Tobias Buckell recently wrote a piece pointing out that a recent ABI Research survey touted that some 58% of iPod users would consider a switch to a Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Zune within the next 12 months. One of obvious reasons for this is the larger screen, but Zune's social networking will also clearly send a message to Apple users. Zune's social networking will be based in Zune Marketplace, which is equivalent of iTunes and songs can also be shared via wireless technology on the Zune device.
Today, social networking is vital. Last week I was interviewed by the Globe and one of my key emphasis points was that whether it is blogs, Facebook or MySpace, people are starting to use technology to not only expose themselves, but also to share their views and opinions. I think Microsoft's understanding of this change, which is apparent in Zune, will give the company a differentiating edge.
By no means am I saying that Zune will take over the iPod, because it certainly won't, but it will definitely put forth another trendy alternative -- one that Apple in turn may mimic. Also don't forget about Microsoft's reported $100 million ad campaign for Zune, featuring the tag-line "welcome to the social," which I am sure will have a great impact!
(Listen up Apple, nobody thought the Republicans could be toppled either.)