Oh dear oh dear. Remember when I said that the success of Zune hinged on how straitlaced Microsoft decided to be when it came to its potentially killer-feature, built in WiFi? Well it looks like they've decided to go with the "lock it up so tight that it can't even squeak, never mind roar", according to the latest information from David Caulton, a member of the Zune team. Read on for the (sparse) good news and (overwhelming) bad...
According to David, with Zune:
- Search for and find other Zunes nearby.
- Send songs / albums for the 3 x 3 trial. Songs past the three days / listens are deleted at next sync, but catalogued on your PC for record-keeping should you want to purchase them later.
- Send and receive image files for "unlimited viewing."
- Connect to the internet.
- Download songs directly from the Zune store via WiFi.
- Sync to your computer via WiFi.
Two words: let down. While nobody expects Microsoft to say, obliquely or otherwise, that music sharing is fine and give people the open tools to do so, to prevent direct internet connections and PC-free downloads is, frankly, short-sighted of them. And as for wireless syncing not being an option, why on earth not? There are going to be a whole lot of people who've just put their credit cards back into their wallets - or, worse for Microsoft, taken them to their nearest Apple store and bought a new iPod.