It’s not news that there have been lots of critics of the Zune. I own one (brown), I like it, and I use it as regularly as any electronic device I own apart from my computer and cell phone. So clearly, I’m not likely to jump on the “Zune sucks” bandwagon, notwithstanding who I work for.
At the same time, I’m also not inclined to argue with those who dislike the Zune. But I did have to share what I thought to be a rather odd assertion from Andy Ihnatko in his Zune critique follow-up in the Chicago Sun-Times:
Microsoft has made a huge investment in Zune, and it isn’t going to kill it soon. What I expected was that by spring, Microsoft would hide the Zune in the attic, feeding it scraps, and apparently hoping people would forget it ever existed. You know, just like what Kristi Yamaguchi’s parents did with her twin brother, Cubby, who had the same skating coaches as Kristi, but who failed to make the nationals.
Which is pretty much what’s happened, five months and change later. It’s what Microsoft does with products and technologies that are launched with great fanfare and fireworks, but fail to immediately set the world on fire.
Tablet PCs, SPOT technology, wireless displays, e-books– they’re not even bad ideas. But there they languish, all the same.
What caught my eye, in particular, was not the assertion that we’re “hid[ing] Zune in the attic,” but rather the assertion that the same thing has been done with Tablet PCs. A quick glance at the list of Tablet PC manufacturers doesn’t immediately strike me as hiding in the attic material, nor does the fact that Microsoft is sufficiently committed to Tablet functionality to make it a part of the core OS, rather than a separate SKU. And I expect that folks like our local Tablet guru Frank LaVigne would beg to differ as well. In fact, a quick peek at Frank’s blog turns up this post about a Tablet PC making a guest appearance in a commercial that’s not even about computers. Yep, that’s one well-hidden Tablet PC.
I guess my point is that if Ihnatko’s assertions about Zune are as on-target as his Tablet prognostication, we can look forward to a rich future for the Zune.