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Zune You Later

4:00 PM -- Hot device or not device, that is the question. With Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) storming the airwaves with hype, it makes you start wondering about where Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) is with its Zune music-player-Internet-surfing thingy.

After all, the half-life of a hot connected device is rapidly appraoching 24 hours, and Zune seems to already be legacy news. Here's something a little birdie sent our way, reflecting some current thinking on Zune:

    After the non-event launch of Microsoft Zune, Bill & Company might be looking to the device's European release, reported to be at the end of '07, to ease the pain. After all, the Euros do love all kinds of crazy junk that doesn't catch on in the States. But if a straw poll over at Playfuls is any indication, the news is not good: "Friends from France, Sweden or Italy have not even heard of this name [Zune], and if they did (and associated it by contrast with the iPod , after viewing some photos) they firmly declared that they'll stick to the iPod."

    It's possible that Zune's myriad compatibility issues will eventually be solved. And, if Microsoft were smart, they could realize the lost potential of their player's WiFi capibilities. But Microsoft may have trouble living up to even its blatantly false claims of a 20% market share in the United States.
Good point, birdie!

— R. Scott Raynovich, Zuner in Chief, Light Reading

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