Microsoft’s Zune Introduction Is A Debacle

Nov 29th, 2006 | By | Category: Digital Music, iPods & Portable Media Players

zune squirtingMicrosoft’s highly anticipated Zune introduction has turned into a debacle.

  • The Chicago Sun-Times says Avoid the loony Zune. “Microsoft’s new Zune digital music player is just plain dreadful. I’ve spent a week setting this thing up and using it, and the overall experience is about as pleasant as having an airbag deploy in your face.”
  • Microsoft hasn’t built any brand recognition for the Zune. According Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, only 8% of retailers recommended Microsoft’s Zune, while 75% recommended Apple’s iPod. More alarming are some of the responses when Munster’s team asked salespeople about the Zune. “I’ve never heard of the Zune,” one clerk said.
  • The Inquirer notes that the Zune is getting laughed out of the US.
  • The Christian Science Monitor says Microsoft’s muscle hasn’t helped Zune.
  • Reviews of the Zune have largely been negative, with some going so far as saying the Zune zucks.
  • The Zune’s wireless features violate the spirit of Creative Commons licenses.
  • Windows IT Pro says that consumers are uninterested in the Zune. “To hear Microsoft tell the story, youd think its recently released Zune MP3 was doing just fine. Reality, however, is a bit more cruel: After appearing in the top 10 on Amazon.coms list of best-selling electronics devices for about a week after its debut, the highest-charting Zune model today can only be found if you scroll quite a ways down the list: The black Zune is currently nestled at number 95.”
  • The Zune has been savaged in two popular videos uploaded to YouTube. In one of them, late night talk-show host Craig Ferguson wisecracks, “It has all the features of the iPod, only it’s not as good, and it’s five years too late.”

What went wrong with Microsoft’s Zune introduction?

“Just about everything,” says Windows IT Pro’s Paul Thurrot. “The Zune provides only a small portion of the functionality a consumer gets with an iPod, and it does so with a device is that delivers less batter life and yet costs exactly the same as a comparable iPod.”

“The Zune is incompatible with every single online service on the planet, even those that utilize Microsofts PlaysForSure technologies. Zune’s marketing is abysmal, while Microsoft appears to be going to great lengths to mimic everything about the iPod it can while offering virtually no real benefits over Apples dominant solutions,” adds Thurrot.

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