Zuned Out


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!)


Jesse Ezell

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.

Stacy Young

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.


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.


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 :))


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.


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


Ethan Bauman

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.

Robert W. Anderson

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?

David Touve

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

Juris Kaža

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…

Gerald Buckley

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… :)


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


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


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…

Chris Griffin

“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.


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


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.

Robert Dewey

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). ;)


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.

Constance Reader

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.


“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’.


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

Comments are closed.