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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38 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. This is soooo funny. The handwriting is on the wall folks. Inside of two years MS is going to dump the Zune faster than… – something really hot. No rhyme, no reason, just blip – gone. Anybody want to start a pool? By Cmas 2008 MSZune (how’s that for distancing Zune from MS), will be nowhere on the planet. Just a few poor souls tying to make the obsolete and discontinued item seem valuable on eBay so they don’t feel so bad for owning five of them.

    The weird thing is, I’m not sure if simple success will dictate when MS is going to dump the Zune. They may be doing just fine, relatively speaking, and blip – gone.

    On the other hand, it all makes sense coming from a company that told Apple that Apple just didn’t get it – that quality and user experience are irrelavent. Makes total sense. Dam I’m glad I avoid MS like the plague that it is.

  3. I was at Target during lunch and saw one of the Zune kiosks- it had two Zunes as well as some accessories. There wasn’t any big sign proclaiming that the Zune was from Microsoft nor was evident on the accessory packaging that they were from Microsoft- the rather amusing thing is that when I went to use the Zune, I tried to spin the navigation “wheel”- I guess the iPod habit is hard to break.

  4. Zune is not the bestselling mp3 player at Amazon. The black 30GB 5.5G iPod is #1. The black Zune is at #9. For comparison, #10 is the last generation white 30GB iPod.

    The brown Zune is at #30; just ahead of the last generation white 2GB Nano.

    The white Zune is at #50. For comparison, the 512KB white shuffle is at #38.

    7 of the top 8 are iPods; Sandisk 2GB squeezes in at #4. 17 of the top 25 are iPods, including older generation Nanos and iPods.

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