Microsoft Poaching App Developers For Zune HD?

Posted: Aug 14 2009, 10:35am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 11 2010, 3:47pm CDT , in Hot Gadgets


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The Zune HD is a pretty hot little piece of gadgetry. A 3.3” OLED touchscreen combined with the ability to play high-definition video and music, plus a solid browser and a low price tag make it a very enticing buy. That said, it still has a while to go to be able to compete well with Apple's iPod touch. The new line of touches, although much more expensive, will come with cameras and an app store full-to-bursting with useful things.

The Zune HD, on the other hand, will have a relatively anemic selection of apps. Unless, of course, John Gruber of Daring Fireball fame is right about Microsoft trying to poach independent App Store developers for its Zune HD. After a story about the Zune HD yesterday he received an email from the developer of an iPhone Twitter client. The dev said he had been courted by Microsoft and offered “a bucket of money” to port his app.

The developer turned them down, but states that he was certain the offer was to create an app for the new Zune HD. He also stated that he believes Microsoft has reached out to other popular developers. This sort of behavior wouldn't at all be out of character for the Redmond-based company. They tend to shun genuine innovation and prefer to just copy their rivals and then finish them off with millions of dollars in marketing.

That strategy alone won't work to dethrone the iPod. But, if Microsoft can show a solid app offering for the Zune HD when it launches, they have a good chance to take quite a few sales away from the iPod touch. The new Zune is already a very attractive media player proposition at its price and level of capability. A decent smattering of apps could tip the scales for some people who are still vacillating between the more-expensive iPod touch or the new Zune.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/5" rel="author">Robert Evans</a>
The excitement about new smartphones, tablets and anything mobile drive Robert to unearth the latest rumors and developments in this fast moving space. He adopted 4G as soon as it become available and knows where the mobile market is going.
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