Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Apple Beats Microsoft to WiFi Music Store

You know, here's the kind of thing that REALLY irritates me about Microsoft. They've had Smartphones out for years. They've had a music player ecosystem out for a while too. And they were the first major company to have WiFi built into a music player, with music sharing. So why in the HELL did Apple just beat them to the punch with a WiFi music store? They just released EXACTLY what I envisioned for the Zune by introducing the iTunes WiFi Music Store, and making access free from any Starbucks with a T-Mobile Hostspot.

But Microsoft, all is not lost. You can still come out ahead in this game, and here's how I think you should do it:

  • Make buying songs over WiFi as easy as Apple has. You guys have more clout than Apple... make it happen. You did the free T-Mobile thing for Windows Vista, there's no reason why you can't do it with the Zune, and then you'd hit all the airports and other T-Mobile locations that aren't in a Starbucks.
  • Bring all the TV Shows and Movies from Xbox Live Marketplace on to Zune Marketplace. If I buy a movie on my 360 I should be able to watch it on my Zune.
  • Build a Zune Marketplace add-in for Vista Media Center. I don't want to download shows at the endpoint of my network, I want it on the hub, and that hub is my Media Center PC. I want to be able to stream those movies to any Extender in the house (when you decide to release the V2 Extenders, of course).
  • Bring the Zune software to Windows Mobile 5 & 6. There's absolutely no reason you guys can't let me turn my Samsung i730 phone into an EVDO-enabled Zune. No reason. Just get off your butt and do it.

Come on Microsoft. You guys are better than Apple. Quit letting them spank you and use your resources to get it done.



  • Drew Marsh said:

    Agreed. Makes no sense considering....

    * They already have a great music library with Zune Marketplace.

    * They have wireless in the damn Zune already, it was all software, yet Apple came along with new hardware AND software beating them to the punch.

    * They have a great video library, the XBox360 video marketplace should totally be available to Zune.

    Either lacking in vision or just lacking in execution. What I don't get is there's people out there on the internet (i.e. us) basically feeding them ideas for products that would undeniably appeal to the masses and they just seem to ignore it.

    September 5, 2007 2:31 PM
  • you're right. MS is definately late on this one but they have a unique opportunity combining xbox market place with the zune over wifi ! They should also deliver xbox live anywhere on the zune. Should MS deliver still Q4 they can fend apple off.......otherwise apple will rule Q4 and beyond....

    Figer crossed.


    September 5, 2007 2:34 PM
  • Chris Parker said:

    Apple are better at this sort of thing Rob, i'm sure Microsoft will rip it off pretty soon.

    September 5, 2007 2:43 PM
  • Matt Sharpe said:

    If and when Zune comes out in the UK, I won't get one unless I can sync it with Windows Media Player.

    My reason is that I don't feel that I should have to use two media libraries on one PC. My single music library currently provides for Media Center, my Xbox 360, and syncing with my Windows Mobile device and Creative MP3 players.

    Still, I agree with your points and think it's a shame Microsoft keeps letting Apple kick their ass.

    September 5, 2007 2:55 PM
  • lecube said:

    Microsoft will be playing catch-up for a long time.  this is just another example of MS moving too slowly.  Apple has the market share by far and will for many more years.  MS will not be able to catch up with Apple in terms of market share, but that does not stop them from adding functions like everyone has listed as fast, if not faster, than apple.  Yes MS has more resources, but that can also slow them down.

    The Zune design is barely ok.  The ipod is way ahead in design for both software and hardware.  MS should get the hint that they need to follow apple in having the same OS from top to bottom.  the new ipod touch has the same slimmed-down version of Mac OS X as the iPhone.  you know eventually all ipods will have the same OS.

    If MS wants to take a big chunk of the mobile markets (phone and media) they need to get off their butts and do what apple has been doing for a long time.

    September 5, 2007 4:54 PM
  • September 5, 2007 5:00 PM
  • Bob Jones said:

    How is Microsoft better than Apple if all they've managed to do after so many years is to rehash previous Apple developments.

    Windows Vista?


    Microsoft is a company of thieves and lawyers, they can't innovate anything.

    Wait until the touch screen Zune Phone!

    September 5, 2007 7:10 PM
  • The Geek said:

    Well I feel like a little kid again. I am so amazed by what happened today. The only thing that could have topped it would have been if Steve would have said "the iPhone is no longer locked down to the mothership, take it to sprint, verizon, tmobile". Great write up by the way. Always great posts, and great sources!

