Gizmodo reports that “The tech world’s two leading giants (the NYT’s David Pogue and the WSJ’s Walt Mossberg) have put Microsoft’s new Zune in its place, giving the unborn player multiple kicks and jabs before proclaiming the iPod the better of the two.”

NYTimes Trying Out the Zune: iPod it’s Not
Wall Street Journal Microsoft’s Zune Challenges iPod

I’m surprised that MS doesn’t seem to have a true value proposition here.
I’m disgusted by the “Hello from Seattle” they etched into the case, a blatent ripoff of “Designed by Apple in California.”

I’d be heartbroken if Apple somehow loses share to this plagerised product. Not because I love Apple, but because I love design and innovation.

Hmmmmm…I am not so sure a poor Malt Wossberg review is bad for Zune. He isn’t exactly in what I would consider the target market for Zune. I have trouble believing he “gets” the social aspect…he might know what MySpace, and social networking IS, per se, but I don’t think he “gets it”. In some ways, i would gauge a poor review by Mossberg as a good review for Zune as he is pretty much what the target market is rebelling against.

As for Pogue…I don’t know his work as well, if at all really. He had some valid points…but all in all, it fits the Microsoft plan of get in, get recognition and then hammer home with the deep pockets aiming for a 2 - 5 year infiltration into the market a la xBox.

If thisis the welcoming to the “Social”, it isn’t exactly a warm welcome.

CNet’s Scott Ard said: “At the risk of being called an Apple fanboy, a Microsoft basher and a dog kicker, I gotta say the Zune does not impress me. In my brief hands-on with the Zune, I couldn’t help but feel that this piece of hardware is just not ready for prime time.”

Great line on SNL Weekend Update: “Microsoft released their new ZUNE music player this week. That’s ZUNE as in ‘My iPod is cooler than your ZUNE.’”

Craig Ferguson got in on the action last week as well. I wish I had taped the show because it he had a couple of good lines.

I think one was along the lines of:

“Microsoft today released their answer to the iPod with another iPod”


“Zune…what a stupid name. Sounds like something you would type into your instant messenger…‘Check out my Zune, its Crack-a-lackin’”

I’m kinda nervous to jump into such a hot debate with my first post, but I read through pretty much every post and no one mentioned how songs shared from zune to zune can only be played three times in one day then they die and go to mp3 heaven or something along those lines. If I just wanted to introduce my friend who is within wireless range to a new song it would be faster and easier to just share an earbud as someone mentioned recently. Also being that I am pretty much the zunes target market (except I dont game that much) its a super lame name. Only thing worse would have been zne, but maybe I’m the only one over the whole vowel dropping thing.

Feel free to lambast this post if i am completely off point.


What do YOU think about the three day/three play song limit?

The thing you mention about about plugging a bud in your ear to hear a friends song is a valid one. I have wondered why Zune doesn’t allow a broadcast via wireless. i.e. any Zune in the area can listen to what you are listening to…imagine a silent party where everyone is dancing and going nuts listening to the broadcast music on their Zune…could be interesting if not surreal. You could dance and sweat and then take the buds out and actually have a conversation…but then again, that could be my ages showing :wink:

As black-friday comes to a close, I have to say that I was really surprised by the lack of marketing that accompanied the ZUNE launch. Not only did I not see any ads in any media, I only saw it advertised in one newspaper circular.

I can only presume that this is a signal from retailers to MS?

Tried one out at Target the other day… it just felt a bit off… the menus and the scroll wheel… it was so close to apple, yet just different enough to feel odd.

I can understand the three day limit from microsofts point of view sort of, I thnk there would be a better solution to the issue of rights and licensing. Doesnt itunes let three computers play an mp3 purchase, maybe something still limiting but permanent.



The Zune is a complete, humiliating failure. Toshiba’s Gigabeat player, for example, is far more versatile, it has none of the Zune’s limitations, and Amazon sells the 30-gig model for 40 bucks less.

Throw in the Zune’s tail-wagging relationship with music publishers, and it almost becomes important that you encourage people not to buy one.

The iPod owns 85 percent of the market because it deserves to. Apple consistently makes decisions that benefit the company, the users and the media publishers – and they continue to innovatively expand the device’s capabilities without sacrificing its simplicity.

Companies such as Toshiba and Sandisk (with its wonderful Nano-like Sansa e200 series) compete effectively with the iPod by asking themselves, “What are the things that users want and Apple refuses to provide?”

Microsoft’s colossal blunder was to knock the user out of that question and put the music industry in its place.

Result: The Zune will be dead and gone within six months. Good riddance.

Andy Ihnatko writes on technical and computer issues for the Sun-Times.

That’s gonna leave a mark…

The Zune is a complete, humiliating failure. Toshiba’s Gigabeat player, for example, is far more versatile, it has none of the Zune’s limitations, and Amazon sells the 30-gig model for 40 bucks less.

Isn’t Zune built ON the Toshiba Gigabeat?

“According to Amazon.com’s MP3 player sales charts, the Zune is their 18th most popular portable music player. Ahead of it, unsurprisingly, are 12 varieties of iPod (including the top 5 spots). A bit more surprising is the fact that also selling better than the Zune are three flavors of SanDisk Sansas and the Creative Zen Vision: M. Looks like the social isn’t all that social just yet.”


Supposedly it is, but I think his gripe was more with the Zune marketplace / crippled file sharing than the hardware. Two things the Toshiba doesn’t have.

I’m still kind of amazed that Microsoft would look at this market and see it as a fight they wanted to get into. You’ve got an extremely competent, agile competitor completely dominating the market with a well-priced, innovative product. Just walk away and find something else to make money on.

That continues to be my point… What is MS’ strategy to win?
Has it been articulated anywhere?

good find cg…

It still could catch on with time… though it is down to #22 now…

I was surprised the more expensive 80 gig iPod was up at #5… I think the biggest feature on mp3 players is memory, I’ll gladly pay a little more and carry another ounce to have more media with me at all times…

From an ID perspective I think the Creative Zen Vision, Creative Zen V and ScanDisk SDMX-4-2048 Sensa are pretty nice looking…

They are slightly less iPoddy w/o claiming to be the anti iPod

Scott Bennett wrote:

Supposedly it is, but I think his gripe was more with the Zune marketplace / crippled file sharing than the hardware. Two things the Toshiba doesn’t have.

Sorry, I should have elaborated a bit. I realized that the Chicago Sun article had other beefs with Zune. I simply find it ironic that the product that Zune is built on is outselling Zune.

It looks as though the real winner in this situation is Toshiba…they get more leverage from Zune using the Gigabeat platform to lower prices for the Gigabeat. They also get the manufacturing revenue from M$ as Toshiba is the contract manufacturer as well (if my memory serves me well).

I have a new hypothesis on MS’ strategy: In a nutshell, ready, fire, aim.

Let’s assume ZUNE is in Phase 1 of an elaborate long-term, multi-phase strategy. Phase 1 acknowledges that ZUNE is a “version 1” and as such cannot and will not compete against iPod. “Fire, Aim” has worked for MS in the past–it leverages their endurance over speed as a mega corporation. This release is really about bug-testing, learning, and a bit of funding to keep the project going. This explains their lack of aggressive marketing at release.

Phase 2 will bail on Toshiba and pave the way for an MS-designed line of products with a few “plus one” features to help distinguish it from iPod. This is when we’ll see a marketing blitz. I predict this will happen sooner rather than later, to capitalize on the early-adopter buzz.

If I’m right, the question will be how a “fire, aim” strategy will outpace Apple’s remarkable innovation velocity.