Zune reinforces Microsoft’s dorky image, pushes people toward Apple iPods, Macs

“In a lot of ways, I’m a good example of why a lot of people are predicting a surge for Apple products in the next few months. In fact — and true Apple-heads will hate to hear this — they look ready to become the one thing that no one expected — mainstream,” C.W. Nevius blogs for SFGate.com.

MacDailyNews Take: Would “true Apple-heads” really hate it if Apple went “mainstream” and kept their quality and drive to innovate? What would be bad about the world increasing their productivity and lessening their stress and frustration at the hands of Windows? We don’t love Apple Macs because they’re not as widely used as Windows PCs, we love them because they’re better. We hope every personal computer user figures it out, too.

Nevius continues, “The reason, I think, is a little unexpected — iPod. With a little help from Microsoft’s wannabe music player, Zune. Zune, just out in time for Christmas, is not only getting some lukewarm reviews, it is reinforcing Microsoft’s worst image problems. Either the Micro-guys are clueless dorks — Zune is as expensive as iPod, bulkier, and is neither as easy to work as iPod nor as cool. Or, worse yet, the boys up north are malicious bullies.”

Nevius writes, “Bill Gates must grind his teeth every time one of those TV commercials comes on depicting the cool and very chill Apple guy talking to the doofus “PC,” with his baggy khaki pants and Gates-like horn-rim glasses. But Microsoft has managed to create its own version [Zune].”

“Sure, the iPod a great product, but that’s not the point here. There are ramifications that extend beyond the cool factor of walking around with hip white earphones. Whether Apple meant to or not, they created the ideal stalking horse for the rest of its line,” Nevius writes. “In other words, if a duffer like me bought an iPod (and I did) and if he not only loved the product, but the ease of use and terrific design (and I did), then I might start thinking about buying other, larger Apple products, like a laptop or desktop computer now that my old PC is starting to become outdated (and I am.) It is the long-awaited, much-predicted, and until now not-happening surge in ‘mom and pop’ Apple buying. Older buyers, who still control the bulk of the buying power in America, are starting to look at Apple as a dependable, well-designed alternative to a PC.”

“The response to the Zune, which was supposed to be ‘the iPod killer,’ only convinces me that I am right. Microsoft is probably being hurt by those TV ads which portray them as a doofus. So they went out and proved it by introducing a much-ballyhooed product that only reinforces the image,” Nevius writes. “Squirt that.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Ignorance Lag” really is ending.

Related articles:
Apple’s ‘iPod Halo Effect’ in action – October 21, 2006
Analyst: Apple Mac market share primed to explode; iPod Halo Effect to become increasingly important – June 13, 2006
Is there really an Apple ‘iPod Halo Effect’ behind Mac sales or not? – November 17, 2005
Analyst: ‘there are definitely a lot of people joining Apple Mac ecosystem for the first time’ – November 08, 2005
Analyst estimates over a million Windows to Mac switchers during 2005’s first three quarters – November 07, 2005
Microsoft executives acknowledge Apple’s ‘iPod Halo Effect’ – July 29, 2005
RealMoney: Apple’s iPod Halo Effect ‘quite profound,’ Macs taking good market share from Wintel – June 27, 2005
The Street’s Wolverton: Apple’s iPod halo shines – July 19, 2005
Needham & Co: Apple ‘iPod Halo Effect’ fueling Mac purchases; predict 43 million iPod sales in 2006 – July 18, 2005
Comprehensive survey shows ‘iPod Halo Effect’ is increasing Apple Mac sales, market share – July 12, 2005
SG Cowen survey shows evidence of a significant iPod halo effect boosting Apple Mac sales – July 12, 2005
Merrill Lynch: Mac sales ‘appear robust,’ expects futher evidence of ‘iPod Halo Effect’ – July 07, 2005
Morgan Stanley: Apple’s ‘iPod Halo Effect’ is ‘roughly double what the market expects’ – March 18, 2005
Apple’s Mac is not doomed to small market share forever; the ‘Ignorance Lag’ is ending – February 11, 2005
Apple execs now see ‘iPod Halo Effect’ clearly paying off with higher Macintosh sales – January 13, 2005
IDC VP Roger Kay sees no evidence of Apple ‘iPod Halo Effect’ based on ‘Apple’s desktop share’ – January 10, 2005


  1. I think it would be really great to have an I’m an iPod ad. I’d do it with having a bunch of cool looking iPod people (hot chicks and dudes), and then just one dorky I’m a Zune. Then for the tag, have the Zune approach a hot iPod chick, and go, “I squirt”.

  2. Got a chance to see and play with a Zune over the weekend. On the surface, they definitely got some things right.

    – the user interface is actually decent and it does have one cool factor – use of a background image in various point. Neat. But, I suspect, there is a price to be paid for this in the battery – doesn’t this require the processor to work harder?

    – the screen is actually edging towards appealing. I still would never use such a device for video in any but a few circumstances. Even though the additional size does make some difference, it is still too small. I think even 5″ would be too small for my taste. Also, it does look pretty crisp (viewed one video and some pics).

    – the one I saw was brown. Not nearly as crappy as the pictures, but still not very appealing. Overall not a pretty device.

    – the biggest problem with the device itself is lack of a clickwheel. Even if there are only a screenfull of items to go through in a category, it was laborious. The clickwheel is so much easier to use it is ridiculous. I cannot imagine having to get through a list of 400 artists (which is about how many I would cram into the limited 30 GB). Total pain in the ass. Even if the integration with the store and Zune software was as easy to use as iTunes (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA), the lack of clickwheel would prevent me from buying Zune. I knew before that I preferred the clickwheel, but standing there trudging through menus demonstrated the wide chasm between clickwheel and up & down buttons.

    – didn’t get a chance to use the wifi.

    To me, the dorkiness does not necessarily reside in the hardware or software, but the PR campaign. Everything seems like a parent trying to be cool. As Craig Ferguson said, “clack-a-lacking!” I am more pragmatic to care about such things when spending $250+, but the campaign is still pathetic.

  3. MDN: “We don’t love Apple Macs because they’re not as widely used as Windows PCs, we love them because they’re better. We hope every personal computer user figures it out, too.”

    Here here!

  4. The iPod is exactly the reason i started thinking about an Apple computer a couple of years ago.

    Got one for my daughter, played with it a little and went hmmmmmm…this thing is really a marvel of design form and function. I wonder what are they doing on the computer end?

    Now own 5 latter and sold many others on them.

  5. Apple: HI! I’m an iPod

    Microsoft: Hi! I’m a Zune.

    A: Welcome Zune. What are you up to today.

    M: Well I’m looking for someone to squirt to.

    A: Yuck. Stay away from me. That’s just weird.

    M: That’s OK I can’t squirt to you.

    A: Thank God. I wouldn’t want any of your diseased squirt. You really should use a condom or something. Watch where you point that thing too.

    M: I’m sooo lonely…..

  6. The Zune is the culmination of the glorious peoples’ revolution led by the most righteous Premier Bill and his most worthy deputy, Chairman Steve!

    All running dog capitalist roaders who resist the power of the all righteous Zune shall perish!

    Your potential. Our Politburo!

  7. What is really much more interesting (and kind of sad) is that about half of the comments on the Nevius blog are defending MS and Zune. (These people are serious, unlike Zune Tang who is trying to be funny and sarcastic – our own version of Borat.) Which just goes to show you that there are people who will support the Zune. The Ignorance Lag may be ending but we still have a long way to go!


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