Zune is from Microsoft, but Microsoft doesn’t want anybody to know about it

“‘Welcome to the social’ is the tagline on store posters spotted for Zune, Microsoft’s personal digital music player, which arrives in stores Nov. 14,” Emily Burg reports for MediaPost.

Burg reports, “That concept plays on Zune’s sharing functionality, which allows users to transfer songs to each other over a WiFi network. While not quite a category-killer application, it is a feature that distinguishes Zune from the ubiquitous Apple iPod. Another notable feature: Microsoft appears nowhere near the Zune brand name.”

“‘It’s very curious that Microsoft is distancing Zune from Microsoft and Windows at a time when the company is spending hundreds of millions to launch Vista, which has music as a huge part of the experience,’ said Michael Gartenberg, analyst with JupiterResearch. Vista is the operating system Microsoft is scheduled to unveil in January,” Burg reports.

Burg reports, “One reason for that strategy may be the disconnect between Microsoft’s reputation as a corporate monolith and the 18-24 hipster demographic that Zune hopes to attract…”

“‘Zune is a new brand for Microsoft. The company is not trying to distance itself, per se,’ the spokesperson said. ‘Each new product has its own brand personality.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft’s brand personalities:
Windows: inelegant, counterintuitive, upside-down and backwards, insecure, fake Macintosh.
Office: bloated suite of applications repackaged frequently with added bloat to pad company coffers.
Zune: brown squirter (repackaged Toshiba Gigabeat) that marks Microsoft’s umpteenth try at cracking iPod+iTunes’ dominance.
Xbox: money-losing failure that Microsoft’s PR department attempts to disguise as a success.
MSN TV: money-losing failure that Microsoft’s PR department attempts to disguise as a success.
PlaysForSure: failure that Microsoft’s PR department doesn’t even bother trying to disguise as a success.
Origami UMPC: joke.
Internet Explorer: The world’s worst and most insecure web browser. The bane of web developers everywhere.
MS Bob: what happens when Microsoft tries to come up with an original idea.

Burg continues, “Weak consumer anticipation accompanies the Zune release. While blogs buzz with talk about what Apple’s next product might be, and backlogs for new iPods have been known to occur around peak retail times, there’s been little clamor for Zune.”

“Microsoft is working with national electronics retailers on in-store marketing strategies, but the sheer dominance of the range of iPod products guarantees that iPod will have more retail real estate,” Burg reports.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward S.” for the heads up.]

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More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: iRiver gives up on digital media player market – May 23, 2006
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More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Dell dumps ‘DJ’ hard-drive MP3 player line – February 04, 2006
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  1. “Microsoft is distancing Zune from Microsoft and Windows”
    They should also get distance from Bill Gates and Steve Balmer….
    What microsoft product that is not copied from another company has been a success for microsoft?

  2. A friend of mine has had to ship his X-Box 360 back, again, this will be his third machine, pathetic. His OS is Microcrap’s server addition, apparently it’s safer. But then he also argues that Aspartame is safer than corn syrup. Obvisiously when I need sage advice on food additives and computers he is not someone I would ever ask. Of course owning a Mac means I don’t need any advice when it comes to computers.

  3. You forgot to list “Ultimate TV” DVR. The only thing that MS ever got right. Then they suddenly gave up on it. I’m still using my Ultimate TV box, which still kicks Tivo’s butt (I also have a Tivo)

    *yes… I have no life to speak of besides watching TV ; )

  4. It’s been pointed out elsewhere as well, but it’s worth repeating: In the UK, ‘the social’ is a term used for the money the Govt. pays you when you’re unemployed. ‘Social Security’. ‘The Dole’, ‘the rock’n’roll’, ‘the Social’. So ‘welcome to the social’, would mean ‘welcome to the unemployment line’. Appropriate, hopefully. I hope M*Soft try using that line in Britain, go on Bill – pleeeeeeese!

  5. I think the reason MS became so big was not great programming or OS design; it was being smart enough to make deals with all the PC maufacturers to get their stuff put on everybody’s PCs _by default_. I have yet to see something that MS makes really impress me as unique and groundbreaking.

    On the other hand, at least Apple innovated its way out of the hole in the 90s and is now reaping the benefits. Let’s all just hope it doesn’t get too big for its boots.

    This MS Zune squirting device and brand is just another typical MS escapade: nothing innovative to be seen. Same with Vista most likely.

    Go Apple.

  6. Apple releases iPod under Apple name. Why?

    Apple = Quality = No Viruses = Brand Loyalty

    Microsoft releases Zune under its own name. Why?

    Microsoft = Thieves = Poor Quality = viruses, spyware and bloat = No Brand Loyalty

    Zune users do not realize that they will be wirelessly transmitting viruses to all of their friends. Luckily, those viruses will not be spread to any iPods.

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    If Apple does make a wireless iPod down the road, will it be able to block communications from Zune? I hope so.

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