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Ballmer: Zune Can Take iPod
Wednesday, November 15th, 2006 at 11:20 AM - by
Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer thinks the Zune media player can knock Apple's iPod out of it's dominant position. He commented "We can beat them, but it's not going to be easy," in a Washington Post interview.
Microsoft's handheld MP3 and video player went on sale on November 14. The company is hyping that by offering some features that are similar to Apple's 30GB video capable iPod, and touting the Zune as a "social experience" device, it can take on the iPod where other companies have failed.
Mr. Ballmer said "The market will have two big players for a long time, us and Apple. Obviously we're the David in this one; Apple's the Goliath." Microsoft is also hoping to capitalize on iPod and other MP3 player owners that are unhappy with Apple's market dominance.
Microsoft is working to buy friends in the recording industry, too. Last week, the company announced a deal that gives Universal Music Group a cut from every Zune sold. Now Microsoft is offering to sign similar deals with other labels.
The road to the iPod's dethroning, however, may be more difficult than Microsoft would like. So far, the Zune is getting panned in reviews from industry experts like David Pogue. And since those reviews are likely to keep many consumers from purchasing the player, the Zune may be the David in Goliath's shadow for a long time.
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