The Microsoft Zune Will Be Biggest Flop of 2007

Oct 9th, 2006 | By | Category: General

Michael Robertson, formerly of and now of MP3tunes, is predicting that the Microsoft Zune will be the biggest technology flop of 2007, that Microsoft will pump $100 million or more into promoting it, and that it will sell 50,000 units or less.

We’ve previously noted Five Reasons the Zune is a Disappointment, that Zune podcasting support is missing in action, that the Zune’s WiFi support borders on being useless and suggested Seven Things Microsoft Needs to Do to Fix The Zune. Robertson is going further, though, suggesting that, not only is the Zune hardware disappointing, but that the Zune represents everything bad about Digital Rights Management (DRM) and proprietary digital music.

He explains why:

The wow feature of the device is wifi – a wireless way to connect to the Internet. Great – I can get music directly to the device without a PC Wrong. In a baffling move Microsoft has crippled the wifi so it cannot load music from the Internet. Youll need to attach it to your PC and run their software just like every other MP3 player. The wireless connection is only used to connect to another Zune device to move songs which will then vaporize after 3 days or 3 plays even if you own the music and both devices. Astonishingly the one feature which could fundamentally improve upon the iPod is worthless. If this device sounds familiar its been tried before with the MusicGremlin which I wrote about earlier this year when I called it the “most disappointing device” from this year‚Äôs CES Consumer Electronic Show.

Robertson also predicts that the Zune will be a failure:

Microsoft will likely spend nearly $100 million in marketing the Zune. The press will give them tens of millions of dollars in free marketing. In spite of this publicity the Zune will be an expensive failure for Microsoft because consumers arent stupid. As the saying goes: Zune me once, shame on you. Zune me twice, shame on me.

Robertson, whose company offers unrestricted MP3 files, goes on to suggest that “Zune” is the name for what happens when you get screwed by DRM restrictions.

I’ve been looking for a good verb to describe losing all of your music to DRM because its increasingly common and I think I have one: zune.

Sample usage: He had an extensive classic rock collection that got zuned.

One Response to “The Microsoft Zune Will Be Biggest Flop of 2007”

  1. frabgod says:

    This guy’s biased (as am I). His own interests will be hurt if Zune does well.

    That being said, Microsoft needs to open up Zune Wi-Fi to enable web browsing. That 3″ screen would be a much nicer browsing experience than my cell phone or blackberry.


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