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New Gear: Microsoft Zune

by Winston "Stone" Ford

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Microsoft dropped its “iPod killer” this week to mixed reviews. The 30GB Zune has more features than the iPod–a larger screen, FM Radio, Wi-Fi capabilities and a longer, 14 hour battery life. But on the downside, the Zune can’t be used as an external hard drive, and the Wi-Fi will only connect to other Zune devices and not the internet.

The most interesting feature about the Zune is the ability to send pictures and music to other Zune users through its Wi-Fi connection. Of course, thanks to the RIAA, songs that you send can only be played three times and expires in 3 days, but this could open up new avenues for social networking and marketers, which could be good and bad. (Actually, I think it’s bad. I already get hit up by wack rappers trying to give me their CD’s. Now they can send me songs wirelessly? Aww hell naw!)

Most people aren’t counting on Microsoft to take over the iPod market. It’s not going to be easy. The iPod had a 6 year head start, and now there is a booming accessories market. Companies like BMW and Mini already have iPod integration in their cars, and now some major airlines are putting iPod connectors in their planes, which will not only allow you to charge your iPod in flight, but alloy you to view your iPod videos through the plane’s headrest TV. Until the Zune pulls deals like that, its gonna be DOA.