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David Pogue Takes On the Zune 99

Posted by Zonk
from the gotta-love-them-made-up-words dept.
necro81 writes "The NYTimes' widely read technology columnist, David Pogue, has devoted his weekly product review to Microsoft's Zune. He does an even-handed job of describing what Zune has over the iPod, as well as some product-related letdowns." From the article: "Competition is good and all. But what, exactly, is the point of the Zune? It seems like an awful lot of duplication — in a bigger, heavier form with fewer features — just to indulge Microsoft's 'we want some o' that' envy. Wireless sharing is the one big new idea — and if the public seems to respond, Apple could always add that to the iPod."
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David Pogue Takes On the Zune

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  • by Chode2235 (866375) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:17PM (#16788407)
    ...but it is made by Microsoft, who is not nearly as cool as Apple or even Sony etc when it comes to consumer electronics. I mean you can say a lot of other things about Microsoft being evil etc, but that aspect aside they just dont have the 'cool' image. So it seems to me that in order for the zune to have any meaninful impact it would have to be head and shoulders better than the ipod.
    • by Lisandro (799651)
      Actually, i hold Microsofts' hardware in high regard, even when i hate most of their software products. I know a lot of people do aswell. The problem here is tha the Zune is a product released solely to be no-less-than-Apple... and it shows.
  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:17PM (#16788409)
    Unless one really knows what is what one would read this /. post and think a tech savy but otherwise neutral party is doing a review. But of course this ain't so. Of course had Zonk wrote it up as David Pogue, author of "Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Tiger Edition" and numerous other Mac books, it just wouldn't have been much of a story now would it? It would have been seen as yet another of the "Mac zealot bashes Microsoft, prefers Apple; film at 11." story that seems to be becoming a regular staple around here.
  • Wireless sharing is the one big new idea -- and if the public seems to respond, Apple could always add that to the iPod.

    Yeah? How quickly? At what increase in price (or decrease in profits)?

    And oh, by the way, your shiny new iPod is now obsolete. Wanna buy a new one?

    I'll bet this has Apple salivating already. Might even cause them to overlook the deal MS cut with UMG to pay royalty rights regardless of how the Zune is used for "stolen" music that might be loaded by some users.

  • by creimer (824291) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:19PM (#16788419) Homepage
    Until you experienced a blue screen of death while playing "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" [wikipedia.org], your life is utterly meaningless.
  • by VitrosChemistryAnaly (616952) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:20PM (#16788425) Journal
    Why doesn't MS just stick to what it does well: making a decent Office Suite and a less-than-decent Operating System?

    I mean, aren't all the other money losing projects (hello Zune and Xbox) just financed by Office and OS anyway?

    Seems like a waste of time and resources to me.
    • by maxume (22995)
      If someone buys an Xbox and enjoys it and Microsoft loses money, the end result is that Microsoft paid money to make that guy happier. Sucks for shareholders, but it doesn't seem like a 'waste' to me.
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:21PM (#16788433)
    So it seems to me that in order for the zune to have any meaninful impact it would have to be head and shoulders better than the ipod.

    Or Dollars and Cents cheaper!

  • by geoffspear (692508) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:22PM (#16788441) Homepage
    but it is made by Microsoft, who is not nearly as cool as Apple or even Sony etc when it comes to consumer electronics.

    This is probably why the multi-page Zune ad in the most recent issue of Rolling Stone makes absolutely no mention whatsoever of Microsoft.

    How sad is it when you have to run away from your own established brand to try to sell something?
  • by njko (586450)
    i live in Argentina and i'd never heard before.
  • growth (Score:4, Funny)

    by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:25PM (#16788467)
    Why doesn't MS just stick to what it does well: making a decent Office Suite and a less-than-decent Operating System?

