Launch of Microsoft's Zune MP3 Player Dear Essay

Excerpt from Essay :


Dear Sir/Madam, I analyze development launch Microsoft's Zune MP3 player provide logic product unsuccessful. The paper sections: • Introduction - In section outline purpose paper introduce product concept.

Development and Launch of Microsoft's Zune MP3 Player

This paper discusses the development of Microsoft's Zune MP3 player a digital potable media targeting to rival Apple's iPod market. The application was launched in the market in 2006 and it performance in the market was poor owing to iPod's popularity in the market Wingfield, 2008()

Zune is a product in the digital media owned and branded under Microsoft Corporation used for purposes of storing potable media. The product aimed at creating a platform for social ecosystem around product of Microsoft. The portable media has similar functions as an iPod with streaming for X-box via a Zune software and music, TV, media software and movies under a Windows phone Wingfield, 2008()

The product was seen as a competitor to iPod given the target market and the concept it was introduced with. The product meant to provide a variety of digital services in entertainment. The device was also known as the windows Phone focused on mobile music and video store for its users. The product was introduced in a market where iPod was a leader and SanDisk and Sony followed. The perspective of the product was to diversify Microsoft's operations adding to its portfolio hardware devices on top of software applications Holahan, 2006.

Ultimately Zune targeted the entertainment ecosystem built around software products by the corporation. With an clinch on the hardware market of mobile devices, the, corporation had its eye on getting an early lead in these devices as generation grew.


The launch of the product came at a time the entertainment industry was facing up the challenge of patent and loyalty payments. The industry of MP3 players was faced up with the challenge of piracy owing to the sharing features and downloading potential that it allowed users. The result was a conflict between the music, video and software and hardware corporations. It was acceptable that the growth in the media industry was an infringement on the patent rights for those in the entertainment industry. This was expected to hamper the popularity of the MP3 player media King, 2011()


Generally the legislative regulations ruled for the devices thus allowing their continued production and use. The ruling for the MP3 devices would however not rule out potential lawsuits. There is still threat f or the decision to be challenged on the regulation and legislation for these devices Balmer, 2001()

Social Values

The values of the society were dynamically changing and their appreciation of social media networks and freedom to listen and watch what their hearts desire. There is also a change in the morals according to Barnes, 2007()

, who argues that the population is increasingly accepting to participate in illegal downloads and create an opportunity break the dominance of iTunes.

Growth in Technology

Growth in technology is substantial in features to accommodate the growing range of choices. The changes in these technologies are making it even desirable to be able to use the devices such as iPod and Zune player Holahan, 2006.

This growth combined with the growth in demographics, preferences and use of MP3 players advised the decision by Microsoft. The youth in the industry acted as a fueling factor all of whom were eager to join in the bandwagon of MP3 players Langman, 2005()

The Zune MP3 player is a luxurious products and it demand mainly come from non- income earners and the demographics by Holahan, 2006()

show. This implies the product was subject to changes in demand following poor income status and subsequent changes in expenditure patterns. Microsoft introduced the product ideally targeting to capture interests and demand through lower prices.

Problem Definition

Microsoft sought to enter the market and get leverage by offering a deal that was economically sensible to the record label companies. Many complaints have come from the record labels on the deals they get from the equipments sold and earning per song transferred. While Apple currently offered more music and content than Microsoft, Zune's deal with Universal Music Group to share a portion of revenue from sales of their Zune players was targeted to lead other labels to pressure Apple for the same type of deal. Zune player in this sense targeted to resolve the problem copyright and payments of loyalties.

Additionally Zune player targeted to make the user experience in this media an easy process and one that makes adoption quick. The target in this case was not to complicate rather make easy Hunger & Wheelen, 2010()

Apple and iTunes have seemed to successfully establish the standard for how digital media is purchased. Microsoft, rather than adapt to the current model, has decided to differentiate with an entirely new dynamic at their Zune Marketplace. Whereas iTunes allows you to buy songs for 99 cents apiece, Zune will charge 79 "points" per song, which is also equal to 99 cents. In addition to the unnecessary confusion this is likely to add to the digital music experience, Microsoft doesn't allow you to charge a credit card each time you wish to buy a song, rather you can either buy a block of points for $5 or subscribe to one of several all-you-can download services. In trying to establish its own standard, Zune demands of its converts total commitment despite showing up 5 years late to the party Wingfield, 2008()

Product Concept

Like Apple before it, Microsoft will launch its own online media store to synch with its digital player. Zune and Zune Marketplace face several significant hurdles. Since its launch in 2001, iPod and Apple have dominated the market, first for digital music and, later, for digital media with its iPod video device and the offering of movies, music videos and television shows on its iTunes marketplace. As a result, for the past five years, anyone with an iPod has built a music library on iTunes. As Zune will not allow the songs purchased from Apple without a difficult and arduous conversion process, this switching cost associated with users current user library will be huge Holahan, 2006()

Further increasing switching costs, Zune Marketplace offers neither video content nor a song library as large as iTunes. Finally, at launch Zune boasts 1/30th the accessories that Apple offers for iPod, increasing switching costs even further. Even a moderately dissatisfied user of iPod is likely to have spent a substantial amount of money building an iTunes library and purchasing accessories Wingfield, 2008.

Additionally, some strong ties may exists people's comfort with Apple's existing platform. The switching cost hurdle is probably higher than even the most optimistic about Zune's chances are willing to admit.

As Microsoft want to do, they are trying to differentiate their new product with "features," such as a larger screen, an easier to manipulate scroll button, and the ability to wirelessly synch with other Zune players within a 30-foot radius to share music and pictures.

A potential institutional disadvantage that Apple could encounter might come in the form of consumer "backlash." This disadvantage surfaces in two distinct ways, both of which are a result of Apple's dominant market share. First, consumers "revolt" against such a dominant company and simply purchase a Zune to do something different. Ironically, Apple has historically benefited substantially from this type of backlash when people have desired any alternatives that challenged the market dominance of Microsoft in the OS, or applications markets.

The second form of this "backlash" arises from increased scrutiny on Apple. It is natural for consumers (or technology reviewers) to seek constantly even the slightest flaw and to be less forgiving when the flaw is found. An example of this occurred when consumers objected to the long-term problems with iPod's battery life. A barrage of negative press and customer complaints forced Apple to change their replacement policy.

Market testing

One key element to the coming competition is the important idea of "technology as fashion." Apple has always been interested and incredibly skilled at exploiting their perception as "cool" in marketing their products. Despite the minority counterculture who reject all-things- Apple for its own sake, this "cool" image garnered by each successive generation of iPod presents an intangible switching cost that Microsoft's Zune will have inherent difficulty overcoming. This is not a problem that Microsoft faced when launching their XBOX video game console as gamers are less concerned with cool as there are with quality and complementary games. Clearly, Zune's marketing campaign seems to recognize this as the initial advertisement blitz is focused on identifying the value proposition of the device as a social networking tool. That said, nothing is seen as more establishment, more "uncool," than Microsoft. Zune's success will almost certainly hinge partially on its ability to either establish its own sense of style, character and position in the cultural zeitgeist.

Despite an established adoption of iPod, Zune, as a…

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