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Old 12-01-2006, 06:00 PM
Damion Chaplin
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Default Zune: So Close, Yet So Far


"For two days, Zune was in the top-10 products sold through Amazon and made it as high as number 2. On day three, it dropped like a rock. The first two days showed the potential the right product could have. The third showed this was a swing and a miss... Microsoft gets software and they are learning about services but Apple is the leading expert is hardware and the MP3 player market is clearly a hardware market now. Much like Apple didn't understand the power of software in the 80s Microsoft doesn't seem to grasp the importance of hardware design in the 2000s and that is very telling in this most recent battle.  Much like what happened when Microsoft took on Sony with the Xbox, the Microsoft team had to really have a passion for hardware and that simply wasn't the case with Zune."

I think Rob Enderle has a point, but I think people are, in general, taking this whole thing far too seriously.  Everyone built up their own expectations, and now are blaming Microsoft for not fulfilling them.  Sure, the Zune is lacking in certain areas, but so is the iPod.  And every other gadget you carry.  The perfect Pocket PC? Camera? Phone? PMP?  Ain't no such beast.  Maybe Zune was a little over-hyped for what the final product turned out to be, but the hype was far less than the endless fluorescent assault I get from the iPod camp everyday. ;-)  It's a first-gen product folks.  Even the first-gen iPod was a dud.  MS has a long-term plan for the Zune, and it's a few years too early to call it a swing and a miss.
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Old 12-01-2006, 06:39 PM
Aaron Roma
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Originally Posted by Damion Chaplin View Post
Everyone built up their own expectations, and now are blaming Microsoft for not fulfilling them.
Unfortunately, the way this thing was hyped, whether Redmond's fault or not, seemingly anything short of total domination out of the start gate would be seen as a flop. Obviously this is far from reality.
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Old 12-02-2006, 01:26 AM
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Even the first-gen iPod was a dud. MS has a long-term plan for the Zune, and it's a few years too early to call it a swing and a miss.
I didn't pay any attention to iPod coverage when it first came out, but if it was a dud back then, then I'm sure media would've panned it for being a dud. Obviously without as much fanfare, as MP3 players weren't as mainstream back then.

Alas, the way technology journalists review products is by evaluating what's in front of them - it's not the practice to take into account long term plans, possibilities and potential of a product.

Nor are consumers going to be any more forgiving of a product's fault just because it's first-gen. They buy a product and expect it to do what it says it does, regardless of whether it's first-gen, fifth-gen or tenth-gen. From an end user perspective, it's irrelevant.

That said, the Zune doesn't have any manufacturing faults or claim to do anything that it can't do. It's just that in its current iteration, it isn't a strong enough product to compete with the iPod.

I don't see that comparing the Zune to the iPod is wrong. It's natural to compare a new product in a market to what's currently available - that's what people want to know as that is what they will base their purchasing decisions on. No one wants to buy second best, and in this field, the iPod has clearly established itself as the MP3 player to beat.
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