6 reasons why the Zune HD is no competition for iPod Touch

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and tweets lately on how Zune HD is Microsoft’s reply to iPod Touch. Even some people from Microsoft have been labeling it as an iPod Touch killer, which is totally ridiculous. Just because it has a browser and multi-touch, doesn’t mean it falls into the same category of devices as Touch. It is more of a competitor to Sony Walkman and Samsung’s PMP than the iPod Touch.

Here are my reasons:

( keep in mind this list is subject to the announcement of any possible app store for Zune HD and other feature announcements)

1. App Store

Sure, it’s called an iPod. But it’s not just a device made for listening to music and watching videos. It works with almost all of the (approximately) 50,000 applications in the App Store, which as Apple says it, ‘Solve life’s dilemma’s, one application at a time’. It’s very difficult to compete with that. Microsoft might have to start from scratch if they decide not to bring Windows Mobile Marketplace to Zune HD. Even if they do, the developer support for App Store is very strong and a force to reckon with.

2. User Interface

Look at the UI of an iPod Touch and then look at the one on a Zune HD. Which one looks more suited to applications? The UI on Zune HD doesn’t even look as if it has been made keeping any sort of application support in mind. Heck, it doesn’t even have a clock! If somehow it does, a user will have to dig deep into sub menus. ‘More’ seems to be the only place where they might have applications or games. I might be wrong and the final UI could change but at the moment, it looks far from giving the iPod Touch a run for its money.

image image

3. Web Browser

Internet Explorer for Windows Mobile 6.5 is the worst joke ever. If it’s not a joke, then it’s a shameful browser. With Android, iPhone/iPod Touch and Pre supporting HTML 5, and have been proven better than IE by miles, where does the Zune HD stand in all this? Will they make a new browser for it or port IE to it? Whatever they do, the browser will have to be very good to even match Safari. Just having multi-touch doesn’t make a browser good.

4. Games? What games?

New games hit the App Store almost daily that make use of multi-touch and the accelerometer in the most innovative ways possible. Sims 3 is the newest entrant to the App Store and contains in-game buying options, good graphics, and an immersive experience. App Store has a list of some of the biggest game developers in the world supporting the platform. Microsoft hasn’t even put gaming as a feature on the Zune HD website! Although XNA can be used to make multi-touch games, it’ll take some convincing on the part of developers and publishers and a good attractive market share for them to support Zune HD. But at present, Zune HD is no competition for the iPod Touch in gaming.

5. Social Network support

Zune HD boasts of Zune Social. Does anyone even care for it when the iPod Touch has applications for Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter and other popular social networks? People use these networks like anything on these devices, and not supporting them would be like missing out on a lot. Since no application support has been announced for the Zune HD, iPod Touch gets another advantage here.

6. Availability

Zune HD: Only US

iPod Touch: Popular Worldwide. Available Worldwide.

‘Nuff said.

How it could compete:

  • Live Anywhere, the XBOX Live service which was announced in 2006 never made an appearance again. It was supposed to bring the XBOX experience to your mobile phone and could have given Windows Mobile a much-needed boost. Sadly, this service hasn’t been heard or seen again since.image
  • Games. If Zune HD is based on NVidia Tegra, there’s no reason it can’t run games. It could easily beat the iPod Touch since Tegra is a very powerful platform.
  • App Store. Bringing Windows Mobile Marketplace access to Zune HD would give it a great boost at launch, but that’s just a dream. We’ll believe it, when we see it, or when they announce it. Also, that should also mean a different home screen. The current one doesn’t seem to be too app friendly.
  • Windows Media Center. If it’s a natural extension to WMC, it could do wonders. Think of it as a remote or an extender.
  • Availability. Release it worldwide Microsoft! Do I need to explain more?
  • A great browser. IE? Please, no. It’s already a painful medicine on Windows and Windows Mobile, bringing it to the Zune in that state wouldn’t be a smart idea.

This is just my opinion based on current speculations and hype being generated for the Zune HD as a competitor to iPod Touch. The Touch is a great device and so far it has no competition. If Microsoft really wants to go all out against it with the HD, they will have to go hard on all fronts such as gaming and apps along with availability. Otherwise, it’ll end up just like the new Sony Walkman, which also has an OLED screen.

About the Author

Technology enthusiast, Internet addict, photography fan, movie buff, music aficionado.


  1. Pingback: 6 reasons why the Zune HD is no competition for iPod Touch … | getyourdell.com
  2. Well just one main point, the zune hd is said to be released in several countries world wide. Also the zune pass is a plus for the hd.

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  4. I totally DISAGREE. The zuneHD will KILL The ipod Touch.

    If you knew ANYTHING about zunes, you would know that the firmware has had a clock for awhile now.

