Apple’s iPod is going to be immune to the Zune simply because Microsoft has not built an experience, just a beautiful, hobbled media player. Microsoft does not only need to play catch-up, they also need to build a complete experience and ecosystem that work together. That is not something they are good at.
In an article in the International Herald Tribune an excerpt of an interview with Microsoft’s Steve Berkowitz is telling:
‘Microsoft lost its way, Berkowitz said, because it became too enamored with software wizardry, like its new three-dimensional map service, and failed to make a search engine that people liked to use.
“A lot of decisions were driven by technology; they were not driven by the consumer,” he said. “It isn’t always the best technology that wins. It is the best experience.”‘
The best experience I think is the iTunes, iPod combo. Plus it has a head start of about five years. However it does not appear that is enough. iTunes sales have suffered recently as you probably already know. Some analysts say that there already exists so much free music that people are not interested in buying DRM protected music that is so expensive. It seems the Zune is doomed.