Microsoft to Persist with Zune

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Carbon

The software destroys iTunes and iPods are far from cool when mom's and grandmas have then.

I'll stay Zune for a long time.
Just way more fun to play with and much better sound quality.
Way better audio converters! 

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JanSolo

The Zune has failed and the volume of sales has proven this clearly.

 Issues with the Zune, regardless of the technology that makes that corner of the PMP market happy:

1. No ecosphere. There are not enough devices that support the Zune, aside from a few speaker systems, Ford/Microsoft Sync and one alarm clock.

2. Microsoft marketing has failed to create any kind of mindshare for the Zune.  Currently the iPod is the de facto standard for portable music players, where as the Zune is in a distant third place with Sandisk beating out Microsoft in volume sales.

3. Microsoft has failed to integrate the Zune into it's other product offerings and initiatives.  Even though the Zune and XBox are within the home entertainment division, you cannot do anything special when you plug your Zune into your XBox 360.  The same goes with Media Center and the Zune.  The lack of integration is an obvious failure on the part of Microsoft especially considering how well the XBox 360 has penetrated the living room market.  The XBox 360 has a large install base and it would only make sense to leverage their existing customers and turn them into new Zune customers as well.

4. Microsoft, upon initial release of the second gen Zunes, failed to understand the market and innovate.  Specifically, they did not see the iPod Touch and decided to compete against last years product.  Oops.

5. Microsoft marketing failed to understand market demands and manufactured too many flash based Zunes while 80gb Zunes, which were woefully under manufactured, were hard to find on store shelves.  Microsoft was hoping to compete against the iPod Nano which they probably felt they could compete against favorably, but instead, since they failed to cross the chasm, were competing against the iPod Classic which is seemingly a smaller market. 

Again - the product is fine, but it is the ability for Microsoft to market to the masses that is ultimately the issue.  The marketing spend for the Zune is quite large and take, for example, the amount of money Microsoft spent on MySpace by branding the front page, creating a Zune music player widget and their own custom Zune profile page.  Yet even while pushing so hard and spending so much money on what they believed their target demographic, they failed to garner any real market or mindshare.

Can you name how many times a Zune was mentioned in entertainment media?  I can name of only one - Frisky Dingo, season 1.  How many times has the iPod been mentioned in entertainment media?

In theory, the marketplace is supposed to decide what product will win purely on it's technical merits, usabiity, functionality and the like.  Yet, even though the Zune wins the check box features war, it is still a far distant third in marketshare versus the iPod.

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yagisencho

I avoided buying a Zune for years because of the missing international font support. After using a friend's Zune with the latest firmware though, I was sold. Even more surprising was how functional the Zune desktop software has become. I still can't see my Japanese song album info, but it's fantastic having my entire music collection on me at all times. It's a fully-featured player with fantastic sound.

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Rain24

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 Our family has owned four (4) 30 GB Zune's for two years plus.  All of our players are used daily and work great other then the 1 day Y2K thing.  I have many friends who own a Zune or two and I've yet to hear one of them say a negative word about ther Zune(s). As for the slump in Zune sales a few factors can be considered:

1) Zune is very durable and reliable (you don’t need a new one each year).

2) Zune has software upgradeability (once again you don’t need to buy a new one each year to have the latest and greatest).

3) The continued bad press Zune is given such as this artical.

4) Finally “The Economy” (bad, very bad).

This could account for a decline in Zune sales???

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hammerfell

dude i love my zune and i'm not the only on here saying that now. i think that's quite the victory for microsoft. now they need to catch up with some tech and use some of that nifty touch screen tech they have going on and work that into the zune. honestly all they need to do is make a device that is comperable to the itouch, not LIGHTYEARS AHEAD or CRAAAZY BETTER! but just good and does about the same thing but with a few more features. (flash support ect.)

another cool thing they could do is work in easy app creation and maybe, dare i say it, make things more open source. heck i love my zune. it just needs better press which it's been getting. out of curiousity what's the sales drop for all the mp3 players?  

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Keougmi

Why is the writer of this article so against the Zune (see comments like "How much longer can Zune hoodwink it's fate"?)  Please only REPORT the news.  Your opinion should be clearly stated, instead of writing like it's a fact.  Don't you realize that the way you write is biased, and can cause damage to a good unit?  Your opinion might be creating a bigger monopoly than the Ipod already is if your writing kills off the Zune.

My Zune 80 is my 6th MP3 player. I've owned recent Ipods (big and little) Creative Zen, and Creative Zen Micro.  I feel the Zune 80GB player is the best player I've ever had, and I love it.  The Zune PC software is a little weird (although easy to use), but the player itself is wonderful.  After owning it for 14 months of using it every day for 4-6 hours, I'm still extremely happy with it.  It's a wonderful video player and FM radio also.

By the way, the Zunes you are showing above are the ancient Zune 30GB players.  Is that what you were writing about?  Or have you even tried the Zune?  The newer Zunes have been out for over a year and are much better.  They have been getting rave reviews by competing computer magazines.  Let's get current, and stop being an Apple fanboy simply because Steve Jobs wants you to be!

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Fugazi

Excellent point made here. People like to shit on Zunes, like they do Vista. In reality the Zune is a really good product. I have owned my 30GB since around they came out and it works BETTER now than the day I bought it. With an Apple product you have to buy the the new hardware every few months but with the Zune Microsoft has given me multiple free firmware updates, the same stuff the new 120GBs run on. My Zune is made solid and has not had one problem other than the Zune 2K9 bug, but that only lasted one day. The opposite goes for iPods which are are meant to have low mean time between failure.  

-Andy

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bloodyserb

I've had an iAudio for years, and I love it.  It does what I want to do with my media.

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NAYRhyno

I'm not sure why people are so hard on the Zune.  It is a great media player, it plays games, it has Wi-fi marketplace on the device, it has a nice subscription package, it is well updated (new firmware for old devices), and the software is decent easy to use.

 

Still, $100 million drop in sales?  Ouch!

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hogkill

and im not sure why people feel that theres only 2 kinds of mp3 players out there.  there are thousands, many of which are better and cheaper than iPods or Zunes. 

If you can read this:

STOP BEING A TOOL AND BUY A REAL MP3 PLAYER

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