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Old 11-04-2006, 11:00 PM
Jason Dunn
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Default Crave: Zune is Out of Tune, For Now


"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."

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 "me too" 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.
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