Mossberg, Pogue unimpressed by Microsoft Zune | iLounge News

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Mossberg, Pogue unimpressed by Microsoft Zune

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The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg and The New York Times’ David Pogue, two of the most well known and widely read tech columnists, both give less than stellar marks to Microsoft’s Zune media player in their reviews of the device today. While both writers give the Zune credit for a handful of features—with Pogue even calling the device “excellent” at one point—they both offer up fairly damaging final reviews.

“This first Zune has too many compromises and missing features to be as good a choice as the iPod for most users,” Mossberg writes. “The hardware feels rushed and incomplete. It is 60% larger and 17% heavier than the comparable iPod. It has much worse battery life for music than the iPod or than Microsoft claims—at least two hours less than the iPod’s, in my tests. Despite the larger screen, many album covers look worse than they do on the iPod. And you can’t share music libraries between computers like you can with iTunes… Overall, the iPod and iTunes are still the champs. Still, I expect the Zune to attract some converts and to get better with time. And this kind of competition from a big company with deep pockets and lots of talent is good for consumers in the long run.”

“Competition is good and all. But what, exactly, is the point of the Zune?” asks Pogue. “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. Wireless sharing is the one big new idea—and if the public seems to respond, Apple could always add that to the iPod… The Zune 1.0 player is pretty barren, too. It doesn’t have a single standard iPod amenity: no games, alarm clock, stopwatch, world clock, password-protected volume limiter, equalizer, calendar, address book or notes module. Incredibly, you can’t even use the Zune as an external hard drive, as you can with just about every other player on earth.”

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Comments

41

i would never buy another player i had bought almost 15 ipods since the first generation and i have no plans for getting a zune, why change to something that is starting, its like going back to 5 years ago, only with wi fi integrated, no way jose, i rather wait for the new ipod video than to give my loyalty to apple
zune will never get the ipod its just too late, maybe 3 years ago i think it was a good chance but now its impossible, its like sony, how many ipod killers they have realeased and no one came near the ipod so to all the apple haters and zune fanboys sorry your device sucks and its 5 years late

Posted by alex on November 11, 2006 at 5:18 PM (PDT)

42

Alex-

The iPod has a heck of a lead, and may for as long as we’re alive be the industry leader, but something is gonna compete, whether it be the Zune or something that comes into the market 10 years late. 

Seriously, tell me one tech device or practice that has never been surpassed or lost significant amounts of market share as other things entered the marketplace. 

The only thing I can think of is Microft operating systems for the last two decades or so.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on November 11, 2006 at 6:45 PM (PDT)

43

As a musician I see sooo many ways where the wi-fi feature would be a great tool for the user-generated content community, if it were well-implemented. But it’s not. The rest of Zune’s features…nothing new I’m afraid. If Apple comes out with better-implemented wifi for the iPod before MS gets a clue and updates theirs, iPod will steal Zune’s lunch!

Posted by Laer on November 11, 2006 at 8:57 PM (PDT)

44

Even ######### says the fact zune wont work for mass storage sucks

http://www.#########.com/zune-review/

Posted by kevinb on November 11, 2006 at 10:10 PM (PDT)

45

Stuart: Zune Marketplace does have it’s own giftcard just like iTunes. By the way since we’re somewhere on the subject i’d prefer not having to enter a credit card number to have an iTunes account.

Posted by Travis on November 11, 2006 at 10:52 PM (PDT)

46

oh, and it won’t even play wav’s

Posted by Laer on November 12, 2006 at 3:55 AM (PDT)

47

i beleive both(ZUNE and IPOD) are good and let the peoples decide what they want. But right now look like Apple will have serious comptetion with the Microsoft in coming years…........

Posted by Eskay on November 12, 2006 at 11:04 AM (PDT)

48

I need to make this statement right off the bat: I own 3 iPods and have come to this site for years. The darn things have lowered my blood pressure and make my life at work a great. I listen to the darn things 6-8 hours a day.