    Because of greedy shareholders. It's not enough for them to receive a nice dividend, they demand growth. Oh, and also it's contrary to Borg prinicples.
  • coolness factor (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jmyers (208878) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:26PM (#16788469)
    for this product to succeed it has to reach a coolness factor better than an ipod with 15yr olds. I don't see how a larger and uglier device is going to do it. I don't think MS has ever done that well with coolness (I'm not a gamer so I don't know how the xbox rates). MS is good at corporate marketing and deal making and the company name means something to those people. The MS brand is nerdy compared to Apple with is good at the marketing for this demographic. The last thing a 15yr wants to be is nerdy, except the ones reading /. of course, but coolness is a lost hope for those.
  • I won't switch (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:27PM (#16788483) Homepage

    I had no intention of switching, but the review solidified things. I wouldn't have recommended the product to anyone (I'd say just get an iPod) and this only makes things worse.

    Let's see what they've got to entice me away? I've got a large collection of music, but basically no DRMed AAC files so I would make an easy switch.

    • There is a photo viewer... where you have to turn the thing on it's side to look at the photo
    • There is wireless sharing... that automatically deletes it's self, limits playback to only three times, needs another Zune... Why not let me listen to ANYTHING AS MANY TIMES AS I WANT as long as I'm in range of that other person (say two people sitting on a bus)?
    • It's bigger and heavier
    • It can't be used as a hard drive (iPods have had that from day 1, so does EVERY OTHER PLAYER ON THE MARKET
    • It doesn't work with WMP (a plus) but requires a second (and very similar program, a minus)
    • Doesn't work with a Mac that I can see (that would kill it for me or any of the people I know switching to Macs for various reasons)
    • It doesn't have a scroll-wheel.... the genius of the iPod. It LOOKS like it, but it's really just a D-pad hidden under some round plastic. That's just pure genius for you
    • Some of the things (like putting a custom photo for a background) are neat but... no TV shows (don't have any, but I might), no movies (don't have any, but I might), no games (something I think was a great idea, even the bad solitare game)

    Let's face it, it's pathetic if they think they are going ANYWHERE with this. As for the "We're selling it in 3x as many stores"... who cares? Everyone who matters sells iPods. Target, Wal*Mart, CompUSA, Apple, Microcenter, Frys, Best Buy, Circuit City, Sears, Borders Books, and more. There are some I can't check (because I don't live near them) but I bet Meijers sells iPods. I've seen them in some odd places. They are everywhere. I think even those scam-on-poor-people places like Rent-A-Center probably sell 'em. They'll be more places for the Zune though? Let's see... who else would be a good partner for selling the Zune...

    JoAnne Fabrics? PetsMart? I know I'm looking for an MP3 player that's not an iPod when I go into my local paint-ball gun store, but maybe that's just me.

    No, wait, I don't go to paint-ball gun stores for consumer electronics.

    About the only place I can think of is Radio Shack. I don't know if they sell iPods now but they are going down the tubes fast any way.

    • ...that doesn't already carry iPods?

      About the only place I can think of is Radio Shack. I don't know if they sell iPods now but they are going down the tubes fast any way. (#16788483 [slashdot.org])

      Radio Shack was bought out by Circuit City here in Canada a while back, and all the old stores are now "The Source by Circuit City." I believe that Radio Shack is now trying to get back into the Canadian market, but I haven't actually seen one of the stores yet.

      And yes, Radio Shack does sell iPods [radioshack.com]. So does The Source [thesourcecc.com].

      At any r
  • by rolfwind (528248) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:28PM (#16788489)
    When Microsoft traditionally goes into a market, it brings out a less than stellar first version and incrementally improves it. It throws money at the problem until it is good enough for most people. Then they migrate toward it. In software, this strategy depends on branding, OS leverage, and most importantly a much weaker opponent several magnitudes. It worked with IE and MS Office.

    But they are going to have problems with the Zune like they had with the Xbox. In the videogame market, they face a very rich opponent (Sony) and haven't been able to dominate because of that. They have their fair market share, but they bled enough money for that.

    Now in the mp3 player market, they face a strong entrenched opponent Apple, who is rich enough and has the incentive to throw money/R&D at iPods as well. Apple also enjoys a very dominant position on top, similiar to MS in the OS market. It's not as stable because the lock-in isn't as bad, but it also means any features MS incorporates that are very good, short of killer, Apple can incorporate the same the next generation.

