Microsoft has unveiled their latest attack on Apple, but this time it doesn’t involve anybody going to a retail store and purchasing a laptop. This time Microsoft is setting its sights on the iPod. The latest commercial attacks Apple for not having a subscription service on iTunes for music downloads. Without a subscription service, they claim it will cost $30,000 to fill a 120GB iPod with mp3s. Microsoft’s Zune on the other hand, has an unlimited music service that is $15/mo for unlimited music downloads. It would take over 166 years of a Zune Pass subscription to equal what it would cost if you were to fill a 120GB iPod from iTunes. I believe that this is a great move from Microsoft. When you talk saving money during hard economic times, people are going to listen. Much like the Windows ads, I think that they can do the most damage to Apple if they push the issue of cost.
Of course the commercial doesn’t give you the whole story, otherwise you might not be compelled to switch. All music downloaded with a Zune Pass comes with that dreaded DRM garbage that the rest of the world is moving away from. Without the pass, you can get DRM free music but not with it. The subscription has DRM so that you continue to subscribe to the Zune Pass. If you don’t keep your subscription renewed, you will end up with a bunch of music that won’t play. That is the downside of the Zune Pass. You get to keep 10 songs a month I believe for free but everything else will die if you don’t renew. Microsoft paints a pretty picture with the commercial, but everything has a downside and this is one they hope you won’t notice. Of course you could crack the DRM and eliminate that downside, but that is not legal. As much as my pirate nature would like to share information with you on how to do that, I am not looking to piss off Microsoft, especially when I have the desire to work for them at some point. Anyway, below is the new Zune ad that attacks the idea that it would cost $30,000 to fill an iPod.