You want tunes with that shake?
Microsoft, always looking to increase market reach, is floating around the idea of Zune "filling stations," places where users can pull up and get their music on the fly. Apparently, they're looking to set up virtual shop on existing Wi-Fi networks like those at Starbucks and McDonald's, making it all the easier for Zuners to get access to music downloads no matter where they are.
I bet right now everyone who was laughing at the Zune first mover advantage on wifi technology for portable media players aren't laughing at this very moment. Especially others who's livelyhood is directly tied to the marketshare of other products which would suffer greatly should this development become reality. Since you can reasonably expect to find a McDonald's or Starbucks around most corners anywhere in the world, this sort of arrangement might make perfect sense to the folks in Redmond. Whether they'll want to pay the price is a different matter. Could this be the new social?
BurgerKing for example has already proven they are willing to be on the cutting edge of cheap deliverable technology with their late 2006 distribution of small playable XBox games
. I'm sure McDonalds would be happy to follow as the first distributor of wifi downloadable media, especially since they already have the network infrastructure and experience at some locations.
I'll keep you all posted on how this story turns out.