    And I don't see any killer features on the Zune. Maybe next time, though I doubt it. Currently, MS is going to be in the 2ndary mp3 market I think, meaning it will have to split marketshare with players other than ipod. I mean, if I wanted an mp3 player other than iPod, I'd look to iRiver first. They incorporate the features I want (ogg, etcetera) at a lower price.
  • We all know Microsoft isn't going to deliver a product that doesn't push DRM onto us, so who can we turn to as a device maker, that will give consumers MP3 devices that do what we expect and want (ie. DRM free)?
  • by the bluebrain (443451) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:30PM (#16788507)
    My iPod breakdown:
    - 12 gigs music.
    - 12 gigs movies and vPodCasts.
    - 10 gigs data, for just three files.
    iPod ... for when a thumb drive just ain't big enough.

    Not being able to use the zune as a drive is the ultimate breakdown for me.
    Figure: if they couldn't even get that one itsy bitsy featurette right ... how do you figure they fared with the basic, main features?
  • Zune points scam (Score:5, Informative)

    by goombah99 (560566) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:32PM (#16788515)
    79 zune points costs 99 cents. and you have to buy them in increments of $5. jeezus! this is so diaboilical on many levels. First, MS gets to hold your float for $4.01 after you buy the first song. That's a lot of interest to MS over time. And then after you buy 5 songs then what? MS gets to keep the extra nickel you can't spend. So really songs cost $1.00 not $0.99 cents. MS pockets 1% extra. Finally, the detachment of points from dollars measn two things. First it measn your brain hurts when you are spending funny money with strange conversion rates that make it hard to figure on the fly. And second it means they can charge different groups different prices or raise prices. For example, everyone who buys zune points now may be paying $1.00 per song but if you buy the points next week it's say $1.50 a song. Or maybe you get a zune points discount if you buy a new computer with MS OS.

    it all seems so deliberately complicated and multi-tiered like all of MS products. That can be a good bussiness strategy but it's not a user-freindly strategy. I predict people will prefer their music priced in way they can figure and don't have to work the angles to get the best prices.

    • Here's to hoping that the price schemes for music will never get as convoluted, untransparant and hard to figure as GSM or ADSL prices. There aren't any GSM people that just say: "If you call this many minutes, you pay this amount." It's always "In the weekends it's cheaper! Also at night! Also to friendly providers!" I don't know how my minutes are divided! I don't care and don't want to care about the provider of the person I'm calling! Usually when it says: this is cheaper, it means the other is more exp
    • by chrish (4714)
      Are the magical Zune Points the same as XBox Live! Points? If they're different, can you transfer between the two "accounts" or are you boned?
    • by denbesten (63853)

      In all fairness, Apple iTunes gift cards have many of these same problems. Values are multiples of $1 (as opposed to $.99), Apple keeps the interest, they can offer different prices to different groups, etc.

      The big advantages, however, are that the customer is not required to use gift cards with iTMS and that a gift card is a simple, familiar approach with few gotchas and no conversion rate issues for those of use with US$.

      Of course, that has always been the iPod way.... simple and familiar ... even if

  • Reply to this comment [slashdot.org]

    I think it is because Microsoft is trying to make money. The portable music business is worth millions upon millions. Same goes for the video game industry. Furthermore, the big companies in those industries can increase their market share in different industries because of the brand association that they get from their product (iPod, PS2, etc). Look at how many people argue that iPods have caused a surge in Mac sales. If Microsoft can take significant marketshare from Apple's iPo
  • Does the target "youth" market really keep their (mostly iPod) earphones in and playing when they're hanging out with friends and socializing? I'm only mid-30's, but I (and my 26-year-old programmer) still think that's pretty rude. Seems like Zune is going to have to really sell a LOT of players before this sharing thing takes root as a truly sellable feature.
  • by cutecub (136606) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:37PM (#16788553)
    Pogue doesn't compare Windows to the Mac... he compares the Zune to the IPod and the ITunes music store. He's comparing "Apples" to "Apple's". In fact, he doesn't mention the Mac anywhere in the article. I think you're projecting some bias of your own.

