Robbie Bach talks Zune services and Windows Mobile

Microsoft’s Robbie Bach was once again quizzed about the future of Windows Mobile and Zune (along with Xbox) this time by the FinancialPost.

Here’s Bach talking about the new Windows Mobile 7 chassis we’ve all heard about:

Q Windows Mobile phones look nice, but you don’t have much control or influence over the hardware. Isn’t one of the reasons the iPhone is so successful is that Apple controls both the ecosystem and the hardware?

A You have a dichotomy: choice versus control. When you go out and look at the wall of PCs, part of what makes that wall of PCs is that the [manufacturers] have the freedom to create what they want to create and that choice is tremendously valuable to consumers. The reason it works in the PC space is because early on we did choose to exercise some management of what makes a PC, and there are standards that were developed – largely by us – but with some other people, and so Windows 7 works great on lots of devices. I will tell you if there’s a place where we haven’t done as good work is in the mobile space. We’ve been, in a way, too focused on how many devices we could have and not focused enough on making sure that the base quality of those devices is very strong. So one of the things we are working on with our [manufacturing] partners is ensuring that those experiences are consistent and work great and that the base line that you start with is always rock solid.

And one more confirmation that the Zune services are headed o Microsoft’s Mobile platform (in WM7 or a futur update to WM7?).

Q Microsoft Zune is a solid product that gets good reviews from critics, but it’s going to be constantly playing catch up to the iPod. What will make Zune a success?

A I think what’s going to make Zune a success is moving from Zune being just a device to being a device plus an experience that appears on lots of different screens. That has multiple implications. That is why we moved Zune to Xbox, that’s why we have Zune on the PC. I think it’s been very successful on Xbox. That’s a place where we can start to grow the brand. One of the biggest issues we have with Zune HD is not that the brand is bad, it’s that the brand is not well known. It’s hard to spend enough money to be more well known, considering what Apple has already done with iPod and which they now leverage with iPhone and iTouch. So, we have to find broad markets where we can expand, and certainly bringing Zune to Xbox is an example of that. But it’s very clear that the portable music and video marketplace will end up being part of the phone. So that creates a new opportunity for everyone to introduce those things into phones, and the thing that has held it back has been battery life. And that’s changing. Screen resolution has also been holding it back a bit and technology is catching up on all those things. Zune HD isn’t that far away from being a phone and no, we’re not doing a phone, so please don’t start those rumours. But from a technology perspective, it’s not far away.

Read the whole interview here

Source: FinancialPost