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. Thanks, “Mark”! I was going to go check the assertion made by “Tanya Turner” (above), for it didn’t sound credible to ME, at least!

    But then you did the work FOR me. Thanks so much!

    Long live the truth: The Zune (iTurd) is already DOA! (And just wait until the REST of the tune-playing, movie-watching, book-reading, podcast-listening world realizes that the iTurd barely does HALF of these things. Whoo-Hoo!)

  2. I asked my oldest (high school 10th grader) daughter what she and her friends thought about the Zune…I kid you not, she had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. That was Sunday…2 days ago.

    I showed her some Zune related info on the web, and the youtube posted Ads.

    She didnt know what some of the ads were supposed to mean. (ie product disconnect)

    I asked her again, today (she just stopped by my office on her way home), if she talked to any friends about the Zune, she said yes, but no one knew what she was talking about!

    What happens when you have the next iPod killer and nobody knows about it? Maybe she is not the target audience, but she does have a 2d gen iPod (has had it for 4 years), and most of her friends have some flavor of iPod.

    zac

  3. This might appeal to the demographic if you could, ugh, “squirt” songs over a cellular network, but this WiFi sharing thing really does not seem appealing. Sure, WiFi could add something if you could sync to your computer or use remote speakers. But I do not see this catching on. On the other hand, allowing everyone to see your playlist might be appealing. After all, we need more things to judge people by. If not how many contacts they have on myspace or their playlist showing on the university LAN, then by what they carry around.

    “Hey, the kids really like this myspace thing. I hear it is really very groovy. Thus must like being social.”

  4. damned theres alot of hate in this place. “the xbox, a money losing failure” “zune, a repackaged toshiba gigabeat”… how uninformed and biased can a online publication be….

    the xbox served its purpose… to introduce microsoft into the gaming arena… And guess what, it survived in the first generation( something sega couldnt do)…and by the way is on its way to profitability in the next generation, it is leading in terms of innovating the console marketplace by adding an excellent online service, second to none. with the addition of tv/movie rentals being another good reason to love my xbox.

    the zune is a very compelling product, and is not even close in comparison to the toshiba gigabeat.
    the zune is built to have a totally new tactile experience with its silky textured rubber surface.
    It has wifi, meaning it can not only connect to other zunes, but with the xbox 360, and any other wifi enabled network.
    It has some beautifully crafted 3rd party accesories. (in my opinion, better than the ipod)

    The only similarity is the navigation buttons having to be be pressed rather than touch sensitive, and the screen is situated ab above the navigation controls (which is like every one else basically)

    I am one of the 60% of surveyed ipod owners who would switch to zune if i was going to buy a new ipod this christmas. I own an imac G5, a powermac G5 and an ipod. I also own a 17 inch windows notebook and an xbox360. so I am not inclined to stick to apple or microsoft…

    if something is good, then its good, regardless of the logo stuck to its ass….

  5. since someone else brought up myspace….

    i was invited by a cousin in NZ to join bebo social network. (apparently its more popular than myspace in other countries). and i liked it alot better than myspace.

    the page layout was better, the music playlist worked well, as well as the video embedding functionality working very well.

    anyone else feel the same way?

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