Friday, October 27, 2006
Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 12:00 PM
A key factor in the ease of updates is the fact that Microsoft controls the whole platform from end to end. In the Windows Mobile world of Pocket PCs and Smartphones, I've seen the same scenario play out over and over: the Windows Mobile team creates a software update with bug fixes and completely new features, and all they can do is hand it off to the device manufacturers and mobile phone carriers and hope that they release it to their customers. Quite often, that software is never released to the customers because the device manufacturers either don't want to put the time and money into customizing it for their particular devices (which is necessary due to low-level hardware issues), or they want to offer those new software features in a new hardware device they can sell. I've seen first hand the frustration this causes the Microsoft team members who work on this software - they can't deliver the update directly to the customer, and the customer is the one that suffers with a buggy device.
There are no such limits with the Zune, and my hope is that 12 months after release the Zune will have had a series of software upgrades that make it seem more like a v2 device than anything else - the included WiFi offers tremendous potential for the Zune to evolve into delivering some killer scenarios, and Microsoft has a clear path to deliver them to Zune owners. I believe they will do exactly that.