windows mobiles

R.I.P. – Zune Media Players Dead (2006-2011)

 The Zune  No Responses »
Mar 152011
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Major media outlets are all predicting the final end to Zune media devices with most forecasting that Microsoft will not be introducing any future Zune branded hardware devices to the market. Zune will remain a software ecosystem and they will continue to push it on mobile media devices along with the Zune Pass music subscription which has seen mild success as the best offer in that niche.

Only time will tell how accurate these predictions are but they seem a likely path for Microsoft to take with the Zune brand. Microsoft was never able to catch Apple in the hardware or design factor and the many stumbles they made in marketing the Zune platform and devices meant it was doomed to failure from the very beginning. This website came about after rumors surfaced that Zune would be released and we have been online since June of 2006 as one of the first 10 Zune websites online.

I personally have watched as Microsoft made one mistake after another from the very day of the launch when the failed give away one single device to seed the market. The highly touted wireless sharing features were useless unless you had two zunes and they could have done well had they given a few to the top musicians and artists for use in music videos or even reference in actual songs by top performers and made the Zune cool but instead they let the line languish with confusing television ads and a fractured marketing plan that had people more confused than excited.

The first generation device was decent but the followups were mediocre at best and failed to grab any market share over the uber cool Apple devices and the powerful brand awareness. I always thought Zune had a chance until I realized that it was it’s own worst enemy with me too designs and the misguided advertising campaigns. Microsoft was able to succed with Xbox in gaming but they have failed to make a dent in the music business and they have lost their strong start in the mobile market as well so they must be worried that few of their new ventures have met with any success other than Kinect which has led the Electronics Division to record sales.

What does this msean for the Zune blog and community? Well we have been writing about Windows Mobile, Xbox and Kinect more than Zune for some time now and it will probably continue on that path as we bring you more news and information on Microsoft products and applications and how they fail to compare to the other offerings on the market.

Bloomberg reported that Microsoft will stop introducing new versions of erstwhile device as it shifts its focus to other devices. Microsoft will focus on placing the Zune software on mobile phones running on WP7.

Read more at Bloomberg

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KIN Phones are dead on arrival

 windows mobiles  No Responses »
Jul 172010
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It’s with such sadness that I have to admit the KIN phones no matter how cool they were they had no chance at all of making it. I mean from the very beginning who wants a new phone from some unknown name brand like Kin? The phones could be the absolute coolest device ever made and they had no chance against the marketing and name recognition of Apple or even Windows Mobile which seems dead or dying on its own.

Now that Microsoft has officially announced the death of Kin I am hopeful they will get back on board with Zune phones and cave to the pressure of Zune fans around the world who want a phone with the Zune music service built right in. Why they chose to offer some other brand for their new phone line makes little to no sense to me but they did. I expect the recent job loss from top guys like Robbie Bach, who was pivotal in the Entertainment and Devices Division, and even the guru J Allard has much to do with the poor performance of Zune and Kin. if not for the ever popular Xbox the entire division would be a bust. Heck why not stick with that brand and give us a gamephone instead? Would you buy and Xbox phone? I know I would!!

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Is Microsoft Mobile Strategy a mess or what?

 windows mobiles  No Responses »
Jun 212010
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I read the article below and had to agree that Microsoft has made a real mess of their Mobile division and I think it all started with the failed launch of Zune way back in 2006. Sure they may have had some issues before that but when the Zune bombed it really hurt the momentum they had built up with Windows CE. I think Zune was supposed to hold us over while they tweaked Windows Mobile for the upcoming phone but the lackluster performance of Zune caused the poor decision to abandon the name as the mobile line and in the end they became to fragmented.

KIN Phones are cool but they should have been Zune phones and they should have been out at least in 2008. If we had to wait that long for a new phone design it should have been light years beyond anything on the market and its not. I hope they can bring some things together and get this all sorted soon or I’ll have to buy a Android phone and move on with my life.

