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Summary:

Update: I have opened the box, and set up the Zune and have played around with it for an hour or so. I need a few more hours to do an in depth review, but the initial reaction has been mixed. The device when it come […]

Update: I have opened the box, and set up the Zune and have played around with it for an hour or so. I need a few more hours to do an in depth review, but the initial reaction has been mixed. The device when it come to looks and usability is definitely though not quite as smooth as iPod, is still pretty intuitive. The software side of things, well that is another story. But need more time to make an honest assessment. More tomorrow!

Last night when I came home, Roy, doorman of our building, handed me a big brown box. It was from Microsoft, and my best guess was that it was the new Zune device. One of the last media folks to get hold of this device, I knew that I could wait till morning to open it, and perhaps give the new device a whirl.

This morning, however, the RSS reader is full of Zune negativity. CNN is beating up on the device, and well, it seems to be a bit of a PR mess. Not many (any) positive reviews out there about the device, which was supposed to outpod, iPod. Well, 53% of our readers did not think it had a prayer, but still I was going to wait and see how this device was going to turn out, and who knew like XBox 360 it could be a big November surprise.

It is now 10.09 AM and the box remains unopened. The reviews have soured me on the device already. Is there a point to another review of the device, given that the gigabytes of coverage already devoted to Zune? What do you think? Should I open the device, and give it a shot? I have a new Lenovo laptop sitting next to me, loaned by Lenovo people just for this specific review. (Now that laptop is seriously sweet, despite the WindowsXP!)

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By Om Malik
  1. If you don’t want it, can I have it? ;)

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  2. Zuned Out…

    Hi GigaOM Team!!!,Our RSS engine has fetched and linked this post to our homepage (http://www.wedoit4you.com), if the post gets enough attention this week, we’ll talk about it on our next podcast (http://www.wedoit4you.com/podcast)…

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  3. hey i dont own it and have to return it. :-(

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  4. Guillermo’s on to something. You should award it to whoever promises to do the most interesting thing with it.

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  5. Just review it and stop acting like a dork about it. Do your job.

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  6. “Just review it and stop acting like a dork about it. Do your job.”

    Hey, hey, hey… Om Malik is no dork! He’s an old fart… oh excuse me, I mean ‘cranky geek’.

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  7. I say evaluate it as though you were the only one doing a review — then check your experience against everything flooding the blogosphere today. If you have anything new to add, post it, but if not, a short post saying just that would also be good. If the Zune really is the anticlimax many are reporting it to be, yours is s strong voice to add to the consensus.

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  8. I haven’t been able to get my hands on Zune yet, but so far it is apparently proving to be quite a disappointment, with horror stories about installations going awry, software crashing, synchronisation failing – in short, the sort of stuff that one may have come to expect from Microsoft products.

    I did have high hopes for Zune, but so far it seems that the roll-out phase, at least, has been a bit of a disaster. Somewhat surprising, given how much effort Microsoft seems to have invested into the device.

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  9. Just do it!

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  10. Nah, I’d pass… I don’t need to see yet another Zune review. Just send it back and move on.

    Besides, when you open it, you might find some sort of legal document telling you that you just auto-agreed upon opening the box (just like when you “auto-agree” when you by or use a Windows-based PC). ;)

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  11. Are you sure its a Zune? Only one way to tell…

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  12. How can you be a geek and not want to test it out yourself?

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  13. I don’t know who at MSFT pissed off John Dyvorak. I figure I didn’t have a right to join the “u I hate the Zune” group unless I had tried one. So I bought mine. I bought a black one.
    I unboxed it. Put the CD in the PC (it would have been nice to download via the zune.net.) and installed the software. Connected to Zune and walked thru three or four minutes of silly sign up stuff like I did with my Ipod.

    I opened up my music library folder and drug a bunch of music over to the Zune. Unplugged it, put it in my shirt pocket and listened to music while I did some stuff around the house.

    It played the music just fine.

    I got aggressive and moved some pictures over to it.

    It displayed them just fine.

    I got really crazy and put a music video on the Zune.

    It played it just fine.

    After careful and detailed analysis I have come to the conclusion that a Zune is in fact different than an Ipod.

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  14. Doesn’t matter what other reviews say, check it out for yourself. My Zune installed fine, works great.

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  15. “After careful and detailed analysis I have come to the conclusion that a Zune is in fact different than an Ipod.”

    Thanks Captain Obvious.

    From reading your “analysis” I could most definitely tell you would be the type of person who would purchase the Zune.

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  16. I don’t like the name “Zune”, so I probably won’t get one.

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  17. How about a review on the interface only- I picked the Zune up yesterday and I love the interface much more than on my 4G iPod. Curious what you think of it…

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  18. If Scoble Had Stayed…

    If Scoble Had Stayed: Last night I saw how Mary Jo Foley described that Microsoft Vista is not a “supported operating system” for the new Microsoft Zune device. I wasn’t shocked, because two large workgroups in a larger company must often lock down …

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  19. The Zune is interesting because it may nudge Apple to show the industry how to do wireless correctly.

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  20. I say do the review and pile on with everybody else! Just make sure to set aside a half-day for the software install.

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  21. Remember Tom Hanks in Survivor… What if that box he didn’t open had contained a radio transmitter? Might be something REALLY juicy inside that box. At least open it and satisfy your LOYAL following’s curiosity if not your own… :)

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  22. Review the thing. You the man! I have been following your blog for a short time, but it seems to have cred. Ok, maybe you will join in with everyone dissing the Zune, or maybe you will get Zuned by it. Only one way to tell…

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  23. You could always just send your Zune to me. I would be happy to take it off your hands.

