Microsoft received much Twitter flak after a small PR account for its Xbox system encouraged followers to remember recently deceased musician Amy Winehouse by purchasing her last album on the company's entertainment marketplace, Zune.
Microsoft's dominance as the tech industry's most valuable player has ended. On Wednesday, Apple's market capitalization edged past its longtime rival's as investors made official what consumers have long suggested: Microsoft is no longer the industry's alpha dog.
Many Zune owners successfully revived their failed music players Thursday morning, while others were still unable to overcome a leap year-related glitch that caused thousands of the devices to simultaneously stop working on New Year's Eve.
When Microsoft introduced the Zune portable music player almost two years ago, even people at the company made light of it. Microsofties called it "the brick." The Zune was larger thanApple's sleek iPod. It also came in white, black...and brown.
Back in April, MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe vowed to create a groundbreaking new digital music service offering everything from ad-supported free songs to iTunes-like downloads to monthly subscriptions. But DeWolfe ended up jettisoning part of that plan.
It was easy to scoff two years ago when word leaked out that Amazon was launching its own digital music service. The Seattle-based online retailer wasn't just mulling an iTunes-like download store - it was supposedly drawing up plans for a branded iPod-like device.
Pity the music industry. Between 99-cent downloads, free - if not always legal -file-sharing services and MP3 blogs, and an increasingly fragmented audience, it's desperately in need of a new revenue stream.
The Sony NWZ-A720 Walkman series is a subtle evolution of the NWZ-A810 series we enjoyed in 2007. This year, Sony is treating us with a larger screen and a more assertive design, offered in 4GB ($149), 8GB ($199), and 16GB ($299).
Having survived its freshman hazing, the Zune is back for its sophomore revenge, and the iPod has every reason to be frightened. The Zune 4 (4GB, $149) and Zune 8 (8GB, $199) offer a leaner, lighter version of Microsoft's full-size Zune 80 MP3 player (80GB, $249).
While the clothing department and sporting goods sections were crowded at the Atlantic Terminal Mall's Target in Brooklyn, N.Y., early Friday, they didn't come close to the frenzy over in the area that's the perennial favorite for holiday shoppers: electronics.
Click on the iTunes music store and punch in "Beatles" under artist search. More than 50 albums will pop up, including Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Play the Beatles, but none are the real deal. Fans wishing to download the actual Fab Four in MP3 format have to search peer-to-peer sites like Limewire for unlicensed songs they can listen to free.
Retailing is the focus for investors Tuesday as two of the nation's top retailers reported results that worried markets, and a key reading of retail sales came in stronger than forecasts, while producer prices fell more than they were expected to.