    His disdain for Microsoft's digital music business model is obvious and, arguably, well deserved.

    Every journalist has bias, just as every person has bias. But it seems to me Pogue was expressing real and serious flaws in the Zune and Microsoft's DRM model rather than simply going on a partisan Mac vs. Windows rant.

    -S
  • Reply to http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2057 8 1&cid=16788517 [slashdot.org]

    Well, not only making money, but they are a public entity, and as such, they have the OBLIGATION for their shareholders to make money and grow. They have the opportunity, they will knock at all doors to make money. Even if they lose some in the process, the shareholders prefer a company that tries many things than one that will simply fade into oblivion because they couldn't diversify.

    Examples, Sco, that got good share prices long
  • Has microsoft ever been successful in the non-computer consumer market with anything other than XBox? I don't like using anecdotal evidence normally....but, being a younger person I can safely say I've never ran into anyone who seemed to feel that microsoft made anything "cool". My feelings are that people seperate Xbox and microsoft. Most people dont think of xbox and think microsoft. oh yeah...Zune sounds silly to me. iPod did as well at first...so I might change my mind. But all I can think of that cra
  • by SillySilly (843107) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:41PM (#16788569)
    Walter Mossberg has a better review of the Zune: http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB11630284839 3917854-wNNFl42I1SSNBP6dH5xF08kTRlQ_20071108.html [wsj.com]

    Better in that he actually tested the Zune, measured its battery life (and found it to be 14% shorter than claimed), tested its WiFi sharing (and found it to not work as well as advertized), and actually used it.

    The review is not all negative, and is worth reading.

  • by dch24 (904899) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:41PM (#16788573) Journal
    Until you experienced a blue screen of death while playing "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", your life is utterly meaningless
    Actually, I just learned from the article [nytimes.com] that all the Beatles albums on the Zune store are broken links or something, since Microsoft hasn't licensed them yet.

    [ Parent [slashdot.org] ]
  • I don't think they'll be all that concerned. It sounds like Microsoft have found a way to make wireless sharing almost more useless to the average user.

    The bigger problem, though, is the draconian copy protection on beamed music (though not photos). You can play a transmitted song only three times, all within three days. After that, it expires. You're left with only a text tag that shows up on your PC so that -- how convenient! -- you can buy the song from Microsoft's store.

    The article goes on to say t

  • I didn't seem to find anything new in the column, its like the author took every witty comment that people have made here in the last few Zune articles and combined them all together into a NYT column. To the person above said about the bias of the article; obviously Pogue represents the /. apple loving crowd (for which I am a pod carrying member) and his attitide is readily apparant.

    It would have been better if he made a shit-brown joke instead of closing with the question of if 'brown is the new white'.
  • by vought (160908) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:53PM (#16788635)
    Boy, the marketing geniuses at Microsoft are really working overtime. Points can only be bought in $5.00 increments? What the hell? This isn't Costco for music - people are already used to two ideals - all you can eat subscriptions (which Zune offers) or a la carte purchases. If i hear one song I want to buy, I sure as hell am not going to go through a lengthy process and spend $5.00 to do so.

    What a dumb move. Each Zune review I've read so far has been down on the player, but more importantly on Microsoft's "treat users like idiots" approach.

    David Pogue - http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/09/technology/09pog ue.html?_r=1&8dpc&oref=slogin [nytimes.com]
    David Ewalt - http://blogs.forbes.com/digitaldownload/ [forbes.com]
    Walt Mossberg - http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB11630284839 3917854-wNNFl42I1SSNBP6dH5xF08kTRlQ_20071108.html [wsj.com]
  • Wifi?! Bah! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:56PM (#16788657) Homepage Journal
    Wifi brings a lot of baggage with me. Maybe Bonjour solves some of that, I dunno, but I think if they really wanted to do it right they'd add Bluetooth instead. That'd give them easy integration with their laptops and allow you to send a MP3 for use as a ringtone between the ipod and a cellphone with nothing else needed to make the two devices talk to each other. There's no effort involved at all.

