Beth Callaghan

Recent Posts by Beth Callaghan

Zune Ready for Closeup; Zune Market Share–Not So Much

Since John Paczkowski is still out of range, Beth Callaghan will post Digital Daily today.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter reports that Microsoft execs have been talking to talent agencies all over Hollywood with the intention of building an exclusive body of original content for the company’s Zune player. Not just standard sitcom fare, either–Zune’s recent update of firmware for the device provides better social functionality, and Microsoft (MSFT) sees this as a move toward the kind of communal functionality pioneered by the XBox multiplayer experience.

Richard Winn, director of entertainment development for Zune, says, “What we would be looking to do with any form of original content is the added component that Zune could provide that iTunes or any competing service couldn’t.”

Great, but will that make a difference, with the Zune market share hovering at 4 percent (compared to Apple at 71 percent)? Probably not. This is the same programming/marketing team, after all, that came up with the idea of launching a Joy Division version of the Zune. Really–Zune users are already lonely; no need to make them sad.

Well, it’s also the team that does the impossible–defying all rumors of extinction and plugging away on a platform no one uses. Maybe while the Zune team is making the rounds, they’ll find out who represents U2.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik