Wired ridiculously picks Microsoft Zune 80 over Apple’s 80GB iPod classic

Wired’s Jose Fermoso and Danny Dumas pits an Apple iPod classic 80GB vs. a Microsoft Zune and rig their various comparisons in order to choose the Zune because, well, that makes for a more interesting story, regardless of its veracity.

Fermoso and Dumas first look at hardware, writing, “The iPod has a nice 2.5-inch screen and a familiar and simple scroll wheel. But the Zune has a larger 3.2-inch, 320 x 240-pixel LCD, a full 0.7-inches bigger than the iPod classic’s screen.”

MacDailyNews Take: The Zune’s 320×240 screen resolution is exactly the same as the iPod’s 320×240. The iPod has much higher pixel density at 163 pixels per inch. The end result: Zune’s screen looks pixellated and iPod’s screen looks sharp and crisp. Fermoso and Dumas ignore this point because, well, they need Zune to “win” even where it doesn’t. They ignore battery life because, well, the Zune loses that one, too, and it’s pretty much impossible to lie about that one. They also neglect to tell their readers that Apple also offers a 160GB iPod classic while Microsoft does not. Ferment and Dumbass seem to love lies of omission.

Ferment and Dumbass continue, “Yes, the Zune’s touchpad is quirky, but it’s also elegant.”

MacDailyNews Take: The iPod’s time-tested and (unfortunately for Microsoft) patented, Click Wheel is not quirky, it’s just plain elegant. Zune’s “squircle” is not “elegant,” despite what Ferment and Dumbass write. Like most everything else from Microsoft: they didn’t think up the idea, hence patents and other legalities prevent them from outright copying, so you constantly get half-assed things like “squircles” and “Recycle Bins” and “Start” to shut down, etc. That’s not elegance, that’s derivative approximation; a Microsoft specialty.

Ferment and Dumbass pick the Zune hardware because, well, you know why.

Ferment and Dumbass then look at content, Apple’s iTunes Store vs. Zune Marketplace, writing, “Tunes is still king of content, but cracks are starting to show. It can’t rip DVDs and the hemorrhaging of some content (Goodbye NBC) has blackened the eye of the once unstoppable juggernaut. The Zune marketplace has been re-designed from the ground up and features an ever-expanding library of audio and video content. 3 million songs and growing, all available on an affordable subscription plan.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s iTunes Store offers TV shows and movies. Zune Marketplace does not offer TV shows or movies. Zune doesn’t have NBC, CBS, ABC or any other TV network, so, there’s not even any content to hemorrhage. Zune’s software can’t rip DVDs, either. Apple’s iTunes Store also has over 6 million songs and growing. That would be double that of Microsoft’s Zune Marketplace. Ferment and Dumbass leave that little detail out, of course. Apple’s iTunes Store didn’t need to be redesigned, because it didn’t suck in the first place likes Zune’s. Plus, if you spend three minutes with it today, you’ll find that it still sucks now.

Ferment and Dumbass ostensibly pick the Zune Marketplace over iTunes Store in regards to content because, well, the only way to get Zune to win is to lie, of course.

Ferment and Dumbass then look at networking, writing, “iTunes syncing is seamless and quick (but not wireless) and there’s no integrated FM radio. Sharing songs or ‘squirting’ them to friends may sound disgusting, but it actually works pretty well. Unlike the iPod, no dongle is needed to listen to FM stations.”

MacDailyNews Take: Zune’s automatic wireless syncing requires that the thing be PLUGGED IN for power. Only Microsoft could come up with “wireless” that requires the device to be wired. We assume that’s why these two morons from Wired chose the Zune (Cool, “Wired” wireless, we’re still vaguely relevant!) besides, of course, the fact that it makes for a more interesting story, regardless of its veracity. You can manually sync wirelessly with a Zune. Would we choose a Zune 80 over an 80GB iPod classic for that? Um, no.

Can Zune do anything useful wirelessly, like buy music online as can Apple’s iPod touch? Oops, we mentioned the touch! “Hey, you’re not fighting fair!” scream the world’s twelve Zune fans (we’re feeling generous). To these poor souls, who are no doubt helmeted for their own safety, we say, “Tough. Life’s not fair and to prove it, you bought yourselves a Zune.” (This paragraph posted via iPod touch, just to piss you off.)

Also, why make people pay for a FM receiver if they don’t want it? Apple lets the users choose to add FM to iPods, it doesn’t force everyone to pay for it needlessly. Good luck finding a squirtee, by the way: try hanging out near the Costco clearance bins. Zune works only with Windows. Apple’s iPods “network” with Macs and Windows. Ferment and Dumbass left out that bit, too.

Ferment and Dumbass then look at pricing and write, “Okay, so the iPod ($249) has the Zune ($299) beat in pricing.”

MacDailyNews Take: What’s the matter, you guys lied by omission about everything else, why not just leave out the price issue, too?

Ferment and Dumbass conclude, “With a rapidly expanding library, overhauled UI, and a more innovative design, the Zune 2 is the gift of this season.”

The full piece, Think Before You Click™, is here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Zune 80 is not the “gift of the season.” This is a fact. To say otherwise is simply pure stupidity and/or an obvious play for attention by Wired and two writers who seem to have no limit as to how low they’ll stoop when attempting to generate hits.


  1. Goodness. we shouldn’t be surprised though – journalistic integrity is just a series of words to these guys as soon as MS is involved. I pity the poor sucker’s who’ll read it but not understand they are full of it and then go and sprout the tripe to everyone around them. Sad, Very Very sad.

  2. Cripes! MDN, give it a rest! Could it possibly be that some other devices in the world have some decent features and make an interesting and worthy alternative to Apple? Heaven forbid… I think the strident and ridiculous fanboy-speak tossed around this site may be one sign of the apocalypse (the eventual fall of Apple).

    Get some perspective, please!

  3. Expect the Zune desperately seeking squirt partner so called journalist to kick up the FUD another notch up their buttcracks. One year has passed and the updated Zune is just the same piece of hardware crap with updated software. Folks the hardware is basically the same crap. Low RES stretched screen and wired wireless! LOL so sad.

  4. “Cripes! MDN, give it a rest! Could it possibly be that some other devices in the world have some decent features and make an interesting and worthy alternative to Apple?”

    Some other, yes. Zune, no.

    Give what a rest? MDN is all about edgy Mac fanboyism and some of us like it that way.

  5. hey poochy . . . what are YOU doing on this site?

    -Could it possibly be that some other devices in the world have some decent features and make an interesting and worthy alternative to Apple?-

    Yes, very often, but not that Zune 80 thing . . . nothing at all interesting there. I mean I’m glad they are trying and all I guess, but it’s a little embarrassing don’t you think? I would LOVE to see Apple get some REAL competition . . . you know something that forces them to keep up the pace . . . put VOIP on the iPhone and all the rest . . . but Microsoft is the NFL playing a High School team, and getting beaten so badly that Apple doesn’t really even have to play with the first string.

    Dude . . . troll elsewhere. We all think it’s funny when MDN writers go off a bit . . . but hey . . . the Wired writers started it.

  6. Zune 2.0 is better than Zune 1.0

    How could it be worse?

    The Zune 80 is not better than the new 80 GB iPod classic. The Squircle is functional but it is no click wheel. The wireless sync is a gimmic just like FM is a gimmic. Feature load sells in the PC world.

    Microsoft can’t touch iTunes or the iTMS.

    The only way Microsoft’s Zune could win this shootout is if money changed hands. Just like in the Car magazines when a domestic shitwagon beats out the best from Germany and Japan in a shootout.

    Follow the money.

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