    Well maybe some effort... I'm not sure how your itunes-DRMed AAC file will play on your cellphone. Fortunately I don't have any of those to worry about.

  • How can one do a "review" of a product that isn't out yet? This is, at best, an _editorial_ on the Zune, not a review.
  • Re: I won't switch (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hijacked Public (999535) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:57PM (#16788677)
    I bet Meijers sells iPods. I've seen them in some odd places.


    The Meijers near my house sells them. I once bought one out of a vending machine at an airport in Atlanta, because I was about to fly out to the boonies and was getting nervous about whether I would have enough storage space for photos.

    Which brings me to the main reason I won't switch: I always carry a couple of iPods when I'm shooting long assignments so I can use them to store photos. Clamp on a readily available CF card reader and they make excellent portable hard drives that just happen to play music. If a Zune won't work as a generic HD or keep up with iPod's HD size I can't use it.

    The coolness factor is also useful in my position, iPods are recognized by the most unlikely people in the most unlikely places and can get you out of difficult situations. Like when the KLA though I was on the wrong side and wanted to detain me. Lets see a Zune do that.

  • I was impartial as I don't currently own an iPod but this article (which I found to be completely unbiased) confirmed one thing for me: This Zune thing is a lumpy brown piece of crap.

    Honestly, I'd rather buy a RocBox [playerblog.com] which was probably the most illconceived product ever -- and blatant atempt to "cash in" on the iPods success just like the Zune.

    Microsoft didn't bother trying to put sprinkles on a turd, they just released the turd directly to the public!

  • by Hijacked Public (999535) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @05:03PM (#16788719)
    Cars don't come with 'IPod connectors'


    Sure they do.

    My car (truck actually) has a connector and I can control my iPod from my steering wheel, something that can't be via with an audio input jack. There are also several aftermarket solutions that work over CAN-BUS and the like, that allow control of the player via factory radio, as an AUX device.

  • Although I don't have detailed information and haven't seen one of these, I believe that an "iPod connector" in cars means an interface integration, i.e. a dock for the iPod and a way to display and operate the iPod's interface via the audio system's interface. Simply plugging in the 1/8" stereo jack, wouldn't allow you to control the iPod from the host device. http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2004/jun/21bmw.htm l [apple.com]
  • by vought (160908) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @05:07PM (#16788739)
    Replying to:http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=20 5781&cid=16788639

    Are you kidding? Most cars that advertise "iPod" connectivity do, in fact have a dock connector and integrated head unit that can used to control the iPod, display track names, and recharge the unit while it is sequestered in a cooled glovebox (preserving the battery's long-term life) or armrest.

    It's not like this is a new thing...http://www.apple.com/ipod/carintegration.h tml
  • I imagine that MS will never be able to cram the wireless into a form factor the size of a Nano/Sansa/etc. So will they someday come out with a crippled "Zune Lite" or will it always be a one (large) size fits all? Feels like they are kinda stuck with just being able to change colors and make it slightly smaller over time.
  • by vought (160908) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @05:14PM (#16788771)
    It's not just him repeating the column, but provides a lot off context. 11:00, available here:

    http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/ viewPodcast?id=155860524 [apple.com]
  • by crabpeople (720852) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @05:17PM (#16788789) Journal
    "How sad is it when you have to run away from your own established brand to try to sell something"

    This is why clothes you buy from walmart do not say "walmart brand" on them. They come up with cute little brands.

  • Office and OS do not stock price increase make
  • I'll be the first to admit that I wouldn't ever buy this thing unless it was like ridiculously great (I really don't like giving Microsoft my money). So, my own bias aside, is anyone else kind of dumbfounded that you can't use the thing as an external hard drive like every other large capacity MP3 player in existence? (Unless, of course, that David Pogue was wrong when he wrote that.)
  • Being a Mac user doesn't make David Pogue biased, just as having written a book on using Windows wouldn't make him biased. Likewise it doesn't keep him from being an objective reporter for the Paper of Record. Your extrapolation from "Author of book about Macs" to "Mac zealot" is tellling in your leanings, but not those of Mr. Pogue.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @06:05PM (#16789175) Homepage
    "What looks like an iPod scroll wheel, though, is a fakeout. It doesn't turn, and it's not touch-sensitive. Instead, it's just four buttons hidden under the compass points of a plastic ring. Scrolling accelerates as you press the top or bottom button, but the iPod's wheel is much more efficient."

