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November 25, 2006, by Léon Krijnen

Zune: no future?   

Google Video: Walktrough of Zune interface (13 minutes by Engadget)

Do you ever care what I am writing here about Mac or PC, iPod or Zune?

While I harbour yes for an answer, there's a writing super trio that does make a difference. One Microsoft doesn't care about at all, not at least because it's not for sale. Walt Mossberg writes about computers in The Wall Street Journal, David Pogue - mostly in Circuits - in the New York Times, and John C. Dvorak for everybody anywhere, except for Microsoft.

Translation in Dutch at @ DutchCowboys

Worldwebwide Dvorak is the most famous, because his columns are also translated and published in non-English speaking countries, like Brazil, Croatia Germany and The Netherlands.

Nevertheless; because they write in English, thanks to the Internet, under nerds they've reached the same status as Bono under pop fans. The three of them are subject of a bibliography at Wikipedia. Dvorak the most comprehensive one, but then again, on Wikipedia it might be possible that Dvorak is one of the co-authors over there. Whatever the case; Mossberg is generally seen as the most influential one, by Wired called 'The Kingmaker'; nobody with so much power in making - or breaking - new products.

A week or so ago Bill Gates himself kicked off the sale of Zune, the mp3 player made by Microsoft as the one that has to beat the iPod. If Vista, the OS that's finally arriving, that should have been here years ago, isn't going to save Microsoft's Xmas season, could Zune?

Bill Gates is CTO now, and Steve Ballmer, his successor as CEO, is known for quite a temper. During one of his tantrums he predicted to going to kill 'f..... Google' personally. I assume he kicked at least some chairs last week, when reading the judgments of Pogue and Mossberg, probably while listening to a podcast about self-control form his brand new Zune.

Pogue and Mossberg compared Zune to iPod, tried, compared, weighed up, and came with iPod as the big winner. Mossberg: "This first Zune has too many compromises and missing features to be as good a choice as the iPod for most users. The hardware feels rushed and incomplete. It is 60 per cent larger and 17 per cent heavier than the comparable iPod."

Pogue: "Competition is good and all. But what, exactly, is the point of the Zune? It seems like an awful lot of duplication — in a bigger, heavier form with fewer features — just to indulge Microsoft’s 'we want some o’ that' envy."

I haven't read Dvoraks review, because the head above it tells it all: 'Zune has no feature'

Posted: November 25, 2006 09:59 AM (436 words).   

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