In-depth comparison: Apple iPod nano trounces Microsoft Zune

Daniel Eran Dilger compares the Flash-based Microsoft Zune 8 with the identically-priced Apple iPod nano 8GB in an in-depth report.

Dilger recaps last year’s round one, which left Microsoft lying on the canvas bloodied and battered, “Very few Zunes were actually sold over the last year. Microsoft shipped 1.2 million units to stores over the first eight months, while Apple actually sold over 40 million iPods to customers in the same period. Since June, Microsoft’s retail partners have been working to sell those first million Zunes to consumers at fire sale prices as low as $80. Apple has subsequently sold another ten million iPods, and is on track to sell another 25 million more this winter.”

Dilger conducts an extensive review of iPod nano and Zune hardware, accompanying software, available online stores, and more, and finds, “The Zune is a bad product that deserves to fail. If it does, perhaps Microsoft will get serious about delivering a high quality, competitively priced product next year and introduce it with software that’s a real match for iTunes, not just a sloppy placeholder. In the meantime, perhaps Microsoft will drop the facade of its Zune brand masquerading as a counterculture art brand, because there really isn’t anything counterculture about financing an astroturf campaign in a bid to acquire monopoly control of media playback.”

Full article here.


  1. “masquerading as a counterculture art brand”

    Well, it DOES run counter to culture….

    Culture:”the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively : 20th century popular culture.”

  2. One of Daniel’s great lines in his article: (telling about struggling thru zune’s installation)

    “Selecting a custom setup presents another wizard process that leads you thorough pages of a paisley printed interface that manages to violate all human interface ideas conceived to date…”

  3. Since June, Microsoft’s retail partners have been working to sell those first million Zunes to consumers at fire sale prices as low as $80.

    That’s at or even below cost. This would explain why it’s one of the top selling on amazon right now.

    Microsoft is dumping the Zune on the market, figuring because it’s cheap enough people will settle for mediocre, like they did Windows.

  4. Wow what an article/review. I love the comments below. Why does MS bother doing this at all? Screwing their partners with PlayFerShure, and taking on the iPod? You know in the end, the sad thing is they may win. With unlimited revenue guaranteed by their continued monopoly, they can afford to waste millions and millions on this till they catch up or flood the market with Zunes. I’m sure they’ll eventually catch up with hardware parity and software, and continue to lose money till then. I think thats just a disgusting way to win a market.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.