It’s not looking good for Microsoft’s Zune; bad press may taint brand for years

“It’s not looking good for the Zune,” Kevin Kelleher reports for

Kelleher reports, “Last Friday, the second-most watched clip on YouTube was about Microsoft’s long-expected, if not necessarily anticipated, attempt to take on Apple’s iPod digital music player. It showed a riff from late night talk show host Craig Ferguson who, if not quite a tech visionary, managed to strike a chord that resonated with some 225,000 online viewers. ‘It has all the features of the iPod, only it’s not as good, and it’s five years too late,’ Ferguson said. ‘The name just makes me want to buy it,’ he added with clear sarcasm. ‘I think the market research guys said, ‘What’s going to appeal to the young people? Zune! It sounds good!’ I’m gonna go on MySpace: ‘Hey, the new Zune, it’s really crack-a-lackin!””

CBS’s Late Late Show’s Craig Ferguson cover’s the Zune launch:

“Just how accurate Ferguson’s scenario is depends on how you define ‘crack-a-lackin.’ If you mean, as Ferguson did, a bit of recent slang that already feels stale — well, that sort of applies to the Zune,” Kelleher reports. “But what if we give the word a new meaning — say, an unpleasant sensation somewhere between frustration and disappointment. In that case, the Zune is about as crack-a-lackin as it gets.”

Kelleher reports, “The initial reactions to the Zune are negative enough that they will not only affect the holiday sales, they may also taint the brand for years to come.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “LinuxGuy and Mac Prodigal Son” and “Rick” for the heads ups.]
In terms of quality, elegance, ease-of-use, and attention to detail, Zune is to iPod+iTunes as Windows is to Macintosh.

If you haven’t seen it, yet, this one has been seen by over 130,000 YouTube viewers:
CNN ridicules Microsoft’s Zune while gushing over Apple’s new iPod shuffle:

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  1. Try going to, where the last user reviews came in as people just got their new Zunes promising to report back, it then goes silent.. sounds like none of them ever got them working!!
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  2. And read Businessweeks cover story.. indepth at Microsoft, where Zune creator, supremo, J Allard, uses a G5 Apple Mac. It says his Win machine is covered in dust and he uses Mac to know the opposition.

    Microsoft really are on their last legs.

  3. Crackin’ link, Macaday – sort of summarizes all the incredibly stupid decisions that went into the zune.

    The name was most probably derived from ‘tune’ or ‘tunes’ with ‘tunez’ no doubt considered and rejected for its association with ‘warez’ as well as international pronounciations (two-nez).

    “Throw in the Zune’s tail-wagging relationship with music publishers, and it almost becomes important that you encourage people not to buy one.”

    Yes, Ihnatko, it deserves a quick death. Anyone walking around with a zune deserves to be laughed at.

  4. What I think is amazing is how many people rush to defend their beloved iPods when confronted by a comeptitor. It’s not just fanboys anymore, its the mainstream media and everyday people.

    This is what happens when you design something great from the very beginning and not make it just good enough until your competition comes along to push you.

  5. This reminds me of the demise of the Newton.

    The Newton, a fantastic visionary product, was released TOO SOON. The handwriting recognition was terrible and was ridiculed widely in the press. There was even an infamous Doonesbury comic about it. (sorry, couldn’t find a link)

    Had Apple perfected the Newton’s handwriting recognition BEFORE it was released with such high levels of hype, things would have turned out MUCH differently.

    The Newton was never able to recover from the beating it took from the press early on. Whatever the ultimate fate of the Zune, this smells the same. Although, clearly the Zune is a wannabe product, It’s just a repackaged and remarketed kludge. Sometimes copying just isn’t enough.

  6. Am I the only one who regularly visits this site and almost always associate the zune articles with the mental/dillusional rantings by our dear Zune Tang. Tang (can I call you tang?), are you going to idly eat your left over turkey and let the world turn it’s back on your beloved zune? I’m no expert, but from what I can tell, the zune is a complete and total failure. It will never match the iPod (yes, you can deny if you must), and it is NOT what the consumer wants.

    Microsoft, where’s the social?

  7. How many times do i have to say that ZUNE is just plain UGLY ? Everytime i look at it, it reminds me of the cutting board in the kitchen.
    Except that my cutting board is more useful than ZUNE.

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