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  #1  
Old 10-04-2007, 05:10 AM
David Tucker
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Default More Opinions on the Zune

There&rsquo;s already more opinions out there on Zune 2.0 than you can shake a stick at. I feel like <a href="http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/10/03/microsoft-sings-a-new-zune/">this opinion</a> piece over at the NYT technology blog wanted to not like the Zune from the start. Its got a lot of really good information in the write up but the conclusions that the writer comes to seem very contradictory to other things he wrote. To start the article, Mr. Hansell writes: <br /><br /><em>&quot;It&rsquo;s hard to imagine anyone reading the reports of the second generation of Microsoft&rsquo;s Zune audio player and deciding it should go at the top of their Christmas wish list.&quot;</em> <br /><br />That may be true for Mr. Hansell. Maybe he can&rsquo;t imagine anyone thinking the Zune is the best option right now. But curiously, here&rsquo;s what he says later: <br /><br /><em>&quot;There&rsquo;s a bigger screen, a social networking site and a bit more you can do with the built in Wi-Fi connection. Frankly, feature for feature, it gives the iPod Classic - Apple&rsquo;s hard drive model - a run for its money. But the flash models can&rsquo;t compete on fashion with Apple&rsquo;s Nano and Shuffle.&quot; <br /></em><br />So it gives the iPod Classic a run for its money but you can&rsquo;t imagine anyone wanting it? I really would like to know why. In all of the excitement yesterday, I didn&rsquo;t spend much time thinking of how this generation really stacks up with the iPod. The more I thought about it today, the more I realized that Microsoft really trumped Apple here. The Zune 80 offers significantly more than the Zune Classic. The only place the Classic wins is a larger HDD option. <br /><br />As for the Zune 4/8, it might not beat the Nano on looks (though I would argue that the new Nano is pretty ugly) but on features it most certainly wins again. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the new Zunes are anything but ugly. <br /><br />Mr. Hansell goes on to talk about many of the features that the Zune brings that people might be interested in. He&rsquo;s particularly interested in the evolution of digital media devices from simple playback to an interactive user entertainment center. <br /><br />By the end of the piece, Mr. Hansell has pointed out a lot to like with Zune 2.0. It almost makes you want to add it to your holiday list. Not me though. I can&rsquo;t wait that long.
 
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  #2  
Old 10-04-2007, 08:25 AM
rzanology
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nothing new here david...this type of madness is all over the internet when it comes to microsoft. but sure enough, microsoft seems to topple them all one by one. This started with the pocket pc platform, which now holds a great deal of the market (cute little iphone...try harder.) Then the xbox, which is not the platform for serious gamers (good bye sony!) And now the zune...people are begining to see there is another device out there thats just as worthy if not more, for your entertainment fullfillments (Hi ipod...nice to meet ya....IM COMING FOR YOU!) even the ney sayers are going hmmmmmmm. thats always a good thing.

but i'd like to offer a diffrent thought. I was sitting on the train into manhatten this morning and it hit me. Microsoft has caught up to apple on every playing ground except for one. They have the flash zune....zune 2...and the zune "classic" if you will...but what about the ipod touch? Really made me think...hmmmmmm. Ya know what? i think microsoft need not worry, they already own the solution to that. Its called a Pocket pc. at 399 for 16 gig...im sure one can find a decend ppc and some flash storage for around that price. iphone? please....the att tilt is out and about...iphone need not apply.

But any who...great job on the new zunes...i just need them to butter up my windows mobile OS just the same and i'll look in the back of my closet for my microsoft shirt

Last edited by rzanology; 10-04-2007 at 08:27 AM..
 
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  #3  
Old 10-04-2007, 09:22 AM
Sage
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Quote:
The Zune 80 offers significantly more than the Zune Classic. The only place the Classic wins is a larger HDD option.
It's a shame there's no 160GB option for the Zune. That would rock with the big screen. It's also a shame that there's no iPod touch with a 160GB HDD!
 
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  #4  
Old 10-04-2007, 12:09 PM
Adam Krebs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sage View Post
It's a shame there's no 160GB option for the Zune. That would rock with the big screen. It's also a shame that there's no iPod touch with a 160GB HDD!
While I would've liked to see a touch screen model too, a) I'm not sure of its actual usefulness, and b) bloggers would've chewed MS out for "copying" Apple--I mean, look at Zune1... it looked nothing like the iPod (with the possible exception that they both had screens and circular control devices), but you couldn't tell that to an Apple fanboy.

