Sorry, Microsoft, Zune HD Will Be D.O.A.

zune hd

Microsoft (MSFT) confirmed that it will release a new Zune called the Zune HD later this year. It will feature a HD Radio receiver, wi-fi, a multi-touch UI for Internet Explorer, and HD video output, so you could use it to play video on your TV set.

This is the best Zune yet, if that matters. But there’s no way this is going to put a dent in Apple’s iPod business.

Too little, too late, Microsoft. Why would anyone buy this thing when the iPod touch is so much better? No one cares about HD Radio, and few people are going to go through the trouble of buying a Zune dock (sold separately) for outputting HD video.

What the Zune and Windows Mobile need to compete with the iPod touch and iPhone is a real operating system and an app store. As far as we can tell, the Zune HD has neither. (And even if the Zune HD is Microsoft’s entry point for its next-gen app store, no one’s going to develop for it until there’s a bigger install base.)

If you watch people with an iPod touch, they are playing games and fiddling with apps as much as they are listening to music and watching video. Microsoft is irrelevant here. They might as well have built the thing on Google Android, which at least has some developer activity.

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