Gigabeat Microsoft At Their Own Game

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Interesting! It appears Microsoft’s new Zune player is nothing more than a repackaged Toshiba Gigabeat. This from Wikipedia, by way of Gadgetell.

[Toshiba] “1089” and The Zune

Microsoft’s Zune is a branded version of the new “1089” model of the Gigabeat. Due to a very tight release schedule, Microsoft worked with Toshiba to modify the Gigabeat firmware, outer-casing and user interface…The Zune is identical to Toshiba’s 1089 model’s specifications… After the initial launch, Microsoft will take-over production and manufacturing of the Zune from Toshiba.

Hilarious. Despite reading about the Zune’s many glaring limitations [1][2][3][4], I’d managed to miss this. Microsoft didn’t even make the damn thing! This explains so much. Why Zune doesn’t integrate with Windows Media Player, doesn’t work with Windows Vista, and why it’s apparently so well designed (the crippling un-features are afterthoughts). Hardy har har, Microsoft can’t even build it’s own Mp3 player!

It does make you wonder why the hardware companies who produce these wonder machines don’t just go their own way and get them into the market. It’s an open secret that Apple didn’t design the original iPod, but instead adapted the design from a prospective product from a tiny company called Portal Player.

Another interesting line from the Wiki..

The Gigabeat line was chosen because of its tight integration with Windows Media Player and its support for the PlayForSure DRM standard.

Makes you wonder why the finished device doesn’t support PlaysForSure.

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