    What is it that's so hard to "get" about a frickin' _knob?_

    There are just some situations where a button doesn't hack it. No matter how many cents it saves in manufacturing costs.

    The original-equipment radio on my last car had a rotating knob as a volume control. I didn't think anything of it until I replaced it with an aftermarket radio that didn't. Like the Zune, it, too, had an oh-so-clever sounds-good-on-paper kludge: if you pressed the + button it would increment in steps of 4 units, and if you then pressed the - button within a short time interval it would decrement in steps of 1 unit. On paper, I would never have believed what a misery this substitute for a volume control knob would be. I don't think I ever realized just how often I reach to make a microadjustment in volume (different levels of traffic noise, different stations, different tracks in a classical album). Not only was the system clumsy, but of course one button feels just like another button... unless you spend some money on making them feel different.

    In the 1960s I remember a little paper tape program in the bin above the PDP-1 at MIT labelled "Minsky Knob." It looked promising, because Marvin Minsky was the author of a nice little display hack called Minskytron, which... well, never mind. "Minsky Knob" was his attempt to get knob-like control using only keyboard keys. I believe striking one key caused a spot of light on the CRT to accelerate uniformly to the right, and a second press would stop it dead, while alternative presses of another key would accelerate it to uniformly to the left and stop it dead.

    When the right tool for the job is knob, nobody's ever found a way to do it with a button. Minsky Knob was all but unusable in the 1960s. He couldn't figure it out then, and nobody else has been able to figure it out since.
  • All they have to do is release some sort of SDK that allows programming for Zune. There will be a ton of gadgets in a matter of weeks, "fixing" shortcomings.
  • I think the article was quite fair. The Zune is a decent player. It has some features that an iPod doesn't have. But overall, it isn't spectacularly better than an iPod. So really it will come down to taste and lock-in. MS is betting on that they can lock in consumers with their DRM. I don't know if they've been paying attention but a recent study shows that most iPod users' music collections are mostly MP3s not FairPlay. Also this DRM lock-in probably didn't make their former partners too happy. I w
  • by frozenray (308282) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @06:09PM (#16789205)
    One of the things that I wonder about most in today's tech market is the utter inability of _any_ competitor to design a line of mp3 players that come even close to the Apple iPods in terms of design, price, usability, haptics, brand recognition, packaging, availability and "ecosystem". They may come close in one aspect or the other, or even trump Apple in certain areas such as price, but I couldn't name a single player I'd choose over any one in the iPod line if I wanted to buy one. Every so-called "iPod killer" I've looked at was either ugly, had an user interface designed for martians by martians, lousy battery life, a bad case of "all-your-music-are-belong-to-us" DRM, or cost about the same as an equivalent iPod. The Zune, by the way, is no exception to this - I wouldn't buy this ugly-looking contraption at any price.

    This summer, I bought a friend whom I charitably describe as "not a computer genius" a white 1 GB Nano for her birthday, and she was soon ripping CDs with iTunes and downloading songs from the Apple store without my help. She's really proud of it and showed it to all her friends - probably the first piece of computer related tech she owned that didn't make her feel stupid and out-of-it.

    By the way, I'm not one of those Apple fanboys and don't even own a separate mp3 player, a 2 GB SD card in my cellphone does it for me. No need to lug around yet another gadget, nursing its battery and keeping it from getting broken or stolen.
  • Maybe MS is aiming for the untapped corporate market. You issue your executives and sales force notebooks, PDAs and wireless phones, why not mp3 players? They can hold inspirational speeches, clips of those dopey motivational posters, corporate training videos, the audiobook of "Who Moved My Cheese," why the list is endless! And you don't have to worry about them being used to download sensitive company data.
  • iPod has saturated its ecological niche, and Zune doesn't offer enough to break into iPod's space. Microsoft needs some inventive marketing.

    http://www.realmeme.com/roller/page/realmeme?entry =zune_meme_rerun [realmeme.com]
  • How much did MS pay for a site like this [ebgames.com]?

