The reason behind today’s headline is simple: I am 100% sure that it’s a true statement!
A year ago, I ordered an Apple iPod for UC-clermont’s Interactive Multimedia Technology program. The purpose was to let students see how differently video appears on a miniscule screen vs. the larger monitors. My vendor informed me that they were no longer an Apple vendor, and the sales rep, Tom Perdan, suggested a Microsoft Zune, which is similar. I ordered one of those because it served my purpose.
The Zune is a very serviceable device, with a cool wireless feature that lets Zune owners communicate with each other. It’s called “Community”. When you press that function, your screen tells you what other Zune devices are operating in your area. After a year of trying to connect in all sections of Cincinnati and other cities, I have yet to find another connected Zune. A few months ago, I remember hearing a tech stock analyst on CNBC state that the acronym for Zune is, “Zero Users, No Exaggeration”! I believe his estimate is only a few people off.
Here is the #1 problem with the Zune. Have you ever showed up very late to a party? The food is cold, the good booze is gone, and all the hotties have already gone home with someone else. That’s what happened to the Zune. It showed up five years after Apple introduced the iPod. Of the many factors that contribute to a product’s success, being first to market is perhaps the most valuable. If a product takes hold before the competition reacts, it is almost impossible to knock it off its perch. Ask Dell why it abaondoned its “DJ” line of MP3 players. The iPod is entrenched in our culture. Just as people tend to call any brand of copier a “Xerox machine”, so too are people using the term “iPod” to mean any MP3 player. Unlike the word “Xerox”, I haven’t heard “iPod” used as a verb, yet. Maybe that day will come.
There is only one Zune model, which further limits its appeal. Meanwhile, Apple just announced new iPod devices with web browsing capabilities.
I suggest that Microsoft quietly throw in the towel on this and move on to other projects.
Due to severe time restrictions, no links or images were included today. And due to travel, nothing for Friday.
Monday, September 10: The Great Amazon Textbook Scam