Paul Thurrott of WinSuperSite.com and Leo Laporte of LeoVille.com have a great podcast interview with David Caulton from the Zune marketing team. Dave is a sharp individual and really knows his business about the Zune player and where Microsoft is going with the Zune product line. It’s an hour long audio interview available in mp3 format that is well worth the download. The cover quite a bit about the Zune including some of the shortcomings in the device such as copy protection and other drm services as well as what direction Microsoft is taking with the new line.
Dave opens up the question of podcasting support and they hit him on it. Dave acknowledges the need for podcast support but dances around about when. Dave is very good at these things and there are no commitments on when we’ll see podcast support but it’s beginning to appear like it will be some time before we do see it. Dave comments on the importance of fixing the current Zune players with firmware updates focused on stability and addressing the minor issues found in the current software.
They point out how impressive the hardware configuration is but note the markets disappointment in what the Zune can actually do right now. Dave counters with how important it was to them to provide a stable base to begin with and hints we’ll see a lot more from future upgrades. There is no road map to when we’ll see updates and Dave is vague on what we can expect to see in future features.
The current Zune setup covers the basic needs for an mp3 player to be competitive with the target audience in the current market place. It may not meet the needs of many enthusiast or niche users. The ability to build a device with features consumers are looking for is why Microsoft has jumped into the hardware business with Zune players and Dave mentions what might happen with Zune 2.0 and beyond players. They also go into some detail on the content deal signed with Universal Music and how important content is to the device success as well as how to approach the fight with Apple. They touch on DRM and why they we’re forced to drop Plays4Sure in favor of their own device and closed ecosystem and some great information on what people are actually doing with their mp3 players.
It’s a great interview with a knowledgeable Zune team member. If you’re interested in what is happening with Zune and the future of the devices it’s a great interview to catch. You can download the mp3 interview from http://www.Twit.tv and play it on your Zune or iPod..
Windows Weekly 17: David Caulton of the Zune Team
David Caulton, Zune team member since 2005, welcomes us to The Social.