Zune… Microsoft’s answer to the iPod… really?

platinum-zuneMicrosoft introduced the Zune in late 2006 as an answer to Apple’s iPod, but has struggled to chip away at iPod’s dominance. Microsoft has plans to release a new Zune model this fall featuring a touch screen, web browser and high-def quality video. All of these features should sound awfully familiar to iPod and iPhone owners. It seems as if Microsoft continues the habit of remaining one (or more) steps behind Apple as they continue to reinvent the portable media player market.

“The market reception for Zune is so disappointing that many retailers have even stopped selling it altogether,” said George Kurlan, a vice president at Tradition Capital Management, which owns Microsoft shares. Kurlan went on to say, “Microsoft should abandon Zune and follow Apple’s strategy to try to make its presence felt in the high-growth smart-phone sector.” He recommended purchasing Palm since the Palm Pre has been touted as the rival to the iPhone.

Whether Microsoft takes heed and entertains the idea of a Palm purchase, only time will tell. In the meantime, the new Zune is scheduled to be released within the next few months and new photos show it to be sleeker and edgier than its bulkier predecessors.

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