    The zuneHD will have games, Probably more than whats ALREADY on the zunes..

    the UI on the zunes is BEAUTIFUL. Use a zune before you say anything about it.

    Also, Internet Explorer Mobile 6 will be tweaked specifically for the ZuneHD, So dont bash it till you’ve used it.

    Apple fanboy.

    1. I think you should read the rest of my blog posts before even thinking of labeling me an Apple fanboy. Also, no where did I say the Zune UI is ugly. It’s not SUITED to general purpose computing like the iPod Touch.
      The Zune HD UI doesn’t show a clock anywhere currently.
      (I’m talking about the homescreen, like the iPod Touch shows it on the top. This also means that the UI could be incomplete at the moment.)

      1. Good read :) I like the Zune HD UI, its different and everyone has different taste for UI. By the way clock is there when the Zune HD is locked but not on the home screen (as seen in the video demo), you can’t say :”The Zune HD UI doesn’t show a clock anywhere currently”

      2. I have no dislike for the UI. But my point remains that it isn’t designed to be general purpose. Like the iPod Touch’s UI where you can have application icons on the home page or have multiple application pages.

      3. Of course the UI isnt complete, Its still a prototype. I would assume, just like the zunes current firmware, there would be a clock in the top right corner of the home page.

        I’m pretty sure, that there will be a specific “applications” menu like there is for games.

  5. Honestly, I don’t think it is supposed to attack the iPod DIRECTLY.
    I think the main aim of the Zune HD is to tighten up intergration between the PC, XBOX and the portable Music and Video Device.
    I will buy the Zune for its video output. It will output HD video.
    On Xbox, you will be able to download full HD TV Shows and Movies and put them directly on your Zune HD.

  6. I agre with Dylan, go on youtube, & type in zune hd, theirs a video on the zune HD, the realy zune hd in a hands on video, & when he starts off you can see the clock


      1. “The Zune HD UI doesn’t show a clock anywhere currently” Your reply on 10-6-09 9:30
        OH!! How come I can see a digital clock on the lock screen? the time was 12:09

        1. Then you shouldn’t use the word “anywhere”
          Since the clock appeared on the lock screen,
          you should say “The Zune HD UI doesn’t show a clock on home screen currently”

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  8. I’d much rather have a solid music/video experience than a more full-featured PDA (which is essentially what the iTouch is). Most of the apps are pointless, and especially so with no cell reception. A Zune with a solid browser (not mind-blowing, but well-suited for its tasks) would blow Safari out of the water, provided it crashed less often. Also, I have no idea where people get the notion iTouch is good for games. It’s mediocre at best. Zune HD is powered by a Tegra processor (YouTube it; you won’t be disappointed), which looks to be amazing for games. There’s already XNA for games, and even compact .Net framework on all of the Zunes already out. Most of the tech stuff for a store would seem to be in place; they only need to get the policies and marketing worked out.

  9. The zuneHD hasnt said much about itself. it has said it exists, it has tegra, and can operate the currrent zune GUI using touch, and that it has an accelorometer (as shown on youtube)…I dont think that zune has shown anything yet.

  10. i definitely think the zune hd will be an ipod touch killer everyone nedds to stop following the crowd(ipod). mp3’s are WAY BETTER than ipods! by the way, Imran, “dig deep” into the sub menus? Um, is it really that hard to touch some buttons? Oh, who cares if there is only one way to access the games?!! then, obviously we know the direct place to go!

    1. The same can be said of the iPod Touch. There’s always a direct place to go, except you can mostly see it in the home screen in the form of icons.
      Zune HD might have some good reply to that. Lets see. It’ll take a lot for it to be an iPod Touch killer, which it isn’t at the moment from the features announced so far.

  11. A great browser. IE? Please, no.

    Microsoft putting any other browser other than IE on a device that they are releasing? It makes plain business sense to use their own browser that they have invested a lot of time and money developing! It will be likely that someone would be interested in porting WebKit over to the Zune, which would be a nice alternative if the IE based browser sucks.

    I don’t think any company will have a chance at bringing apple down with a single “ipod killer” – it just won’t happen – all companies producing mp3 players are all trying to erode away apples market share.

    1. Did I anywhere say that they should use someone else’s browser for the Zune HD?
      The IE is just not up to the mark when you compare it with the competition, desktop or mobile. Creating a better one would be the best way to go about it. Even IE 8 does not cut it when you have the likes of Chrome and Firefox or Safari, Skyfire and Opera in mobile devices.

  12. Okay, first of all, when he said the clock doesn’t show anywhere, he was talking about anywhere on the home screen, just because you don’t have the mental capacity to understand that doesn’t make him wrong.

    Second, I do in fact believe the Zune will have an Application store, Microsoft hasn’t released all the info yet.

    All the other things… Microsoft is either retarded or they’re just assholes, I would probably get the Zune HD if it was available for Macs, but noooooooooooo :(. So yea, they should fix that. Now.

