I tried to listen,, really I did but that voice Ouch..
What better venue than Las Vegas, America's playground, for the annual multi-billion dollar gadgets and entertainment jamboree that is the Consumer Electronics Show? Among this year's players Microsoft, entering the arena surrounded by a cloud of rumor over the potential for an iPhone-killing, Zune-based, Redmond mobile phone …
I'm not pro MS and I'm not anti Apple. I work in IT, I love gadgets and I own a Zune 80GB. I don't understand the Zune bashing (I can empathize with general MS bashing.) from some editors on the Register. I get that it's cute and en vogue to trash talk any company that attempts to one-up a super successful pop/tech culture icon but really. :-/ "The embarrassment that is the Zune..." ? My Zune 80GB has never pissed me off, and sound and construction is top notch. Just because something's fighting an impossible battle doesn't mean it's a crappy product. Yes, I'm aware of the 30GB Zune New Years "strike". iPods have had their share of problems too. So, save the ultra-left wing vomit for the back of your hoopty.
..I do understand the Zune bashing. I've only ever seen one in the flesh (I understand that they're an American thing), but it was a charmless, mediocre brown lump, with an uninspiring headphone amp, display and build quality- that's even before we get onto the abysmal industrial design.
It's hardly surprising that most people outside of America have ever seen one, it's really the most "meh" thing. Not the worst bit of technology ever, but far from wonderful. Not really ever going to set the world on fire (insert Apple/Sony/Dell battery joke here!).
The Zune might not be crap as a product, but is crap as a business strategy. What the hell is MS thinking? There is absolutely no way they'd be able to displace ipod and are fools for even trying.
ipods are not necessarily well built, but they don't need to be. They are iconic because they are pitched as cool product. Ballmer doing the MonkeyBoy is not cool and never will be and nor will Zune.
Just building the players is not enough. You need to make it appeal to the audience. You need to understand who your customers are and are not.
The whole Zune Mobile (Project Pink) strategy (a service for MS Win Mobile phones) is again MS trying to emulate Apple's highly successful itunes store. This strategy will burn too, for a very good reason. With very few exceptions, Win Mobile phones are pitched at the business sector, not as personal phones (like the iphone is). The business sector does not respond will to music downloads or 99c applications. The business sector is far more interested in "professional" apps. Worse still, MS have gone and given the idea the kiss of death by associating it with Zune.
The embarrassment is the fact that Microsoft haven't even launched the Zune in the UK yet. Yes you can get grey imports, but why bother?
Apple's iPod appeared in the earlier part of this decade and it has taken Microsoft how long to produce a competing product? and it's still not launched in the UK despite it being a very profitable market for music players (people buy them to pass the time while waiting for our really bad trains to finally arrive).
Another win for Apple is that their music players now run the same software as their phones. Why didn't Microsoft do this? they could have put the developer resources of Windows Mobile and Zune together and produced a common platform for both. But they didn't as Microsoft doesn't have a clue.
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