Zune 2.0 predictions
Technology-future-gazing is a fun thing to do. Let’s face it, you can never actually be proved wrong can you? You can just say "Well they haven’t built it yet!"
There’s been a lot of noise lately about an updated version of Zune and given that I have v1 I thought I’d give some predictions for v2 which I expect to be out before the end of the year. Zune v1 was clearly just an attempt to get SOMETHING into the market -exemplified by the fact that it is only on sale in the USA- v2 will need to be groundbreaking to combat the fantastic new iPods. Given that there has been no new Zune release for a year now expectations for v2 are rightfully very high and its going to have to be something special to not disappoint.
So here goes:
- You’ll be able to sync via wifi
- It’ll contain a clock which will enable…
- …a calendar that syncs with Windows Live Calendar if it ever gets off the ground
- The Zune software on your computer (which has been universally panned) will receive a major overhaul
- There will be a mechanism for syncing soapbox videos straight to your Zune
- Same with photos from your Live Space.
- There will be more channels from which to purchase songs. Zune kiosks (i.e. vending machines) could appear soon.
- Loading podcasts onto it will be supported
- You’ll be able to browse the web over wifi. There may even be an email client.
- It will be more compact but the screen size will stay the same
- You will be able to publish your playlists to (e.g.) your Live Space or Facebook. Perhaps even publish your "most played songs".
- There will be some sort of crossover with XBox. Perhaps there’ll be the ability to stream media between the two.
- Zune will be a media player extender, just like XBox is.
- Zune software will run on an XBox, thus you won’t need a PC in order to sync.
- Perhaps not in v2 but at some point there will be a GPS receiver in it.
- Again not in v2 but you’d hope that at some point the FM radio receiver would be supplemented with a satellite radio receiver.
Remember, Microsoft primarily build platforms so you should expect that before long people will be able to develop applications that run on a Zune. They really could steal a march in this area because so far (correct me if I’m wrong) Apple haven’t taken the iPod in this direction.
I think the really really big message about Zune 2.0 will be something to do with XBox. In exactly the same way that Satya Nadella says that the Live Search folks are hoping to win over MSN users first, the Zune folks will be hoping to win over the XBox ones.
Also, no matter what Steve Ballmer says, they’re going to have to bring out a Zune Phone at some point. This guy certainly thinks they are going to. And there’s an apparent quote here from someone high up in the Zune team that says they will do.
If even 25% of these predictions come true I’d be amazed 🙂