Seattle :Microsoft’s Zune music and video player, intended as a rival to Apple’s iPod, cannot share some songs, potentially eroding a key advantage over iPod.
Microsoft blamed the difficulty on the fact that “wireless sharing is a new experience and its implementation is in a version 1.0 stage,” according to an e-mailed statement on January 24.The statement denied reports that record companies such as Universal Music Group were preventing sharing of some artists.
Microsoft, the world’s biggest software maker, in November introduced the Zune, touting its ability to wirelessly share songs and playlists for three plays or three days, a feature the iPod doesn’t have.
The Redmond, Washington-based company sold hundreds of thousands of Zune players since its release, while Apple sold 21.1 million iPods in the fourth quarter. “The whole sharing feature was limited to begin with and the fact that some songs can’t be shared even in this limited fashion makes this feature even less compelling,” said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at JupiterResearch in New York.
“At a time when they need to find ways to differentiate themselves from the competition, this isn’t going to help.” The company had said prior to Zune’s introduction that some songs wouldn’t be able to be shared, Gartenberg said.