Zune isn't just a brand of media player, it's also a subscription-based music and video service that exists outside of any one set of devices. At least, that's the way Microsoft is increasingly starting to view the Zune service in light of disappointing media player sales. While the HD has been a fairly successful device, it's become increasingly clear to all observers that it isn't going to 'kill' the iPod. That's why, according to ZDNet, Microsoft is looking into providing the Zune subscription service to Apple users.
Apparently Redmond's thinking is, "If you can't beat 'em, sell them a $15/month subscription service and get their money that way." Jose Pinero, a Director of Communications at Microsoft, told ZDNet that his company was looking into making their Zune services available on a wider variety of platforms, including the iPod/iPhone.
Many users prefer a subscription-based service to a 'pay per song' system, like iTunes uses. Currently, iPod or iPhone users who feel that way can only choose Rhapsody. If Microsoft were to create a Zune app for the App Store, they'd be giving Apple customers another option to fill their music needs. And while that's not quite as good as 'beating the iPod', it's a heck of a lot better then continuing to sink money into media players.