Zune Price Zapped

Dennis Faas's picture

As rumors of a Microsoft-crafted competitor for the iPhone begin to swell, the company is making one of its other hardware experiments a little more attractive. How, you ask? By dropping the price, of course.

When it launched during the late fall of 2006, the Zune music player was lauded by some critics for its revolutionary WiFi support. Such a feature gave it the power to transfer songs from one party to the next (albeit for a limited time), something very new for the digital media market. Unfortunately, the Zune came up short on its sheer appeal, with consumers less interested in brown, black, and white players than the flashy competition from Apple's incredibly well-marketed iPod.

Months later and the Zune hasn't quite emerged from that un-cool cocoon. Microsoft clearly hopes to remind consumers that it's still around by dropping the price of the device an impressive $50. The rather spacious 30GB player will now retail for $199. (Source: reuters.com)

Although Microsoft told reporters it had been planning the price cut for months, the news comes very shortly after one company executive hinted at releasing a competitor for the iPhone. At a conference in New York City last week, Mindy Mount let slip, "Being able to do pictures and music is something that consumers are going to want, so it's a natural thing for us to want in our product roadmap." Speculation is under way that this could mean a device boasting a Windows operating system, perhaps even a "super Zune". (Source: pcworld.com)

Mount refused to comment on rumors that Microsoft was pursuing a purchase of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, the Canadian tech company based in Waterloo, Ontario.

While Microsoft has yet to make the Zune a true competitor for the global phenomenon that is "iPod", the company did meet its goal of selling 1 million Zunes between launch and June of this year. However, Mount's recent comments coupled with the price drop could mean that something far more ambitious is in the works, something that could entirely eclipse the modest success of the Zune player.

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