The bashing of Zune here is laughable! Was the iPod perfect in it’s first release? NO! Did iTunes have 3 millions songs to download from day one? NO.

The iPod had bugs, and is still not perfect. SORRY, prove me wrong, NOTHING ON EARTH IS PERFECT (except for maybe Guinness). The Zune, in it’s initial release, looks solid, but HAS BUGS AND IS NOT PERFECT. Just like the iPod was. I don’t think Microsoft is just going to sit there and say “well, we got it out, on to our next product.” They will fine tune it just like Apple did. And maybe by version 3, like the iPod, it will be a solid kick butt performer.

Do you actually believe that the interface of the iPod is PERFECT in every way? If you do, you are a closed minded idiot. My newest iPod has been sent in 3 times, the wheel seems to fail, mainly the play/pause button, all 3 times. The other iPod has been in the shop twice, same problem. My first iPod is still going strong, but that is with a new battery and hard drive.

I am sorry, I am an iPod owner who finds the Zune interesting and can’t wait to check it out. 99.9% of the people at this place pass judgement before they even see the darn thing. Do you do that with everything in life? I love it. Close minded idiots. Take off the blinders, stop drinking the Apple Koolaid and open your eyes to the rest of the world.

Posted by bry on November 12, 2006 at 11:21 AM (PDT)

49

This thing is gonna flop.
Here’s why:

Girls can’t put it in their purse.

It’s as simple as that. It has nothing to do with wireless, color, screen size, or a GUI.
It’s bulkier that a full sized iPod and not nearly as stealthy. Girls are the ones who made the iPod a real success. Although men were the ones who first got them, it was the ladies who made it a truley universal player.
This thing is simply a bulky curiosity for fanboys. (Yes, I’m talking to you Talking Madness).

Posted by Bobo on November 12, 2006 at 11:36 AM (PDT)

50

bobo-

Define flop for us.  The fact that the Zune is gonna sell less than the iPod this year, does that mean it’s a flop?  The fact that it may never sell more than the iPod, does that mean it’s a flop?

Yes, the size issue is a major one, an issue that I talked about earlier, so how about an original thought from you.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on November 12, 2006 at 1:22 PM (PDT)

51

uh oh.. did I fluster the fanboy’s feathers?
Of course it’s going to sell less than the iPod this year. If you’re going to enter a market with hopes to take on a leader, the LAST thing you want to do is enter it with a crippled player. Size is part of that crippled equation as well. MS would have been smarter to enter it with 2 players, a Nano sized flash AND the (oversized) Zune. It goes back to my main point… girls. If you ever had a girlfriend (doubtful) you would know they want something that can fit easily in their handbag. This is a fact. The iPod has proven this with their sales. Everyone says that this is MS first player so expect evolution. Huh? Why?? So far, with the exception of wireless, it’s a direct rip from the iPod. In fact, every article ever written so far about this thing compares it to the iPod. The Zune can’t even stand on it’s own features before half of an article is a comparitive side by side review to the iPod. My point, if all the research was already done on Apple’s part, what’s to make anyone think that the Zune will ever “evolve.” If it hasn’t from it’s FIRST release, it NEVER will.
Now get some sunshine kid.

Posted by Bobo on November 12, 2006 at 1:43 PM (PDT)

52

bobo-

First mistake: You misspelled your name…it’s Bozo…with a ‘z’.

Second mistake: I already said MS made a mistake by coming out with only a large player and nothing to compete with the nano (see my previous post).

Now, moving forward, I’m just curious how you define flop.  We know it won’t sell as much as the iPod, but are you saying everything short of that is a flop?

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on November 12, 2006 at 6:24 PM (PDT)

53

To define flop, please refer to the page marked Dell DJ.

Hype around a cloned player that falls short of expected sales.

Posted by Bobo on November 12, 2006 at 8:27 PM (PDT)

54

Touche…the Dell DJ was a flop. 

