I think this isn't going as Microsoft expected

by Volker Weber

[Thanks, Florian]

Update: Wayne sent me another one.


Try www.microsoft.com/zune - but make sure to use SeaMonkey ;-)

Stephan Perthes, 2006-11-16

Honestly, do you guys believe the Zune has any chance to succeed?

I would be real surprised..

Pieterjan Lansbergen, 2006-11-16

Ouch. That second video is even more embarrassing.

Someday I should write about when I interviewed at the MSN music group, the "iTunes killer. What struck me was the focus on beating Apple and the simultaneous arrogance that they would easily prevail.

The project leader had taped up lots pictures of Steve Jobs with various quotes denigrating MS or touting the superiority of Apple. Ostensibly, this was to get the team fired up and beat that nasty man. That's exactly how I want to be motivated, to be reminded how I'm a pawn in a billionaire's grudge match. Who cares about building products that people will actually enjoy and use? Focus on beating Steve!

Outside their existing monopolies, I'm starting to wonder if anyone fears MS as a competitor anymore. Have they had any new hits in years?

Damien Katz, 2006-11-16

The Zune does have a viral marketing style music sharing paradigm that at first blush would appeal to those selling content. That only will help if the rest of the player, the DRM, and the music stores are all pretty good.

Andrew Pollack, 2006-11-16

Remembering that much of vowe's readership comes from the Notes world I find this discussion hugely and amusingly ironic. One of the big differentiators of the Zune is its social nature - you can share music with your friends, something you can't do with an iPod.

Notes back in the day wasn't just a word processor connected to a file share but a collaboration product and it took a while for the market to understand that -- in the same way the Zune isn't just an MP3 player or iPod knockoff.

Once the market understands the full potential of the Zune I wonder if it won't be seriously game-changing as Notes was a decade and a half ago.

Barry Briggs, 2006-11-16

Barry, that is an interesting feature. The only problem being that you can't really share stuff because that would be "stealing".

People share music today without a Zune. They just swap iPods.

Volker Weber, 2006-11-16

My favorite thing about the "sharing" feature? If you send a friend one of your non-DRM songs, one you didn't buy from Microsoft but purchases as a physical CD (or DVD or...), that friend can still only play it 3 times. So they're adding DRM to your song while you transfer it. Fabulous. That's just how I want my music platform to behave: insert DRM into every possible situation.


Rob McDonagh, 2006-11-16

The Zune music sharing concept is a joke—but full marks to Barry for pulling the discussion around to Lotus Notes ;o)

Ben Poole, 2006-11-16

Oh, and still no-one has figured out what’s going on with the Zune’s error page!

Zune’s orgasmic error screen

Ben Poole, 2006-11-16

@Ben The Zune music sharing concept is a joke.... - Let's wait and see

When I had bought my first mobile phone (in 1992 - yeh the complete system was in beta and without any monthly fee - 14 years later we have a similar situation) I started reading the manual and there you could find something called MESSAGING ... I read a little bit and skipped the complete SMS chapter... Who had thougt or could imagine that this would become a billion market especially for kids. And by the way the rates for SMS are nearly the same since introduction of GSM here - the voice rate went from 1€ to 0,15€ but SMS is still 0,2 €.
What does it mean? We are to old to jump back to our childhood and maybe zunes is a similar thing.

Who would believe that the gaming market would grow after the decrease in the late 80ies where Atari and the others perished? The sceptical awaited XBox became a tremendous hit and there are not many people talking about how bad this product is- MS had recognizced that this is a bg market with one of the highest growing rates, a high margine and which isn't overmature for years. Who else could jump there?
I haven't heard anything from HP - they have the ability for such a product development & software bundling & online sales. Where is Dell and all the others?

If you like it or not but they have strategy and they maybe missed some trends (like search engine & their ads market) but not all.
Windows needed 3 generations, the xbox made it in two (who had believed that they could reach this in a complete side market - unprofessional things where MS is a Professional, the only game they sell like the Volkswagen Beetle is MS Flightsimulator in Version 10+x for more than 20 years).

If you are not a member of the target group be very careful with predictions - my experience and really I can remember configuring modems in the early 90ies when they begin to talk about something called Internet.
Not never could this become a success. Who should configure all these modems and lines and special plugs (FAX/VOICE or ISDN). And the last two things were google (as share and their market) and youtube.

And I remember that I couldn't imagine that the new Mini would become such a hit after I noticed the price tag - for a retro car (after the desaster of the new beetle in terms of sales). They sell twice as much as planned and you remember the new smart discussion - the Smart is below half of the planned figures (only Coupe figures) but is now sold in 30% more countries than planned!

But the customer is always right they love all the things assosiated with cars like mini and I'm not talking about the special driving features .... many eventually successful young women are buying the minis as new cars not used ones. That is very rare and unique in the car market.

All these are examples for mass market hits where every detail fits perfect to the assumed customer with a balance of marketing and pricing not only functionality.
Maybe zune 1 is not the big hit - let's wait for zune 2010 .
Finally the good thing is that we hopefully have a good competition and the speed of innovation will increase (similiar to the times when sony Clie reached the market and Palm was much fast than today) and the ipod level which hasn't been adjusted for a year will be more customerfriendly.
So we will see new ipods with more and more features what maybe will end up in an ipodgamer or ipodnizer the natural successor of the newton.

Wolfgang Andreas Bischof, 2006-11-17

Some good points Woflgang, and no, I’m not in the target group :o)

Don’t get me wrong, I can see how the sharing feature could be very popular—it is the key differentiator between the Zune and other music players, so MS must believe in it—I just think that the implementation leaves a lot to be desired (not all MS’s fault: they have to contend with DRM).

Ben Poole, 2006-11-17

Not that I am a Dvorak fan but this article has some interesting points on the "Reviewer's Kit": http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2059039,00.asp

Also... why would you make the device not work with Media Player?

Chris Dehon, 2006-11-17

Old vowe.net archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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