Dvorak: ‘If anything is doomed to failure, it’s Microsoft’s Zune’

“If anything is doomed to failure, it is the Microsoft Zune. I have no idea who is marketing this device within the company, but from what I can tell, this is going to become a major turkey in the product mix. As far as I can tell, Microsoft should simply turn over all its marketing to the Xbox 360 folks—at least some of the people in that group have marketing skills,” John C. Dvorak reports for PC Magazine.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, the marketing skills required to push a product into a market by selling it at a loss for years must be prodigious.

Dvorak continues, “Here’s what tells me the Zune is a disaster (aside from its own incompatibilities with other Microsoft initiatives): the reviewer’s kit itself. The reviewer’s kit that contains a cover document that will do nothing more than anger and insult reviewers. There’s a surefire way to get attention!”

Dvorak reports, “Let me quote a few passages from the loaner device agreement, which is written in the format of a nondisclosure agreement. You can assume all reviews of this thing are skewed because of this document—unless someone just goes out and buys the Zune on the open market.”

Here’s one: “You may utilize and study the design, performance and operation of the Zune Reviewer Kit solely for the purposes of creating Reviews. This permission is for you and you only. You may not share these items with any third parties. In granting you these limited permissions, Microsoft is not transferring any title or other continuing rights to the Zune Reviewer Kit.

Dvorak reports, “This means in the process of reviewing, you cannot show the device to your friends, your wife or kids, to get an opinion. Are they kidding me? …Microsoft should be maniacally seeding review units to anyone with a pulse, including bloggers. But no. This is yet another indicator that Zune will fail miserably—a clear marker. It will be a matter of time before this legal-driven creeping negative marketing impact will strangle the entire company. Meanwhile, Bill Gates is too busy buying hotel chains to even notice this sort of lunacy.”

Full article here.
So, now we know that not only does the Zune device suck, er.. squirt (whatever) and the Zune software sucks, but the Zune reviewer’s kit sucks, too. Three for three: Microsoft is nothing if not consistent. Consistently bad.

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  1. It’s truly amazing just how horrible in every aspect the execution of this thing has been. I’m no business expert, but it seems to me this is what happens when you get too many MBA types and attorneys between a concept and the market.

  2. Reviewer’s kit? Reviewer’s kit? I don’t need no stinking reviewer’s kit! Seriously folks, even from 2,500 miles away the Zune looks hideous.

    But wait, Vista is yet to be foisted upon the world. Another technical debacle from Microsoft will be coming soon to a store near you. You have been warned.

  3. Wrong again Dvorak. Dead wrong. Here’s why:

    I might be an old fuddy-duddy but Microsoft’s images of hip, energetic youngsters enjoying their Zune music players in television, print and Zune Marketplace software installation screens are pure gold. GOLD! This marketing campaign is not the work of nerds envisioning what “cool” and “with it” looks like. This is what “cool” and “with it” looks like. Microsoft gets it, and Apple doesn’t have a clue. More catch up for Apple I guess.

    Welcome to the social my friends. Your potential. Our Passion.

    Thank you, Microsoft!

  4. “Microsoft should simply turn over all its marketing to the Xbox 360 folks—at least some of the people in that group have marketing skills,” John C. Dvorak reports for PC Magazine.

    That’s funny, because the guy who oversees the Zune ALSO oversees the Xbox 360.

    Can’t wait till Apple’s next-gen iPod comes out in a few months and completely obliterates this thing forever. MS has already said that the Zune hardware will only be updated once a year!

    Ha, Ha Ha! (Ho, Ho, Ho for Apple!)

  5. “How about referring to it as a “piece of crap?” Ooops. No can do.”


    Magic word: Surface, as in this thing will hardly scratch the surface of iPod ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  6. “At the signpost up ahead…

    “MS locked this door with the key of no imagination. Beyond it is another dimension – a dimension of sound, a dimension of limited sight, a dimension of points. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and little substance, of brown things and borrowed ideas. You’ve just crossed over into the Twilight Zune. “

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