But, as someone who has tried it…I can say the Zune is a lot better than the Dell all around.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on November 12, 2006 at 11:55 PM (PDT)

55

hey everyone,

with all of the zune hype, it’s interesting that most of the world missed a perfectly good ipod contender when Creative’s Vision:M came out.

http://www.cnet.com/4831-11405-6412049.html?tag=next

(link to the CES 2006 trade show article about the vision:m winning best in show .. yowza)

it suffers from none of the fundamental faults that the zune does, but i do know that Mac support is lame (mostly because UMS is not employed in the hardware interface ..).

i have had one for a few months now and enjoy the little talking sessions when an iPod user asks me why i didn’t get an iPod instead wink

cheers,
dg

Posted by Dariusz on November 13, 2006 at 10:54 AM (PDT)

56

I have ordered the zune, and i have a 30Gb ipod aswell. i think that the zune has some googd qualities aswell. I like the wireless transfer of data feature and the 3” screen. apple should come out with an ipod with a bigger screen, because it will look better if the wheel is smaller than the screen. The zune’s double shot paint, the color you can see on the edges in neat, every zune is double coated with a second color glowing from the sides of the zune.
And about the size and weight, when apple came out with the 30GB ipod, it was huge! It was really thick and heavy, while microsoft’s first zune is smaller than apple’s 30GB ipod, and microsoft will probably shrink it down in mass soon, so watch out apple, this rival is gonna grow fast soon!!!!!!!

Posted by Jukester_ARS on November 13, 2006 at 1:00 PM (PDT)

57

I think the Zune might be worth checking out, and in all honesty a good thing for the iPod in general.  The more innovative devices that rival the iPod the better iPods are going to get.  Right now the only thing driving the iPod forward is Steve Jobs’ need to bring out fancy new products.

Apple would get soft if it kept only having to compete with no name brands (and to the general public even Creative is a no name brand).  Until now the only one to go at them with any real clout was Sony and Sony shoots their products in the foot before release by adding some idiot feature like having to use Memory Stick Duos or only using Sony formatted music.

What MS needs to do though is have an easy to use, reasonably priced online store, and really good software both on the Zune and on the PC.  iTunes at least half of the key to the iPod’s success.  It’s also why I can’t see any MP3 playing cell phone competing with the iPod anytime soon, because I’ve used almost all of them and they all have terrible interfaces for PC - player music managment.

I bought the first generation iPod, and I’ve been onboard since.  However if I had a PC I’d look at a Zune, if only to mix it up a bit.

And I’d be careful in dismissing it.  MS has way too much money, and too much pride to let the Zune fail.  And they have a record of getting an inferior product to beat an established one (Windows, Explorer, Office).

I’m sure secretly both Jobs and Gates are seeing this as the rematch for the OS wars that Microsoft won.  I hope Apple wins this round and I think they’re well placed to but don’t think that MS is going to be as easy as Sony.

Posted by Jeffery Simpson on November 13, 2006 at 1:24 PM (PDT)

58

Also I think the big box stores (Best Buy, etc) will be pushing the Zune because they’ve always been uncomfortable with Apple’s dominance in the field.  Apple’s pricing for the iPod doesn’t allow for as much profit, so they’ll be anxious to see someone take up market share.

Getting into the box stores was important for the success of the iPod, and MS has an advantage in that venue given that they’ve already got software and hardware relationships with the stores.

Posted by Jeffery Simpson on November 13, 2006 at 1:32 PM (PDT)

59

Yeah I totally agree that ipods are the way to go. hey off topic, but have you heard of that band arms embrace, they are really wierd like electronic metal core or something…im not exactly sure what i think of it, but it seems to be catching on.

Posted by Jay on November 13, 2006 at 3:39 PM (PDT)

60

Iam waiting for ZUNE(oh yeah it’s coming out tomorrow). Think about if ZUNE come in small form factor as NANO with bigger screen than NANO(also with extra features). Then i beleive many will atrract to buy mini ZUNE. Let’s see what happen tomorrow…...

Posted by Eskay on November 13, 2006 at 5:32 PM (PDT)

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