Microsoft has done it again. The recent release of the updated yet still lame Zune music players demonstrates that Microsoft is totally unable to innovate. These warmed over devices are rough attempts to clone yesterdays iPod.
What the Redmond company forgets that in this market the competitors are not somehow beholden to the Windows monopoly and that they are moving targets delivering products that move forward in function and capability. As noted by CNET after the release of the newest Zunes: “Microsoft unveiled version 2.0 of its Zune family, and this time, it’s got a credible music player—for 2006. Unfortunately for Microsoft, it’s 2007.”
I gather that despite his grin at the product launch event even Bill Gates recognizes that the latest round of Zunes is a loser. Although the new Zunes were unveiled with typical bravado by Gates on Tuesday (Oct 2nd) as of today (Oct 5) Microsoft announced that the new leader of the Zune business would be Rick Thompson another Redmond drone.
Microsoft has shipped 1.2M units of Zunes since it’s launch with most of these still gathering dust as unsold inventory in stores across the world. During the same period Apple has sold well in excess of 50M units. Rick Thompson has his work cut out for him and admittedly may not be up to the task. As he put it during the reorg announcement: “No one would ever confuse me with being cool.” Well that’s okay Rick because no one would ever confuse a Zune with being cool either. (well except perhaps the Zune tatoo guy)
Too little, too late for Zune in ‘07 | Digital Noise: Music & Tech - CNET Blogs