Microsoft to take on iTunes and Spotify (and invariably fail miserably)

21 September 2010

Bitterwallet - Microsoft logoMicrosoft is, for some reason, going to launch an online music/video store and music subscription service to compete with the likes of Apple and Spotify. It really does seem like the Microsoft braintank has done nothing but stare vacantly out of a window, wondering which popular thing to copy next.

Anyway, this new store thing will be ignored by many under the Zune brand. Remember that? That was the name of the music player they released in 2006 which got its arse kicked by the iPod and, well, just about everything else.

This Zune marketplace will apparently offer 8m songs at prices that Microsoft are describing as "competitive", which seems daft. They should be describing them as "much cheaper" if they want to change people's buying habits.

What's more interesting (but still likely to fail) is the Zune Pass service, which will set you back £8.99 per month (or €9.99 in Europe) which allows unlimited downloads and streaming of music from Zune Marketplace. However, the minute you stop paying your subscription, the songs you've paid for are deleted, which is a crock of shit isn't it?

Alex Reeve, the Microsoft UK director of mobile business, told the Guardian: "Subscriptions offer flexibility. It will be fascinating to see what the uptake is, but we don't know at present."

It seems that this Zune gubbins will be aimed at Xbox360 users, but sadly, as most users are under 16 and you'll need a credit card to buy a pass, it could well fail miserably. This whole thing could work because Microsoft aren't utterly hopeless, but it really does look like this is the latest in a line of projects that make Microsoft look hopelessly out of step.

TOPICS:   Technology   TV   Cool Stuff


  • Kai
    Queue Sony to authorise Spotify on PS3's as direct competition and the Wii is always a bit behind so they'll get... Napster?
  • CompactDistance
    If they release an Android app I'll switch from Spotify, a quid is a quid. Not gonna happen though.
  • Kaibor
    Zune pass a copy of itunes? I think not. It is a very different service and it come out before Spotify (in the US).
  • pt21
    Seems like the author of this article has no idea about how ridiculously popular Zune Pass is in the US. On top of that the Zune desktop software is streets ahead of iTunes.
  • Chris
    This is one of the worst/ most bias article I've seen on here. If the Zune and Zune Pass service was such a failure then why are Microsoft continuing it in the usa oh and why are they launching it in the uk as well. Oh that's right it wasn't a failure at all.
  • ohhai
    The Zune pass is a better way especially if you go through music quicker than Rik Waller through pies It's also cheaper than Spotify and cross platform support on PC, 360, WP7 (and Zune hardware if they release it in the UK) is a pretty good deal
  • Andy247
    Well researched... tard!
  • klingelton
    there's so much negativity around here.
  • Jim
    One of the worst articles I've ever read on here, and the quality is generally pretty low anyway! There are so many things wrong with that article that I can't be bothered to list them all. Other people have listed a few and I'll just point out that while xbox live maybe mostly under 16 year olds (though I highly doubt it), they can just use their parents. Also, invariably makes little sense in that context. Inevitably is possibly the word you were after.
  • autovit
    In this domain it is need some competition. I hope this will be good for us, customers
  • PokeHerPete
    The negativity in this room is unreal! ( ht tp://ww w.yo )
  • Nick T.
    Hey, why so negative? I bought a Zune! Snarf! Not really.
  • Michael M.
    Don't say shit about Total!
  • Shadow
    I always read Spotify as Stupify.
  • IfYouCopyMyNameYouAreGayIsGay
    This report should be titled something like: Bitterwallet to take on writing an article (and invariably fail miserably)
  • Mike
    My Zune I bought three years ago while on holiday in America has outlasted all three iPods I had, each died just over the 12 month warrenty period, all with that lovely sad looking iPod logo on the screen. I now have an amazingly trendy desk, with 3 iPod paper weights and a working Zune. Funny how trendy doesn't always equal quality...
  • ThinkerWinker
    9 quid a month seems like an unreasonable amount of money for a service that ultimately leaves you with nothing... until you compare it to something like love film at 15 quid, which also leaves you with nothing, and on top of that has a turnaround time of a few days per batch of discs, compared to instant streaming of music, so gives you significantly less content for your dosh, and yet they seem to have done quite well?
  • Mark M.
    Not wanting to join the wallet-bashing here, but I have a zune and it is great. The Zune software has always been streets above iTunes. Just sayin'
  • ridge
    @ mike ur either telling porkies or been unlucky as i have still got my 3g and 5g ipod and have never skipped a beat
  • Luke E.
    DRM makes me sad :( Why are you all defending a service where you pay REAL money for something that isn't REAL?
  • Alexis
    "Seems like the author of this article has no idea about how ridiculously popular Zune Pass is in the US" So are Baseball and American Football. What's your point?
  • person
    Zune pass ha done well in the US, however part of that is because in the US you pay $15 for an unlimited stream, but you get to pick and choose 10 tracks a month to keep, that was a good idea The Zune Pass in the UK youpay £8.99 a month for an unlimited music stream, but you get to pick and choose feck all tracks a month, that is a rubbish idea. Why cant these companies (especially one so big as microsoft) provide the same service across the globe, have now completely lost interest in the Zune Pass
  • Neil
    I share the author’s thoughts over the viability/competitiveness of Zune but to give credit where credit is due the Zune software is outstanding. Try it out, if you’re in the UK go to and change your locale to United States and give it a try – obviously at the moment none of the social or download stuff works but it’s still a top class media player – beats me why Microsoft keep flogging the dead horse that is Windows Media Player when they’ve got something as good as Zune.
  • Jim
    Luke - since when was music "not real"?

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