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Zune, We Hardly Knew Ye

Actually, we did know ye pretty well, and ye were pretty lame. It looks as though Microsoft might be (wisely) dumping the Zune name, thereby erasing from its portfolio a brand moniker that might as well have been spelled F-A-I-L. It's not that the Zune was such a bad device, really -- it's just that it was never close to competing with the iPod on any level that mattered (read: design and coolness).

The Zune always reminded us of the kid on "Beavis and Butthead" who wore a Winger shirt while the protagonists of the series were rocking shirts from legit hard-rock bands AC/DC and Metallica. Just weak. And that's your high-culture reference for the week.  

Posted by Lee Pender on 02/17/2011 at 1:23 PM

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Reader Comments:

Fri, Dec 2, 2011 Karl A Menzel US

I have worked on it for 30+ hours and the ZUNE YP-T9 still does not work with the ZUNE sw. I use win7 and device mgr. sees it and says it's working, the sw was the latest, installed it ok, deleted it and re-installed it. Same problem in ZUNE sw, device not detected.NOTHIING seems to work with this sw!!!

Wed, Mar 16, 2011 Michael Larkin Atlanta, GA

The Zune rocks in all aspects except it could use a little help with content management. But it still rocks...LOVE my Zune!

Fri, Feb 18, 2011 Anthony

If I had to choose between an iPod, and a Zune, I'd Pick the iPod to be used as paper weight, and keep the Zune for myself. Also, don't making diminishing comments on a product the has a high success rate over the constantly dieing, and having to be replaced iPod.

Thu, Feb 17, 2011 Scott P Wisconsin USA

Lee, did you ever use Zune Pass or the hardware? I would have spent over $5000 on iTunes to fill my player with the tunes I've downloaded for a few hundred dollars in Zune Pass fees. Love my Zune 80 GB player and now HTC HD7. The Zune hardware and software was almost flawless. Yes, I can see that it might make sense to rebrand a new player as Xbox portable gaming (sans-phone, targeted at kids).

Thu, Feb 17, 2011 Theron CT

Zune kicks ass. As a podcast manager, Zune pass, video out, and 120 GB of storage it is awesome. Windows 7 Phone lost some of the best Zune features though, and despite my hopes that it would be the Zune phone the way the iPhone took the best of the iPod and added the phone, the phone needs improvements. Hopefully, though they will dropping the name, zune pass and some form of player will live on.

Thu, Feb 17, 2011 Tom

Ok, can we please stop using the word F-A-I-L. Tired of seeing this word everywhere (e.g. FAIL, EPIC FAIL..) - enough. The Zune HD is a fantastic device, the Zune software is superb and the overall Zune experience is excellent - that's why you see so much of it rolled into WP7. I think the exact wrong thing to do would be for Microsoft to either kill off the name, device or PC sw. But perhaps the very worst thing they could do (and I read this somewhere) is to to roll Zune into the Windows Live web experience like they did with Live Mesh Beta (now Windows Live Mesh), effectively killing anything good about it and making people hate it. Microsoft needs to take a stand, build up the Zune name and ecosystem and stand behind this great product. Zune (like WP7) is a great technology and now only needs some good marketing which sadly MS just doesn't seem to have. Ok let's face it, their marketing pretty much stinks.

Thu, Feb 17, 2011 Randy Kansas

I completely agree with the comments above. The Zune is amazing. I use mine to watch videos on plane trips. It holds my entire collection of jazz and rock. I am deeply disappointed that Microsoft did not find its market niche and exploit it. It would not be the first time that their marketing team missed the mark while the technology was right on target! Microsoft should not aim for the mass low margin segment when they have created a greater product in a higher value segment and sold it short.

Thu, Feb 17, 2011

From something you wrote... "... a refreshing take grounded in realism and not pessimism". You should write more with that perspective. You always seem to be such a putz... are you trying to *appear* to be cool by saying what you say? I think *you* are, in fact, the kid with the Winger shirt.

Thu, Feb 17, 2011 Joe B

The Zune HD is soooooo much better than that iCrap. I do not understand the comments degrading the hardware or software of the Zune HD. The device is sleek, in a manly way, as opposed to the feminine Apple models with their round corners and bubble back side. The software on the device is easily navigable, along with the sweet screen. Too bad MS just didn't market the thing and rolled over.

Thu, Feb 17, 2011 80's Rocker

I agree, i owned both an iPod and Zune and i would take Zune any day over an iPod. The interface is so much nicer and the Zune software blows iTunes of of the water. In addition, nothing is better than the Zune Subscription dollar for dollar. The article above was written by a 100% Apple FanBoy who probably never spent any real time using a Zune. And if he did he hated it before he even got it and had his mind made up already. Plus just because they are rebranding it does not mean it is dead, the rebranding might even make it bigger. I think it all has to do with the fact that now the Zune Market is tied to the Zune hardware by name and that is not the case since you can download Zune songs on WP7 phones now. So I can see where the Zune devices might go away, as MS pushes people just buy a WP7 phone and condense 2 devices to one. I personally cannot wait to get WP7 phone and then I will be selling my Zune or giving it to a family member.

Thu, Feb 17, 2011 Shayne Kawalilak Canada

I find it hard to believe that you could have such a low respect for the Zune. I loved it way more than the iPod and found both the sharing and the FM radio enough to get rid of apple... but when my 8GB iPod went up against my 120GB Zune there was simply no contest. Why did MS not promote this device more. Had it ever got traction it may have stomped the iPod. It WAS the better product. Goodbye mr. beta mp3 player.

Thu, Feb 17, 2011 look pretty lame....the Zune HD is a much better PMP than the iPOD will ever be....if I wanted a computer to haul around I would buy a laptop.....its better to do a few things very well than alot of things not so well......its too bad today's society seems to follow the one can make up there on mind.......peace.....

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