    The Ipod Touch is going to have a camera next upgrade (Likely September, but Apple tricks you), I guarantee you, already making it even more social friendly then the Zune HD.

    The Zune HD will have amazing battery life, which is definitely a killer feature ^^.

    Safari > Whale shit > IE.

    That’s about it. For now.

    1. Firstly, all of you have to get that UI is actually more personal than standard.
      We can only say that one UI is more user-friendly!

      Secondly, your title is maybe the most incorrectly constructed title I’ve seen because your ‘6’ reasons are pointless.

      App Store: Not only have we not yet heard about apps on the zune, but you already countered your first point with the “( keep in mind this list is subject to the announcement of any possible app store for Zune HD and other feature announcements)”

      User Interface: Like I said earlier, it’s a personal thing. But although i like Zune’s UI more, the iPod’s is more user-friendly.

      Web Browser: This might be your only ‘quite’ valid point. IE doesn’t share 66% of the world’s usage of browsers for no reason. Personally, i like firefox but that isn’t part of the subject. IE is incredibly secure for the fact that so many people use it and it’s attacked so often, not to forget a solution, always. Safari is great to but is ‘just’ a web browser. Meaning there’s nothing outstanding.

      Games? What Games?: Probably your worst point. You actually knew that the Zune HD is more than likely equipped with a Nvidia tegra chip and you still put this point up. The Tegra Chip, smaller than a U.S dime is enough to output in High Definition, and power PC graphics. Nvidia chips are regularly used to power things like Automobiles, GPS’ and LCD’s (etc). Just to show you the magnitude of gaming possible on the Zune HD, i say and quote, Matt Akers.

      “So much better battery life, graphics acceleration. This thing’s like a mini laptop in your hand.”
      This is a good, if not the best reason for a better Zune, HD that is. Gaming on the Zune HD is a :do not attempt to compare with the iPod: zone. With XNA, it’s a demolition derby!

      P.S: Review your last statement again under the ‘Games? What games?’ sub-category becuase even then, the zune gaming was still ‘up there’, not not comparable.

      Social Networking Support: Not only is Zune, naturally, without apps, more social than the iPod, it also is more interactive with music compatibilities. Now , OneApp is headed to Zune HD. Exactly.

      The Zune HD is going to be available in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Ireland and Spain.
      How’s that for starters!

      Honestly, I’m not attacking you in anyway but i just had to prove some of your points wrong because there’s hardly even enough information to Post “6 reasons why the Zune HD is no competition for the iPod Touch”

      So let’s just wait a little longer and see.

      1. If you don’t realize what those 56,000+ Apps mean for a powerful little computing device ( and MORE than a music/video player ) like the iPod, it’ll be hard to justify anything else to you. The world has gone crazy for the App Store. I know a lot of people who just get an iPod Touch because of the endless value it offers through the App Store.
        Zune HD will ONLY be available in US for starters. Those other countries haven’t been announced. You seem to have copy pasted that line from Wikipedia without reading that fact that the Zune Video service would be available for those places. Zune HD hasn’t been announced for them.
        And Zune, social? I hope you know that even without 3rd party apps, the iPod Touch has a browser which is has web apps specifically made for it such as Facebook, MySpace and so on. That really voids your claim about the Zune ever being more social.
        Yes, the Tegra Chip is enough for HD Definition, but has Microsoft announced games for it? Has Microsoft announced One App for it? No. So it’s wrong to pit it as competition against the iPod Touch at all, which will might be getting a video camera this September to leave the HD in total dust.
        I could go on, but let me finish this comment with lines from the first paragraph of the post again, which is based on the announced features, not what people are making up at the moment: “Just because it has a browser and multi-touch, doesn’t mean it falls in the same category of devices as Touch. It is more of a competitor to Sony Walkman and Samsung’s PMP than the iPod Touch.”

        1. Ok, your here ranting about Apps?
          What does 56,000 Apps mean.
          A shotgun app, where you can pretend to shoot a shotgun??
          A drinking app where you can pretend to drink a glass of wine??
          The only reason the world supposedly goes crazy for the App store…The only reason the world has the ipod is because it was the first main mp3 player to come out.
          The Ipod touch is only so popular beacuse the common joe dosn’t know much or see other MP4 players such as the Zune and P3.
          Ok, back to the App Store and the Social.
          Alot, not all of the Apps provide apps such as Facebbok, Twitter, Pandora, Mapquest, MySpace etc. but let’s look at a thing for a second. Does a Web Browser provides all of that, I’m quite sure it does. Now im some apps are fantastic. But out of the 56,000 apps, hoe many aren’t useless or a link.
          So don’t rant about any app store!
          And i hope you didn’t say “Zune ever being more social”.
          Beacuse if i recall …My Zune 80 was more social than My Ipod 80…gigabytes that is.