    Every time I walk into EB Games or Gamestop I'm assulted by a pimply-faced teenager pushing the damned Zune on me. I've been insluted to my face because I have an iPod.

    One of these kids claimed his boss "was just talking to Peter Moore the other day and he said Peter said that they were making the wi-fi work for downloads." After staring at him and realizing he had convinced himself that this was true, I had to laugh in his face. (I did confirm with his boss lat

  • by Jon_S (15368) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @07:10PM (#16789577)
    Did anyone take a look at the web site for the Zune Store? Someone seemed to be trying just a little too hard to sound hip, and it comes off sounding hilarious. For example, from http://www.zune.net/en-us/meetzune/zunetozuneshari ng.htm [zune.net]

    "Mama always said to share. Now you have an opportunity to do it with music and photos. With wireless Zune to Zune sharing you can send your favorite tracks and photos to friends.[1]

    Picture this: You're walking down the street. Or you're in a room with a bunch of friends. Or at a concert. Or at the airport. Or on the bus (you get the picture) and then you whip out your Zune and see all these other Zune devices around that you can choose from. Zap! You're connected to your best friend and send the new song your band recorded in the garage last weekend. Another friend gets the hilarious podcast your kid brother made at school, plus that song you just downloaded from the Zune Marketplace and can't get out of your head. And hey, lookee here, your friend wants to send you something that you might like and buy, too."

    you gotta love the cool talk complete with a foot note to remind you about the DRM on the sharing

  • I know I'm looking for an MP3 player that's not an iPod when I go into my local paint-ball gun store, but maybe that's just me.

    Target practice? :-D

  • asdf
  • We love Zune because it so big an powerful. It will crush girly iPod!
  • So I did RTFA and its a bloody troll. It starts of insulting M$, dismisses it as an unbashed copy of the iPod (despite the fact that the headline is iPod is not), dismisses PlaysForSure which bombed yet says there is an issue for all those poor people who bought music from PFS and whines about how the poor user will have to learn yet another complicated piece of software just to put music on the Zune. Then he gets to the review.

    Its an excellent player he says - oh except for the colors (black and white just
  • He does an even-handed job of describing what Zune has over the iPod
    ...and the ipod does nothing better? Or does this article have it's own bias?
  • by davecrusoe (861547) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @08:27PM (#16790021) Homepage
    From the ZUNE Site:

    "You're connected to your best friend and send the new song your band recorded in the garage last weekend. Another friend gets the hilarious podcast your kid brother made at school, plus that song you just downloaded from the Zune Marketplace and can't get out of your head. And hey, lookee here, your friend wants to send you something that you might like and buy, too.

    Best of all, the song you sent isn't just a 30-second preview --it's the whole song! Your friend can sample the song up to three times in three days, flag it on their device and then, if they like it, they can buy it later from Zune Marketplace. It's all connected."

    http://www.zune.net/en-us/meetzune/zunetozuneshari ng.htm [zune.net]

    So: if I want to listen to the "hillarious podcast that my KID BROTHER made at SCHOOL" a couple times, I have to "BUY" it from MICROSOFT??

    Enough said.
  • They've basically reached the apex of what office and pc software is capable of doing. The only place for them to expand is to reach out into the entertainment business.
  • It doesn't have a scroll-wheel.... the genius of the iPod. It LOOKS like it, but it's really just a D-pad hidden under some round plastic. That's just pure genius for you

    Despite what everyone says I don't see how the scroll-wheel on the iPod is anything special. I use a Zen Vision:M and can jump to any song I want within seconds with it's vertical touch pad.

    And this is more of a personal problem, but I'm unable to to use iPods with my right hand because I have funky joints which don't work with the scro

  • I wouldn't be so sure about that, considering somebody's managed to make a wifi micro-sd card: http://www.wi-fiplanet.com/news/article.php/363895 6 [wi-fiplanet.com]
  • What few seem to realize is that the Zune is not aimed at the iPod market. The iPod is aimed at the self-absorbed cool kids who either have a Mac or would like to. The Zune is aimed at a more social demo.

