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Old 06-02-2010, 09:57 AM
JJohnson JJohnson is offline
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Aside from increasing marketing and buying shelf space for the Zune HD, the other seemingly obvious move would be to make it completely available for Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand at a minimum (They all speak English, and also French in Canada, so no additional translations necessary), and even better, for France, Spain, and Latin America (minus Brazil). Why? English, French, and Spanish language interfaces are already available. At the bare minimum, open the Zune HD to Canada. It's kind of ridiculous (at least from the customer's perspective) that a person in Calais, Maine can get a Zune HD, but a person right across the border in St. Stephen, New Brunswick can't.
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:04 PM
Jacob Jacob is offline
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Originally Posted by JJohnson View Post
Why? English, French, and Spanish language interfaces are already available.
Translating isn't the issue. It is really easy to add extra languages, they just didn't bother because the market they are selling don't need that many.
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Old 06-02-2010, 02:58 PM
dcoaster dcoaster is offline
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The biggest point you all are missing is not distances between two border towns and the languages they speak, but the HUGE difference between US media laws and Canadian media laws. MS would have COUNTLESS obstacles to hop through before it could sell Zune hardware and distribute Zune software in Canada. Language is NOT anywhere near the problem.
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Old 06-02-2010, 04:02 PM
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Adub Adub is offline
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How does that make any sense if every other manufacturer of DAPs sells in Canada? iTunes/iPhone/iTouch uses the same business model, or rather the ZuneHD uses the apple model, and they have no problems selling their products in Canada. Microsoft has the means to dredge thru whatever red tape or bullshit that is in their way but it's a risk without a guaranteed outcome.

Imo the issue is opening up distribution and marketing in Canada adds millions of dollars going out to setup the market for their player with no guarantee of success. Hell if they can't succeed in the only country they do choose to distribute and market, how the hell will they succeed elsewhere?

They set themselves up to fail it seems.
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Last edited by Adub; 06-02-2010 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:25 PM
StephenPT StephenPT is offline
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Originally Posted by DaveMac-MS View Post
Gotta run - off to Portland, OR for meetings tomorrow.

Cheers, Dave.
Enjoy your stay here in Portland. I'm sure you've been here numerous times, but if you haven't tried out Widmer's restaurant/brewery, give it a try while you're here. I go there rather often for lunch as I work just down the hill at Daimler Trucks.
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:47 AM
grunge100 grunge100 is offline
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Originally Posted by Olley View Post
I think the Zune Team is wonderfully talented. I question management and marketing though. It's a great device with wonderful potential. The games we've gotten have been first rate in their category. You can't do orange-orange either as stepping either way (up (Apple) or down (Kiwi)) leaves the Zune HD coming up short. Take the Cowon J3 for example:

- Bluetooth,
- MicroSD expansion,
- 2 extra UI styles to choose from,
- more audio
- more video codecs supported,
- line-in recording,
- external volume, play/pause, and track +/- keys
- speaker
- microphone
- Radio recording
- Voice recording
- Calculator
- Flash game/app support
- 64 hour battery for audio
- User defined EQ

Zune HD:
- WIFi
-- Browser
-- Market/music
-- Market/apps
-- Free utilities (limited)
-- Free games (limited)
- Social
- Fancy visual "Extras" with music.
- HD radio (if any is in range)
- HD TV out with acce$$ory dock and cables.

Other than these things, the devices are identical. So if the HD is a Touch competitor it doesn't compete for apps and WiFi utilization. If the HD is a J3 competitor it loses as a media player. Nothing like being the only orange out there, especially when there is only a niche market for oranges. Then limit that market even more by only selling oranges in the U.S.. No wonder I've yet to bump into another HD owner.

Very accurate post. I think my next purchase will be a Cowan S9 or J3. The HD is a nice device, and I will continue to use it, but It's feature set as an all around PMP is very weak. The iTouch is far more attractive as an all around PMP, but since I really only care about audio/video the HD does the job. I think the Cowan devices are a perfect fit for MY uses.

Good luck MS, and thanks for the input Dave..

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Old 06-03-2010, 11:21 AM
binkman71 binkman71 is offline
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Location: Near Philadelphia, PA, USA
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I find a lot of these arguments very intriguing, and I guess I'm just not in the same mindset as a lot of people here. That said, here are my [lengthy] comments.

I LOVE my Zune HD.

I have used 3 different models of iPod, and had an iPhone (until I dumped crappy AT&T service and didn't want the hassle of "jailbreaking" just to use the phone on another provider's network). When it came time last year to want/need a new media player, I wanted something that would do video better than the iPod did. Which mainly meant files in non-Apple approved formats and resolutions.

I first tried out a Sony X-series player. It was very nice. The interface was fun and easy to use on the touch screen OLED. Video playback was nice -- but only if you could put your video into a format the player would use. I even got a desktop app from Sony they claimed would convert your videos for use on their line of players. Problem is, it reduced resolution down to a "portable" size. Any attempt to tweak those conversion settings resulted in less than smooth playback. I even used other video software I have to convert to formats and resolutions Sony said the player supported. No luck, playback choppy. I begrudgingly returned the unit on the last possible day of the store's return policy.

I looked into some of the Archos players, but really didn't want a internet tablet. Also, to play back some audio and video formats required separate purchase of software plugins. This on top of the already hefty pricing for the 5" model.

I then searched these forums, and saw everyone raving about the Cowon S9. I researched it, and it seemed like it would do everything I wanted...but with a couple exceptions. It had Audible support, which was great. But looking over the list of supported formats, I didn't see one I needed. The AAC format. Yes, all those years of iPod use left me with a large collection of AAC formatted music. I did an online chat with a Cowon rep and asked if they even intended to support it with a future firmware update. The answer was "Not at this time." So, while they supported the "open source" audio formats, they didn't support the one format I had most of my library in. I didn't feel like converting my entire collection of AAC files to another format, so this ultimately was a deal breaker for me.

Then MS announced the preorder for Zune HD. It supported the video files I wanted, it supported the audio I wanted. While the video may have had issues like the Sony did, I was willing to take the chance that their support of WMV files was better than Sony's. When I got my hands on my Zune, I loved it from the get go. The desktop software happily imported all my music, it imported my videos, and I could transfer them to the player with ease. When I played the videos back on the Zune, they were flawless. Whether they were MP4 or WMV, didn't matter. The Zune handled them. It also handled Audible, so I was set.

Now I have my new Zune HD 64 because all the content I decided I wanted to keep at my fingertips on this little device had filled my 32 to capacity. I wasn't even considering another player at this time. Do I need apps? No. Even on my iPhone I only downloaded a handful of applications. Now on my Droid, I've only downloaded a handful of apps. And even so, they aren't media-based applications. They are productivity type things, turning my phone into more of a PDA (anyone remember those? PocketPC!). I'm even one of those weird people that don't want my music and videos on my phone. Not on my iPhone, not on my Droid. I'd rather have the dedicated player, and my player doesn't need to offer me the ability to surf the web -- it simply isn't what I even thought about when I was looking for a player.

While I will admit Bluetooth headphone support might have been nice, it wasn't a dealbreaker for me. And as for most of the other features mentioned here by others, again, I didn't want them. It's partly why I didn't go with an iPod Touch. To me, the Touch is less about the music and videos now, and all about being a PDA. And why the iPod that touts movie playback still isn't 16x9 ratio is beyond me. But nevertheless, I just wanted a media player that would play the formats I already had. Sony played them, just not well. Archos would most likely play them, with extra software purchases, so overall cost issues. Cowon just doesn't support the file format I need.

So, hey, Zune HD for the win for me.

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