          Now back to my favorite topic: Nvidia’s Tegra.
          Firstly, and hear this clearly, Microsoft doesn’t have to announce games just for the fact that the Zune can power games with outstanding graphics, the internet provides the unlimited access to the millions of games.

          Can’t wait for that chip!!

          Although Microsoft hasn’t confirmed OneApp, We ( as in Microsoft) has already filed for a trademark, and you know what that means. Yup, Indirect reference!
          And i read an article on electronista.com that clearly said “Among the apps suggested possible through the service would include games, media playback, messaging and mobile payments”.
          This clearly or let me say indirectly points to ‘A universal software store’ arriving on Microsoft platforms.
          Including the Zune HD.

          And as of Present, Does the Ipod have a camera?…no, no it doesn’t!
          And even if it did.

          Wait, did you say leaving HD in total dust???
          I hope you didn’t, because if you did, or if you actually were tech savvy, or knew what you were talking about you’ll know that HD in no way compares to a video camera.
          If the the Ipod has a video camera, how many megapixel do you think it’ll have honestly.
          3…4??…this ‘video/camera’ you just stated must be a joke because even the iphone ..yes the Third Gen. has a 3.0 megapixels. Even my phone (LG Dare) has more megapixel’s than the iphone.
          HD is no where…and i say no where near a mere 3.0 megapixel camera.
          When it get’s megapixels like my DSC-T500..then well talk.

          And you should’ve went on, because as you can see, you 6 resons aren’t looking so …well….like reasons anymore.
          Let me do the honors of listing some of the features that make the Zune HD the Zune HD and if you feel that they aren’t valid point, please point them out as clearly as possible.

          OLED TouchScreen, too many Advantages to even start listing.

          HD Radio

          HDMI Output

          Now these are merely confirmed features, now please imagine the ones yet to come.

          P.S: I’ve owned, im guessing, more apple electronics than the average guy but have you ever owned a Zune?

          1. Keep imagining the features if that makes you happy. It wont make the Zune HD any better than the iPod Touch :)

            Zune can power games with outstanding graphics, the internet provides the unlimited access to the millions of games.

            Right.. no wonder the Zune was a gaming device.. NOT.

            And i hope you didn’t say “Zune ever being more social”.
            Beacuse if i recall …My Zune 80 was more social than My Ipod 80…gigabytes that is.

            I wonder how you accessed various social networking websites on your Zune that you can’t on the iPod Touch. Oh wait.

            The only reason the world has the ipod is because it was the first main mp3 player to come out.

            LOL? First main mp3 player? Who are you kidding with?

            Thanks for the rant, hopefully someone might agree to your side of the story who is blind enough to not see the advantages of the App Store.

  13. why has nobody mentioned that the browser in the Zune HD will have full support for flash? Not to mention all the other great features nobody has mentioned yet…

    Even if you claim to not be an ipod fanboy…you are most definitely a general microsoft hater

      1. even so, that still leaves out all the other great features. it seems like you only included the “how it could compete” section to cover your ass from people sayin you just hate microsoft and love apple. well, that section is very lacking to say the least…so, mission not accomplished

        1. Whether I hate or love Microsoft, it’s not your problem. Period. If my opinion about the Zune HD somehow hurts you, you need help.
          All the great features have been discussed above. You just need a better understanding.

  14. Wow, all that figthing over a clock ? lol . Anyway, I’m so sick of everyone saying the names “ipod touch” and “iphone” all the time! I’ve never liked ipods, sound quality is shit. Everyone keep saying “oh the app store got about 50,000 apps” ok…then what? What are they for? What’s there to be so damn proud of ? All those apps look scary and I don’t see the point, I don’t think I need any of them. I think the zune HD is gonna be just what I need: listenning to music & watch video & good battery life. And, I’m willing to wait, give Microsoft some time to put something worthy on the table! I’m not buying an ipod thouch, everyone has one. I kinda want to stand out. Hopefully, this zune HD will be released in Europe and will have some good games avalaible on the zune marketplace. I prefer the UI & design of the zune HD, much more classy……..

  15. Way to go captain hardass you’re trying to correct him on mistakes he never made, and obviously you have nothing to do here except making yourself look like an idiot and not comment at all on what was posted. And i agree with Imran, the Zune HD won’t hardly be an iPod Touch Killer with its currrent capabilities. He had some really good ideas, with the Windows Media Center thought.

  16. And to:@ll@00958

    Your absolutely rite.
    About everything, the 56,00 apps and evryone does have an Ipod.
    That was one major reason i didn’t want one.
    But i got it for my birthday, i should’ve gotten a walkman…like those things with CD slot.
    Ok, that was just for humor but im quite sure we all kinda see a more classy product coming up.

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