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View Full Version : Crave: Zune is Out of Tune, For Now

Jason Dunn
11-04-2006, 11:00 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://crave.cnet.com/8301-1_105-11222-1.html?tag=blog' target='_blank'>http://crave.cnet.com/8301-1_105-11222-1.html?tag=blog</a><br /><br /></div><em>&quot;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. Microsoft recently sent an emissary to CNET with three Zunes to demonstrate Redmond's new offensive against the Apple/iPod juggernaut. While the Zune certainly has some interesting features, such as Wi-Fi capability and a decent-sized screen for a front-pocket device, the overall theme of the day appeared to be that this should be a considered a first-generation device that nails the basics and is easily expandable through software to learn new tricks. Fair enough, except for two things: hard drive-based music players have been around for a long time--since before Apple unveiled its first iPod five years ago. And Microsoft has an aircraft carrier stuffed with cash moored off its Redmond campus that should allow it to fund a top notch, me-too device.&quot;</em><br /><br />This is the kind of attitude that the Zune team is going to have to contend with over the next few months as their products launches and rolls out, and I can't say that I entirely disagree with him. I get the strong feeling that if the Zune team had another six months of development time they could have really taken advantage of the wireless and made it more than a &quot;me too&quot; device. I get the strong suspicion that since the Zune team started in January of 2006, the hardware design is more or less an off-the-shelf design from Toshiba that likely didn't get much in the way of tweaks from the Zune team. I could be wrong on that, but if many people think it looks like a prototype, well, that just might be closer to the truth than most of us realize.

11-04-2006, 11:46 PM
I've been sitting back on the sidelines reading all of these Zune reviews. I find it amusing how so many people are disappointed with the specifications of the first Zune player being released by Microsoft. This reminds me a lot of when Microsoft released the first version of their CRM software. The application lacked features and to put it bluntly was full of bugs and didn't stand up very well against any of it's competition. Despite all of it's pitfalls the application took off in the marketplace and today they add about 50,000+ new users every quarter. In some ways I see a lot of similarities with Zune and the CRM product. There is a clear vision for Zune to integrate heavily into the consumer business model Microsoft has been building for years (inegration with XBox Live right out of the chute). Yes the initial device lacks some key features but because WiFi is onboard when it ships and Microsoft's capability of updating the firmware through the Internet (proven with it's XBox Live hardware devices) the Zune team will reward those who are early adopters and quickly be able to compete feature for feature with likes of iPod.

Look at similar product lines to see how they did:

Windows Mobile/Pocket PC Phone Edition (Windows Mobile is now the Market Leader)Even if you disagree with all of this - Would you rather have the display that ships with the Zune device or Apple's little portrait screen? Smart move Microsoft!

I will enjoy my "Pre-Ordered" Brown Zune when it arrives later this month!!!

:: Ryan ::