Saturday, August 30, 2008

Don't it make your brown eyes Zune

Everybody's been so busy savaging Vista that it's taken all attention away from another Microsoft problem child, the Zune. Not to worry. There's still plenty of sharp commentary around the net from all quarters about Yet Another Microsoft Flop (YAMP). Leading off the comments is this one from Motely Fool (Leaving So Zune?):
The Zune will never be an iPod killer. Truth be told, it will never even get close enough to be an iPod tickler.
Then there's this snarky article from Digital Daily about how the Zune Team is trying to gather more content for the Zune (Zune Ready for Closeup; Zune Market Share-Not So Much):
Well, it’s also the team that does the impossible–defying all rumors of extinction and plugging away on a platform no one uses. Maybe while the Zune team is making the rounds, they’ll find out who represents U2.
Which leads us to the important question of marketshare. Some report it at about 4% worldwide (3.8%). Microsoft got there by supposedly stealing market share from Creative, which dropped to 2% market share. Meanwhile, SanDisk sits at 11%, and the rest belongs to ... Apple, with 71%. How many Zunes did Microsoft move to reach 3.8%? One million from May 2007 to May 2008, for a grand total of two million. And that's assuming that each and every two million are still using their Zune and haven't moved on to something from SanDisk or Apple, or even Creative.

In this household my wife and both daughters have iPod Nanos (one second generation 4GB and two third generation 8 GBs), while I sprung for a 4GB bright-red SanDisk Fuse for $88 from Wal-Mart. I love my Fuse. Since the family allows me to touch their iPods I can easily sit and compare the two from time to time. Yes, the Fuze is different from the iPod, but the Fuze is the equal iPod (IMNSHO), and the Fuze has one key feature the iPod is missing: I can drag and drop music from Windows or Linux onto the Fuze, while I can't with the iPod. Oh. And for the retro user, the Fuze has a very good FM stereo radio (i.e. non-digital) receiver which I use for news and weather updates.

It's a shame that Microsoft can't package and sell the drama they've been generating with Vista, Zune, and XBox 360. They'd make such a fortune it would dwarf the money they make by selling Vista, Zune, and XBox 360.

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