    Thanks again Robert for a very informative article!

    September 5, 2007 9:00 PM
  • Jon Abad said:

    Oh Robert...

    It doesn't make sense does it?

    I'm consistently stumped and surprised that the Xbox 360 has such a great community attached to it with Major Nelson, TriXie and the forums on and Zune is this wasteland...

    Yea, there's a couple of blogs but the forums are all over the place. The message is all over the place.

    I have a Zune and I'm generally satisfied, no, let's go all the way. I'm happy with it but I just can't defend them when they get the wind knocked out of them like this.

    Its just silly.

    Drew and Frederic: You guys are spot on. I have a 360 and it doesn't know anything about my Zune subscription. My Zune doesn't know anything about the videos I download from Xbox Live Marketplace.

    They have all the pieces.

    Some of us even buy all the pieces.

    Why make it so hard?

    September 5, 2007 9:53 PM
  • Aaron said:

    "Come on Microsoft. You guys are better than Apple."

    Microsoft have just had their ass handed to them again by Apple in this market. The only advantage they had Apple has just taken away from them and done it a lot better, and Microsoft have just sat and watched them do it! I dont see anyway Microsoft and zune can make further inroads, the 360 community is not the answer as it is still a gaming community at heart (and primarily only in the US), which doesnt cover much ground of the entire worldwide digital audio market. Apple controls that market, and the only serious contender they were going to have was Microsoft, who just didnt the right moves at the right time and wont be winning this one.

    Microsoft is better than Apple in other markets true, but not this one.

    September 6, 2007 9:39 AM
  • glennyboiwpg said:

    I'm curious... what criteria have you used to come to the concusion that "you guys are way better then apple"?

    In the consumer space (not Active directory, .net, servers, etc)  what has microsoft done to say they are hands down better then apple?

    Like seriously.  I like your site Robert, but you guys can be a bit arrogent sometimes...

    September 6, 2007 3:58 PM
  • Glenny,

    And the Mac fanboys that come on here aren't arrogant? It was just my opinion, nothing more, nothing less. I don't have to justify it, take it for what it is worth... one man's opinion.

    September 6, 2007 8:01 PM
  • kevin said:

    I think you confuse arrogance with passion

    September 6, 2007 9:19 PM
  • Keith Hill said:

    Someone should introduce the Zune team to the Media Center and XBOX teams.  I was really disappointed when I got my Zune and couldn't find any way with it's software to put MC recorded TV shows onto it.  Not too mention that having to go through this sync business is kind of a pain (consider I won't use an online music service).  I'd rather buy media and rip it (guess I'm old fashioned).  I'd also rather have "mass storage" access to the 30GB hard drive.

    September 7, 2007 1:26 AM
  • glennyboiwpg said:

    I'll be the first to admit that mac fans can be TOTALLY arrogent.  In fact.. i'll even admit that I fall into that catagory.

    But how come when a mac fan loves his mac, its arrogance and when you make comments like you did its passion?

    Its either one or the other... can't have both.

    September 7, 2007 8:37 AM
  • Bobby said:

    Face it, when it comes to new media and elegant design, MS has proven with vista and especially with the Zune that it is clueless.  This is Apple's game to lose now and not MS's to win.  Go get that nice iPod touch or cheaper iPhone. You know you want to.

    I've been an MS techbeta tester since Win98, MS is doing the best job it can in ruining all of its non-Windows or Office activites.  I am not a gamer but I would call the 360 quite successful.  

    September 8, 2007 12:18 PM
  • glennyboiwpg said:

    After watching the apple keynote it occured to me was to why M$ hasn't put a wifi music store on the zune...

    Like SJ pointed out, if you going to use wifi hotspots in coffeeshops, etc, most times you need to pay, which means, most times you need to open a browser and fill out some sort of form.

    So if you want wifi in a hotspot you need a browser.

    I guess M$ wasn't prepared to support that product.  And if you wondering "well why didn't they give me a wifi store on my PocketPC?" ... I can't remember as I haven't looked at PDAs in best buy for a while but... do most PDAs (that aren't cell phones) have wifi built in yet?

    Just my 2 cents.

    September 12, 2007 8:49 AM
  • Throzz said:

    Seriously as I'm not a zune user.. ist there any way to sync zune with MAC. I'm just curious

    September 13, 2007 2:39 AM