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View Full Version : InfoWorld: Is Zune the Next BOB?

Jason Dunn
11-16-2006, 11:23 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://weblog.infoworld.com/techwatch/archives/008930.html' target='_blank'>http://weblog.infoworld.com/techwatch/archives/008930.html</a><br /><br /></div><em>&quot;Is Microsoft's Zune turning into Bob? According to early press reports following the launch of Microsoft's iPod Killer, it may well be. We all remember Microsoft BOB -- right? That disastrous effort to change the whole desktop GUI metaphor to something more cute and family friendly? Well, Bob didn't go over so well and the project, plus its &quot;shoot me in the forehead, please&quot; smiley face logo have become synonymous for ambitious Redmond projects that flopped. Barring a major re-think from Microsoft (something they didn't give to Bob) Zune may be a Bob for the gadget world. Zune's problems started even before the device hit store shelves. Most reviewers -- many of them iPod owners -- couldn't help but compare the device to Apple's megapopular MP3 player and find it wanting. While the device did get high marks for it's UI and look and design,the close feature similarities and prices between the 30GB Zune and similar iPod models, as well as iPod's greater number of model and size options, and iTunes franchise have made the Zune seem a tough sell.&quot;</em><br /><br /><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/zt/2006/ZuneBob-nov16.jpg" alt="" /><br /><br />Ouch - that's one damning comparison! Although as you read the article, you get the sense that the author meant the exact opposite. Bob was a very unique software tool, something completely new and different - and it bombed so very hard. Yet it was still a risk - the Zune, on the other hand, isn't so risky. It's more like a PlaysForSafe device that, so far at least, doesn't have anything really unique and interesting to offer. I'm still working on my review, but suffice it to say that while there's a lot to like about the Zune, there are also some very frustrating limitations.

Vincent M Ferrari
11-16-2006, 11:51 PM
For God's sake that's a silly question. The Zune is not Bob.

To use Bob one had to ignore everything they had learned about computers and how they worked and engage in a complete paradigm shift of how they use computers. Let's also not forget it overwhelmed most of the machines it ran on. (I thought it was kinda neat to be honest).

Okay. Now let's talk about Zune. Zune is a portable media player. There's very little earth-shattering or paradigm shifting about it. It does what many devices before it have done, and and does what many devices after it will do. It has WiFi, but for the most part, you don't have to use it if you don't want to (to clarify: WiFi is not a pivotal functionality point for the Zune, just a feature).

Comparing the Zune to Bob is like comparing a laptop to a car.

As for will it bomb, can we at least withold predictions on that until it's been out for more than two days? Jesus.

I think a whole bunch of writers woke up the day the Zune hit shelves and took stupid pills.

11-17-2006, 12:37 AM
Simple explanation - someone wants to make their Zune op-ed piece stand out from the rest, so they had to come up with a headline that would cause interest.

11-17-2006, 02:34 PM
There are a lot of people that is against evrything that Microsoft does for whatever reazon, for me I'm still enjoing my Zune and can't wait for the things to come.

11-18-2006, 07:33 AM
I'm tired of the headline "Microsoft's 'iPod-killer'..."

Zune isn't intended to dethrone the iPod. It's just a beachfront attack to gain a foothold in the greater battle. iPod won't fall for some time and to continuously misrepresent Microsoft as trying to kill it with this first gen device is crazy talk.

I haven't noticed as much talk about the 360 beating Apple to the punch with HD downloads. But I'm sure the media would call it "Microsoft's 'iTV-killer'".

Vincent M Ferrari
11-18-2006, 08:42 AM
As much as I agree with you on the iPod killer thing, isn't it a bit premature to call ANY device an iTV killer, particularly since no one knows exactly what it does and it isn't on the market yet?

Reality check, please.

11-26-2006, 09:58 PM
Well, yes, that was my point in fact. The media will latch on to the easy headling "Microsoft's i<name here> killer" for as long as it's even remotely feasible to do so.