Thursday, August 13, 2009

Zune: Where's the life, there's hope

There's still hope for the Zune brand... no, really, apparently a new chip will change the game for the never-released-outside-North-America Microsoft iPod:

Graphics chip giant Nvidia has announced that the next iteration of the Vole's player, the Zune HD, will be armed with a dual-core Tegra processor.

Based on blueprints from Brit chip shop ARM, one of the two processor cores will take care of the operating system, and graphics duties will be taken over by an Nvidia Geforce GPU.

Yes. That's what people say when they find themselves in the dark corner of the electronics shop, looking at the forlorn, working-example-free Zune stand: "if only it had a dual processor, that would really sweeten the deal for me."

The problem for Zune is not performance of the equipment - those who own one speak highly of what it does - but is one of making a product which really manages to shift the perception that it's a me-too poor person's iPod from the people who make your office computer. That's got nothing to do with the chipset. Which is a pity for Microsoft, as a chipset can be easily replaced.