took the approach of Hardware + Software, and Microsoft used the open Hardware architecture to sell its software. After making lot billionaires, Microsoft strategy is nose diving (check 5 years stock prices). Apple is finally showing new Mantra in this new world. (Although I still think, Apple will make more money in from its OS than selling cheap but fantastically designed media devices). Microsoft eventual entry in media device (Zune) and already presence in Gaming platform (XBOX) has again put in direct fight with Apple.

Deja vu..


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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Content 2.0

Its like a fashion these days to add 2.0 anything related to web. It all started with AJAX/Community driven concepts/sharing/Mash up.

In between all this, Music (lets talk about audio content only) remained same go either Apple way (cool player, great user experiance with affordable price for content) or every one else (from Napster to go to illegal downloading). In between Sony did biggest blunders, first launching digital music player without MP3 support and finally flawed DRM implementation in Music CD.

Microsoft was sitting at the back trying to put power in almost all non-Apple devices (with DRM and PC based software). Finally Microsoft is in the ring, not for boxing showdown, but for Sumo wrestling.

Microsoft finally launched Zune, its first entry into audio content device (Microsoft is already in gaming, XBOX).

Zune is really making music and content 2.0 in terms of downloading and distribution. Main specs of Zune are,

WiFi, 30GB of HDD, built-in FM, a 3-inch screen and the basic music, pictures and video playback

To me these functionality are going to make it distinctive from me too (lets keep Apple out of picture, that has cult following),

-> WiFi connectivity: Its not just basic but peer-2-peer (P2P) support, which is key in future evolution. File sharing among communities, software updates to focussed services (catering audiophiles) will become key differentiators.

-> DRM control: Zune is taking mobile DRM approach (Distribution/Super distribution). Now the user can share the content to different parties, with/without using network. The receiver can use the content for 3 days, and after that can buy the usage licence online. This will fill the gap in the creating communities for music fans (we need to understand, biggest online communities are music focussed.. MySpace also started as rock band fans community, rest is history).

Thats why I am calling this: "Content 2.0" world...

Finally Microsoft is putting its home in order, I am hoping, Zune is not using Windows/DOS based OS. It will be shame, if they are using. Whatever people say, only other product Microsoft is able to seel (than Windows OS) is XBOX, and that is surely not Windows.

Next blog will touch this in more details...


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Monday, September 11, 2006

Where am I...

I was out of sight (blogging, of course) for a long time. Reason, My future blogs will tell.

I was adding tons of glass in my photography equipment. I am not millionaire, so can't buy canon L lens (luxury or what.. dont know for what it stands for). But I found a way to add top class lens in my bag, old manual focus prime lens from '50s and '60.

I will write in details about these in future...

in the meantime, you can see some results on my flickr site,