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  24. Open the box. Look at it. Turn it on. Turn it off. Ship it back.

    If you feel the need to write about it you will write. Otherwise you won’t.

    How can you not play with a gadget for a few minutes?

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  25. Would be a service to your readers if you reviewed it. I’m a former MSFT employee, not a huge fan (except for XBox) but to be fair I’ve often found that reviewers start from a place of hating MSFT (hey I can understand that) and let that poison the review.

    Would be interesting to see your take if you could start from “Neutral” and let the experience (not the previous reviews) sway you.

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  26. Hey Om — care to share your fav product review
    sites/blogs for me to subscribe in place of your
    product reviews? :)

    Cheers.

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  27. I don’t like Zune. So, I want it to be hyped. Please try it once and say itz great ;-/

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  28. It does not matter if you review it or not. It does not matter if BusinessWeek or CNN bashes it and has an orgasm on the air when taking about the iPod.

    The kids, the geeks, and the early adopters are the ones who will turn the zune into a hit or not. Through them, if microsoft is smart, the necessary updates and new features will come. Through them, the “cool” factor will develop.

    You think the talking heads on CNN knew what the hell Digg was? or Linux? These morons just read blogs and spew their “pundit” crap. They are the definition of establishment. Who gives a fuck what they think.

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  29. Am I the only one that thinks that MS isn’t exactly stupid, and not many people realize the potential value of a media device with Wifi yet?
    I can think of at least 5 examples of highly useful things that I would guess MS could add, just by updating the firmware, and that are currently not possible on the iPod. I leave the list as an exercise to the reader :) (or I’ll type it after some sleep, it’s 3 am, here in Amsterdam :))

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  30. Nobody sends me nothing (not that I’d want a Zune, anyway, unless it were a Pocket PC Zune camera phone). They went to the trouble to send it to you, so I’d get on it. When I got the Visual Studio 2005 Superhero, I posted about it, and they don’t feature foam toys on CNN too often.

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  31. The only folks interested in wireless features at this stage of the game are techies. There are too many limitations and speed issues to get the kids excited about it aside from trying to hack it.

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  32. I got a Zune and my girlfriend begged me to get her one for Christmas. She is a gucci / LV girl for life and she loves the device. Unlike the iPod, it still looks new after 2 days because it doesn’t collect your finger grease like the iPod does. Zune is right on target IMO.

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  33. Microsoft will triumph through the hubris of its doubters…as it has so many times before.

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  34. I love it! Finally someone that shows what happens when they don’t have parents always saying, “If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?”

    What do you even contribute by posts like that except to drive traffic to your… oh damn, you got me, you could care less about the Zune either way, you just want to drive traffic and clicks so people can see all the ads.

    Hey Om Malik, I just heard all the bloggers saying they were going to jump off a bridge…

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  35. GigaOM, please don’t become a prima donna. You’re still cool in my eyes. Review it as objectively as possible. Or send it back. Next time you won’t get a package from Microsoft. What a useless, smug, self-serving post, otherwise..

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  36. Om, it doesn’t matter who else reviewed it. We are here reading YOUR blog so YOU are the voice we obviously trust. Review it or don’t mention it at all.

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  37. The dealbreaker for me is the vig. A percentage of every sale goes to Universal Music Group, whose CEO believes that anyone who downloads any song off the Internet is stealing money out of his pocket. UMG believes lawsuits against music lovers are a good thing for its business. I don’t want to give a backward-thinking organization like this one penny of my money.

    Why haven’t the boys at Downhill Battle jumped on that, anyway?

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  38. Stop this Om., Pl. stop giving this type of stupid updates..Just give your review once you have it. Don’t loosee your readers…

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  39. I would buy one but it does not work with Vista

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  40. I’d like to read a review by you. And if you could be one of the only people to tell me how it actually sounds, that would be great.

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  41. haha funny seeing people reacting to the new zune. great atmosphere for product launches i must say. go on and open it , mabe there will be a give a zune and get an ipod offer from apple soon .

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  42. After your initial post, I didn’t bother to read any of the GigaOM properties for a week. Why bother, when you would rather send me off to read other people’s reviews.

    The fact that you updated this post and decided to do what your readers have been bitching asking you to do, brings back some value to your blog. Not as much as you lost, but every little bit will help you.

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  43. Here’s what critics are missing about Zune…

    View my Zune Flickr set (new window)
    Like some (most?) of you, I’ve been reading how much the Zune sucks everywhere (Infoworld). Note the first reader and Zune customer comment following that Infoworld story which makes the absurd comparison to …

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  44. *** offtopic ***

    Your poll doesn’t seem to work when ActiveX is disabled. Not sure how much you care, but if you think usability is important, consider making it depend on Javascript only – or even plain (X)HTML.

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  45. Should I write a commment? What do you think? I read so many negative comments today. Maybe I shouldn’t write about this. Om, oh, Om, … you such a cool guy by not opening the box! And thanks for remembering that Windows XP is so uncool.

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  46. [...] bitácora. En este caso la agencia Edelman ha elegido mal los bloggers, ya que escogió a Om Malik y Robert Scoble, que son muy influyentes en el mundo de la tecnología pero no en el de los [...]

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  47. [...] to offer a review of it if I wanted to. Unlike Om Malik though who got one and then proceeded to inform us on how bad it [...]

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  48. [...] to offer a review of it if I wanted to. Unlike Om Malik though who got one and then proceeded to inform us on how bad it [...]

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  49. [...] strategy was that Edelman sent Zunes to the wrong bloggers. They sent it to tech folk  like Om Malik and Robert Scoble. Om and Robert are very influential in their own technology fields – but they [...]

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