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Microsoft Zune: A “complete, humiliating failure”

November 27, 2006

Wow, this is HARSH! (courtesy of

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Andy Ihnatko takes Microsoft‘s overhyped portable music and media player, the Zune, out to the proverbial woodshed for a little discipline.

This is easily the worst, most critical and downright nasty review I’ve seen for the Zune since it hit stores a few weeks ago.

Hey Andy, didn’t you see the Zune was the No. 1 tech item that would “change your life”, as rated by the tech geniuses at Men’s Health magazine?

I guess that change would be for the worse.

Some highlights of Ihnatko’s review:

The overall experience [of Zune use] is about as pleasant as having an airbag deploy in your face. “Avoid,” is my general message. The Zune is a square wheel, a product that’s so absurd and so obviously immune to success that it evokes something akin to a sense of pity.

On Microsoft’s payments to Universial Media Group:

[Microsoft] has already given the music industry the other thing the industry has been demanding from Apple: a kickback on every player sold.

“These devices are just repositories for stolen music, and they all know it,” said Doug Morris, CEO of Universal Music Group. “So it’s time to get paid for it.”

Well, Morris is just a big, clueless idiot, of course. Do you honestly want morons like him to have power over your music player?  Then go ahead and buy a Zune. You’ll find that the Zune Planet orbits the music industry’s Bizarro World, where users aren’t allowed to do anything that isn’t in the industry’s direct interests. …

And, where Microsoft went wrong with the concept:

Companies such as Toshiba and Sandisk (with its wonderful Nano-like Sansa e200 series) compete effectively with the iPod by asking themselves, “What are the things that users want and Apple refuses to provide?”  Microsoft’s colossal blunder was to knock the user out of that question and put the music industry in its place.

Result: The Zune will be dead and gone within six months. Good riddance.

Amen Andy!  Amen!  

Avoid the loony Zune [Chicago Sun-Times via BoingBoing via]


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