Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Microsoft's 2nd Gen Zune: they're "nothing earth-shattering"

You've heard it before:

  • large shiny screen!
  • touch pad navigation!
  • slim design!
  • comes in multiple color options!
  • get it in 4GB or 8GB!
Are we talking about the newest sexy new iPods? No! It's the second generation Zune to be released in mid-November!

My favorite quote from the CNN Money article about these ready-for-the-holidays Zunes:
"There's nothing earth-shattering there," said Van Baker, an analyst at the research group Gartner, in an interview about the new Zunes.
A nice and concise way of summing it up, Mr. Van Baker.
"Maybe next year they can make an aggressive push against Apple," he said.
Yeah... maybe... ya know if they aren't busy or whatever, Microsoft can come up with something innovative for the Zune.

Don't get me wrong I'm not a complete Microsoft hater, but come on. Apparently they designed these 2nd genners "from scratch" and came up with an iPod.
Microsoft tweaked the look of the new Zunes' display and menus, and added the Zune Pad, a combination mouse-button and touch pad that lets users scroll down a long list of songs with a few flicks of the finger, then click the button to select tracks or change the volume.
I like the above quote - it makes the touch pad seem so cutting-edge.

Unfortunately, no plans for a Zune phone yet - but one of these new 2nd Gen Zunes can be yours for the same price as the equivalent iPod.

But Microsoft isn't worried about "beating" Apple when it comes to mp3 player magic - as their spokesman said: "Market share comes after." Like maybe after iPods become so not cool anymore?

If I were working PR for the Zune, I would try to play up what new stuff Microsoft is doing but not many people know about, like giving servicemen and women free special edition Zunes and starting up their new community website for Zune users.

Does anyone know anyone who has a Zune? I don't think I've ever seen one in person that wasn't a display.

10/4 Update: Ars Technica takes an in-depth look at the new Zune lineup by getting in some Q&A to the head marketer for the Zune. He argues that the zero-fanfare reveal of the new Zunes were purposeful, in opposition to the huge media blitzes Apple throws when they release a new toy. Well that's one way to argue it.

1 comment:

Lauren said...

I saw articles about this last week. i also don't think I have ever seen anyone using a Zune besides maybe in a store playing around with it. I agree that if I were doing PR for them I would begin to spread the word about their new social networking site primarily for Zune users who can share music with each other. Who knows how successful this next generation is going to be. I for one will always be a faithful Ipod girl myself.