    The signal event to highlight the difference was Steve Jobs crowning himself King of the Geeks when he dismissed the Zune sharing feature because it wouldn't help you pick up a girl. iPod owners everywhere agreed.

    Note that Zune advertising is about Zune sharing. The Zune isn't a media machine with sharing

    • The Zune is taking aim directly at the iPod, what media player wouldn't be at this point, from it's design to it's music store that "plays for sure" with the Zune and nothing else.

      The iPod is marketed towards everyone, not just the "self-absorbed cool kids". Walk down a New York street and you can see a good percentage of poeple of all demographics using their iPods.

      Take any subway train and you can see schoolkids and couples sharing one iPod listening with one set of headphones each with 1 earphone. Seem

  • > And oh, by the way, your shiny new iPod is now obsolete. Wanna buy a new one?

    Huh? I have one of the original iPods. In what way has it become obsolete with the introduction of others? Hmmm?

  • You're right - Microsoft is essentially running the same play as they did with the Xbox... instead of the PS2 from Sony, the enormous dominant monolith that they're assaulting is the iPod from Apple. They are doing rather well with the Xbox though (although not in Japan, where they really are struggling) and although they're not owning the market like I'm sure they'd like to eventually do, they're making headway. If the PS3 bombs, they are very nicely positioned.

    That said, the Xbox (and the 360) didn't get
  • Gates said that the future of computers was not in content creation but content consumption. That's why DRM is so important now. DRM is to content as the OS is to programs. Once you own the DRM that everyone uses you own all the content.

    Clearly, Gates is not necessarily interested in income based on the digital music sold, not any more than he's interested in the XBOX-360. He's interested in market share (rather market control) of the content.

    Sit back, close your eyes, and think about it for a few minut
  • This is a ridiculous review. I have an iPod and don't want a Zune, but regardless, how many people use the world clock (I didn't even know my iPod had one -- nor would I care!)? Those pseudo "missing features" miss the point: it plays music, costs less, and sounds about the same.

    Of course it might not cost less for long....
  • Given that last time slashdot slammed on a music player, that player went on to become a huge success, it would appear that Zune is headed to be a real iPod-killer.
  • Jmorris notes: "as David Pogue, author of "Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Tiger Edition" and numerous other Mac books, it just wouldn't have been much of a story now would it?"

    Well, except that David Pogue (that's me) has also written "Windows Me: The Missing Manual," four editions of "Windows XP: The Missing Manual," and "Windows Vista: The Missing Manual."

    And I've published, or will be publishing, Missing Manuals on Frontpage, Microsoft Access, Photoshop Elements (for Windows), Digital Photogra
  • "Costs less?"

    Dude, the Zune costs exactly the same as the 30 GB iPod.

    And if you call missing Zune features like a graphic equalizer, audio books, TV shows, videos, and podcasts "pseudo missing features"... well, I'd guess you're in the minority, bro.
  • Yeah, perhaps I am in the minority, but a quick poll (10 iPods among us) yields a grand total of two who knew it could do anything but play music/videos/tv: me ('coz I read your article) and one guy who says he knew there was a clock but had not ever used 'em. So in my unscientific poll I am a minority.

    Basically your article seemed to be: "Wireless. Same space as an iPod. Lame."

    As for my comment: yeah, I realized (yes yes, just after pressing "submit") that I was totally wrong on the price
    • by nacs (658138)
      He just told you the other things the Zune is missing and you are still fixated on the world clock.

      So in my unscientific poll I am a minority.
      In my unscientific poll, you are an idiot Gumby.
  • ... as Pogue reported, is that one of the color choices is ... I really don't know how to say this ... alright, then: BROWN.

    (You may recall that PC wore a brown suit in at least one of the Mac-PC ads. Which were full of brilliant little touches.)

    What sort of person sets out to buy a BROWN iPod-sort of thing. A rhetorical question, thanks anyway.

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