Zune "Big, Chunky, Blocky, Rushed, Incomplete, Barren, Derivative"

Big news day for Zune, and it's not really spinning in Microsoft's direction. The Wall Street Journal's Walter "Uncle Walt" Mossberg and the New York Times' David "I Haven't Got a Nickname for Him" Pogue both published their thoughts on Microsoft's new player today. Pogue bottom lines his experience this way:

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. Wireless sharing is the one big new idea — and if the public seems to respond, Apple could always add that to the iPod.

Then again, this is all standard Microsoft procedure. Version 1.0 of Microsoft Anything is stripped-down and derivative, but it’s followed by several years of slow but relentless refinement and marketing. Already, Microsoft says that new Zune features, models and accessories are in the pipeline.

For now, though, this game is for watching, not playing. It may be quite a while before brown is the new white.

While Mossberg concludes:

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.

So neither of them trashed Microsoft's newest pretender to the iPod throne, but this is a high-stakes game, and these aren't ringing endorsements, either.

Seriously, do you want your stuff being sold as "good for you in the long run?" That's the way you sell cod liver oil, not a digital music player.

Tags: , , , , ,