Microsoft’s Mobile Strategy Isn’t A Strategy. It’s A Mess

In a year in which Microsoft is transitioning from the lackluster Windows Mobile
to the more promising Windows Phone 7, one might expect some form of cohesive mobile strategy from the software giant. Unfortunately, that’s not what’s happening. Microsoft has a slew of overlapping mobile products shipping this year, and it seems like a new mobile platform is introduced almost every week. What the heck is going on?

The impetus for this question was the announcement late last week that Microsoft would soon deliver something called Windows Embedded Handheld, yet another mobile software platform and brand built on the same underpinnings as the obsolete Windows Mobile 6.5 and aimed at the nebulous market for “enterprise handheld devices.” And there will be a second version of this down the road based on the Embedded 7 series mobile core.


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Windows Phone 7 for your business

 Windows Phone  No Responses »
Jun 092010
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Microsoft is pushing the Windows Phone 7 for it’s business users with access to popular business applications such as Exchange and Office built into the new mobile phones. They are working on enterprise customers which should work well when you consider how many loyal business users Microsoft has but the idea they have to push it when it should have taken off on it’s own shows just how much competition they face as the underdog in the mobile market so dominated by Apple and now Android based phones.

Will a push at business users save Windows Phone 7 from being in the also ran category or is the death of Windows Mobile inevitable?

Microsoft to Business: You Need Windows Phone 7 – PCWorld Business Center

Citing the strong integration between its upcoming mobile phone software and its popular business-oriented products such as Office, Exchange, and SharePoint, Microsoft is actively pitching Windows Phone 7 to IT pros and developers at its TechEd 2010 conference, which got underway Monday in New Orleans.

With a touch-oriented interface that borrows elements from the Apple iPhone and Microsoft’s own underappreciated Zune HD, Windows Phone 7 clearly has strong consumer appeal. However, its tight hooks into Redmond’s bread-and-butter business apps also make it a smart buy for enterprise customers, Microsoft argues.

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KIN with Zune Pass subscription music on your mobile phone

 Zune Pass  No Responses »
May 052010
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Details are being released about the subscription plan for Kin Windows Mobile phone with the Zune Pass music subscription included and the prices are going to be rather steep for a kids phone. Microsoft has been pushing the Kin phones as made for the tweens or teens demographic who are so into social media features such as those built into the new Windows 7 Mobile OS.

The only problem we see is that the Kin phones are going to be way to expensive for the average American teenager no matter how much they love their mobile devices. I think in this tough economy having a phone that will cost a minimum of $70 per month and as much as $100 is going to be to much for parents to cover. If they want to make these phones as popular as competing devices they really should offer a lower cost plan in the $40 range or this thing will be reserved for rich kids who probably already have a phone on their parents company or family plan.

Want a Kin with Zune Pass? That will be $85 plus taxes each month | ZDNet

Verizon may have killed off the Kin devices before they even get going with standard smartphone data pricing of $29.99 per month plus a minimum $39.99 voice plan requirement. Then if you want to take advantage of the Zune Pass integration you will have to pay another $15 per month to Microsoft (not handled through carrier billing). That is $85 per month, not counting taxes and fees that will most likely put you over $90 per month for a single Kin device.

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Hewlett-Packard will purchase Palm for $1.2 billion

 Community  No Responses »
Apr 282010
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HP has announced that they will buy Palm for $1.2 billion and I think it’s a sound deal for HP. Palm is a great company with a solid fan base and more than a $1 billion worth of patents alone. Palm has real problem like way too much debt for this weak economy and the heavy competition they face in the mobile market which ironically they pioneered. With all the patents they hold in small form factor and mobile technology it’s a smart play for HP to snatch up an instant advantage in the mobile phone business with Dell recently announcing they will build the first new Windows Mobile Phones and of course Google making thier own moves with Android.

