Ihnatko: Microsoft Zune experience about as pleasant as having an airbag deploy in your face

“Yes, Microsoft’s new Zune digital music player is just plain dreadful. I’ve spent a week setting this thing up and using it, and the overall experience is about as pleasant as having an airbag deploy in your face,” Andy Ihnatko writes for The Chicago Sun-Times. “‘Avoid,’ is my general message. The Zune is a square wheel, a product that’s so absurd and so obviously immune to success that it evokes something akin to a sense of pity.”

Ihnatko writes, “The setup process stands among the very worst experiences I’ve ever had with digital music players. The installer app failed, and an hour into the ordeal, I found myself asking my office goldfish, ‘Has it really come to this? Am I really about to manually create and install a .dll file?’ But there it was, right on the Zune’s tech support page. Is this really what parents want to be doing at 4 a.m. on Christmas morning?”

Ihnatko writes, “That might not be Zune’s fault. After about a year of operation, it’s almost as if a Windows machine develops some sort of antibodies that prevent it from recognizing new hardware. But what’s Microsoft’s excuse for everything else?”

“The Zune is a complete, humiliating failure,” Ihnatko writes. “Throw in the Zune’s tail-wagging relationship with music publishers, and it almost becomes important that you encourage people not to buy one.”

“The iPod owns 85 percent of the market because it deserves to. Apple consistently makes decisions that benefit the company, the users and the media publishers — and they continue to innovatively expand the device’s capabilities without sacrificing its simplicity,” Ihnatko writes. “The Zune will be dead and gone within six months. Good riddance.”

Full article here.
Well now, there’s a lovely review to add to the mountain of bad reviews. This couldn’t happen to a more deserving company.

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54 Comments

  1. Businessweek has a MS cover now about J Allard and his team of Zune kids…

    Seriously… it’s a decent article, but they totally kiss Allard’s ass… “watch out.. the university kids will love to share songs”

    yea…

    right..

  2. Unlike Origami, the agony Zune will be felt for years to come. Zune will never die it will simply linger on, a constant reminder to the world how pathetic Zune actually is. Even Microsoft’s infusion of millions of dollars will do nothing but keep crippled and anemic Zune hobbling toward economic irrelevance and historical humiliation. I suppose that despondent Zune owners can meet monthly at the <strike>Zune support group</strike> social to console themselves and squirt on each other.

  3. “Even if the track is inherently free (like a podcast) the Zune wraps it in a DRM scheme that causes the track to self-destruct after three days or three plays, whichever comes first.

    After that, it’s nothing more than a bookmark for purchasing the track in the Zune Marketplace. It amounts to nothing more than free advertising.”

    Ah… the so-called “innovation”!

    This could be the start of a whole family of connedsumer products: the Microsoft phone aka the Fune, the Microsoft Watch2 aka the Woune, the XBox2 aka the Xune, and the Portable XBox aka the Pune. Now go squat on them domain names, quick!

  4. An air bag will save your life, Steve Ballmer is the obvious exception. Zune, unlike an air bag, will neither protect you from public ridicule nor the inevitable disgrace of owing one nor the shame of buyer’s remorse.

  5. Just checked out Amazon – iPod owns nearly all the top 10. The nearest Zune is at #21. Read the reviews on Amazon about it – nearly half had the exact same experience as in this article. Almost all of those people end their review with, “so I took it back and got an iPod, which I should have done in the first place.”

    HA! Hilarious!

  6. The real trajedy of the Zune is that Microsoft could have done much better if it had wanted to. I wish they would have designed a new player from the ground up instead of using a Toshiba Gigabeat and adding wifi features. I think it’s safe to say that Zune will be a collossal failure for Microsoft, which is too bad. If anyone has the resources to build a better iPod its Microsoft. Perhaps they have grown too large to produce anything innovative anymore.

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