I also think that the Zune 160 would've been overkill, as it is with Apple. Anyone with that much media is aware of other, better options (like an Archos or Cowon player) that are better suited for video and more cost effective. People looking to purchase in the general market also don't want 16 GB of flash storage--4 and 8 seem to be the sweet spots now.

That said, I'd really like to see how MS handles v3 of the Zune, how much incredibly better they are than the Gen7 iPods, and how the Zune software completely destroys iTunes--but I'll have to wait until next year for that
 
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  #5  
Old 10-04-2007, 04:02 PM
MarxMarvelous
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sage View Post
It's a shame there's no 160GB option for the Zune. That would rock with the big screen. It's also a shame that there's no iPod touch with a 160GB HDD!
I'd be surprised if we had to wait until the next major rev to see a 160GB option. That said, I don't think we'll see it before the holidays...
 
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  #6  
Old 10-04-2007, 06:57 PM
Janak Parekh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tucker View Post
There’s already more opinions out there on Zune 2.0 than you can shake a stick at. I feel like this opinion piece over at the NYT technology blog wanted to not like the Zune from the start. Its got a lot of really good information in the write up but the conclusions that the writer comes to seem very contradictory to other things he wrote.
It's a poorly-written article, indeed. Part of it is that it's "just a blog post", but it's a pretty meandering one that doesn't really draw upon its conclusions well.

Quote:
So it gives the iPod Classic a run for its money but you can’t imagine anyone wanting it? I really would like to know why.
I'm guessing he's alluding to inertia as a factor for the majority -- that the Zune doesn't reinvent the music player to the point where they'll switch to it unless they happen to be aware of these things.

Quote:
The Zune 80 offers significantly more than the Zune Classic. The only place the Classic wins is a larger HDD option.
And Mac support. That said, I do think the Zune Pad, based on the videos, may be the first real competitor to Apple's Click Wheel. Kudos to the Zune team for designing the Pad!

Quote:
As for the Zune 4/8, it might not beat the Nano on looks (though I would argue that the new Nano is pretty ugly) but on features it most certainly wins again. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the new Zunes are anything but ugly.
Agreed, the new Zunes are quite good-looking. (BTW, the nano looks great in person, IMHO.) One thing that occurred to me: the flash Zunes' controls look almost like a Mickey Mouse setup with the buttons acting as ears. I'm thinking MS should do a deal with Disney (yeah, I know, ain't happening thanks to Steve) and have Mickey Mouse-themed Zunes. All you need is some paint.

--janak
 
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  #7  
Old 10-04-2007, 06:59 PM
Janak Parekh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rzanology View Post
but what about the ipod touch? Really made me think...hmmmmmm. Ya know what? i think microsoft need not worry, they already own the solution to that. Its called a Pocket pc. at 399 for 16 gig...im sure one can find a decend ppc and some flash storage for around that price. iphone? please....the att tilt is out and about...iphone need not apply.
Sorry, I really disagree with this. First, WMP on the Pocket PC sucks. Period. It's beyond awful. Some of the alternative playback programs are better, but even then the sync experience with desktop WMP to the Pocket PC, especially with Janus DRM, is outright broken and does not work properly. I tried carrying a Jasjar as a music player, and after a week, I was ready to toss it out the window. Fantastic hardware, fantastic audio, ActiveSync+WMP will make you murder someone.

--janak
 
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  #8  
Old 10-04-2007, 07:01 PM
Janak Parekh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Krebs View Post
it looked nothing like the iPod (with the possible exception that they both had screens and circular control devices), but you couldn't tell that to an Apple fanboy.
I didn't hear much of this, actually. Sure, the most nutcase Apple fanboys might make such an assertion, but the most nutcase Microsoft fanboys would say that Apple copied Creative in the first place. Don't take either of them seriously.

--janak
 
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  #9  
Old 10-04-2007, 07:16 PM
djimer
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I think the point of the article is sound.

Apple has name recognition with the iPod, while the Zune is relatively unknown, at least comparatively speaking. Having a handful more feature than the iPod -- and it could be argued every which way if this is the case if you look at the whole picture -- is in itself not enough for the Zune to seem like a viable option for the fashion conscious consumer, who still is the target audience for personal media players.

The Zune is currently to the iPod, what the Aveo is to the Yaris. A similar, nice alternative, but still just that... An alternative.
 
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  #10  
Old 10-05-2007, 12:07 AM
Macguy59
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Don't care for the new UI but I like the looks of the flash player. Of course at the end of the day it comes down to sales. Will Zune 2 sell better than Zune 1 has ? With all the negative press about Version 1 will potential buyers think "more of the same" ? MS needs to take a page out of Apples marketing manual and promote the hell out of it.
 
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