Competition is a good thing for mobile phone users and the explosive growth means there is plenty of room for a top 5 major players to live comfortably. HP has an incredible opportunity to grab a spot at the top if they do this right and support the Palm brand rather than assimilate it. What do you think HP will do with Palm?

HP buying Palm for $1.2 billion | Circuit Breaker – CNET News

Hewlett-Packard will purchase Palm for $1.2 billion, the companies announced Wednesday.

That works out to $5.70 per share for the company that invented the PDA and was instrumental in kicking off the smartphone craze. That’s a 23 percent premium over the Wednesday closing price on Palm’s stock of $4.63. The deal has been approved by both companies’ boards of directors and is expected to close by the end of July.

“Palm’s innovative operating system provides an ideal platform to expand HP’s mobility strategy and create a unique HP experience spanning multiple mobile connected devices,” Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HP’s Personal Systems Group, said in a statement. “And, Palm possesses significant IP assets and has a highly skilled team.”

Bradley was CEO of Palm from 2002 through 2005.

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Missing features are threatening to derail the promise of Windows Phone 7

 Windows Phone  No Responses »
Apr 122010
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DailyTech – Microsoft Exec: Windows Phone 7 is “Following in Apple’s Line”, Won’t Initially Support Multitasking or Memory Cards

When the public first received a taste of the Windows Phone 7 OS, they liked what they saw. The interface looked great and surprisingly different from the iPhone-like status quo. And many were excited that Microsoft was pushing its Xbox gaming dedication and Zune successes into its new phone project.

Then came the bad news. At launch here would be no copy and paste, no application multitasking, and perhaps most importantly, no memory card support. The lack of copy and paste can be perhaps excused if Microsoft merely wants to make sure to perfect it before airing it in finished form. Likewise, mobile multitasking is no easy chore and while it’s disappointing that the feature won’t be ready at launch, perhaps it’s better that Microsoft did things right then released a sloppy, battery-chowing implementation.

But no access to replaceable memory? That’s a new one for Windows-based smartphones — Microsoft’s Todd Brix says that denying users access to replaceable memory makers for a “simpler” and “more satisfying” user experience.

At the Dutch DevDay event, interviewed Microsoft’s Charlie Kindel about the new phone project and Microsoft’s plans to fix its shortcomings.

Kindel admits the release of Windows Phone 7 later this year will be far from “feature complete”, but he says that things like multitasking and the ability to customize your home screen will eventually be added, via Zune software updates (the new phone OS shares a code base with the Zune media players) or over-the-air releases for smaller updates. Unlike past versions of Windows Mobile, Microsoft will strive to have all its phones operating on the same OS, and will not allow OEM specific versions of the operating system.

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Microsoft’s mystery event revealed Its the zunephone release!!!!!

 Zune Phone  No Responses »
Apr 122010
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Microsoft’s mystery event revealed | Beyond Binary – CNET News

A source confirms I was on target with my prediction that the event will herald the introduction of Microsoft’s long-awaited new phones for the always-connected crowd. The devices, code-named Pure and Turtle, are both slider phones, each with a touch screen and keyboard, a source told CNET. In the U.S., the devices will run on Verizon Wireless’ network and go on sale within the month following the event.

Microsoft’s invitation for the April 12 event was fairly nondescript, noting only that “It’s time to share.”
(Credit: Kent German)

Microsoft plans to unveil the devices at the April 12 event in San Francisco.

However, those wanting an iPhone should really keep their focus on Apple’s April 8 event. Microsoft’s true run at the iPhone won’t come until Windows Phone 7-based devices arrive later this year. Turtle and Pure are more in line with the market Microsoft targeted with the Sidekick, the T-Mobile device it acquired as part of its 2008 Danger acquisition.

While instant messaging was king when the Sidekick first hit the scene, these days it’s all about Facebook and Twitter and other social services. These phones will offer lots of social media as well as the Zune music service. The Sidekick, with its Java-based operating system, were never very adept at media, but these devices have a version of Windows Mobile inside, paving the way for the Zune connection.

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