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Old 11-02-2006, 01:00 AM
Jason Dunn
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Default David Caulton Responds to Robert Scoble's Post


"A lot of the points make me say "yeah, but wait a bit." It's not that we don't get Podcasting (Robert knows I'm among the loudest voices about Podcasting at Microsoft), it's that podcasting wasn't done in time. I don't expect anyone to buy based on my promises, but it's important to separate things we don't have at launch from comments about Zune's long term prospects."

Remember that Robert Scoble interview with Matt Jubelirer recently? David Caulton sure does, and he put together a few responses last week to the issues that Robert later raised in a separate post. Most of it is pretty standard rebuttal/agreement stuff: the Zune team is focused on mainstream use scenarios like music, not podcasting, there's nothing special about white headphones any more, and the round dpad is different from what iPod users are used to but ultimately very easy to adapt to and not a hurdle like some thing it is.

What really caught my attention though was in reading the comments: there's the usual flaming that goes on (pity, that) but David's response was worth noting:

"Man, how long do you guys think we've been doing this? I was in the room in January when we started whiteboarding. Yes, THIS January. We'll ship podcasting, and we'll call it "Podcasting" when we do."

This confirms what I've thought all along (and maybe this is common knowledge, but it's news to me): the Zune team is extremely new, this first generation Zune is light on features, and looking a whole lot like the Gigabeat S, because they didn't have time to do anything else. That might not be a great way to launch a foray into a brand new market, but it's better to try, fail, and learn what to do next time when to never launch at all. It gives me hope that wireless Zune to PC sync is missing because they didn't have time to implement it rather than not thinking of it all to begin with.
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