What the Zune Phone Needs To Beat the iPhone

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This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
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Now that we're pretty sure the Zune Phone is coming, what do we want to see in it? Well, even though Microsoft's been leaving a lot of features out of first-generation products—especially when compared to Apple's feature-rich phone—here's a list of stuff that we think the Zune Phone needs to have to beat the iPhone.

• Touchscreen: This probably isn't going to happen, but if you're going to compete with the iPhone's fancy multi-touch system, you're going to need to come up with something similar. It's either that or have a phone with loads of buttons.

• MP3 Ringtones: You can do this on current Windows Mobile phones, but you can't do this on the iPhone. Why? Because the ringtone and music industry don't want to give up another source of revenue. Being able to use songs you downloaded off of Zune's marketplace as ringtones would be great.

Illustration for article titled What the Zune Phone Needs To Beat the iPhone

• Wi-Fi syncing and downloading: Let's use the Zune's Wi-Fi to grab songs on the go and to sync up with the PC when you're in range.

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• 3G syncing and downloading: How about being able to access any song from the Zune store wherever you are? Now this would be a killer app.

• Live Anywhere over 3G: Being able to communicate or even play with your buddies on Xbox 360 and the PC from your Zune Phone would make gamers really happy.

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• Gaming: Not PSP or DS level gaming, but a bit above the current iPod games would be nice. Possibly tied into the Xbox 360 arcades as well.

• Streaming media from your Media Center or Xbox 360: How about a Slingbox-esque ability to watch your Vista Media Center's recorded shows or your Xbox 360's downloaded shows wherever you are?

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Vista Sideshow capability: Using this as a remote sideshow so you can keep track of your PC and use Vista Gadgets on the go? Sweetness.

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• Open application interface: Let us install anything we want on the phone. Apple's strict iPhone policy really irks power users like us who know what we're doing.

• OS X Compatibility: Yeah, right.

• Not carrier-locked: Cingular's going to make a killing on the iPhone, but we'd like to see the Zune Phone be open to all four.

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Of course, we'll be lucky if we see even a quarter of these features implemented on the first Zune Phone, but if we had to design one, this is what we'd want to see.

Zune [Gizmodo]

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DISCUSSION

OrtizDupri
OrtizDupri

What I don't get is... half the features on these "most wanted" lists already appear on the current gen Treos. You can install anything you want, with thousands of apps available. Touchscreen check. MP3 ringers check. Gaming check (even multiplayer over the network or via IR, no less). Bluetooth and blah blah blah check. All 4 networks? Check, there's a Treo on all of them.

Not saying that it's the greatest smart phone of all time (lord knows I have many a problem with mine)... but why reinvent the wheel when tons of people out there already are riding on it just fine?

Also...

mmmm Open System + MS = potential to kill cellphone network

Can you image people dying because someone's Bill phone has flooded the cell network with cr@p after installing their fave app with attached security exploit, and 911 doesn't work any more.

Of course having MS open systems is worth a few lives right?

That's nothing compared to the millions of stolen identities and millions of dollars of fraud facilitated by machines running MS OS....

Plenty of phones out there right now allow you to install whatever program you want (not just smart phones - you can even download and install apps onto regular phones that aren't developed by the phone manufacturer)... I keep seeing this whole "open system" idea being shot down as being "dangerous to the network" - yet plenty of phones have been open system now for around 4 or 5 years, and I haven't seen a major cell network go down because of it yet. (I agree, Microsoft has its fair share of vulnerabilities, but I think many people are overestimating the power of a single cell phone on the network being able to shut down a whole system.)