Microsoft Flips the Bird to Early Zune Adopters

So I read in the Washington Post this morning (First Look at the Microsoft Zune HD) that Microsoft has introduced a new device, the Zune HD.

At the same time the company has reportedly axed support for all previous Zune models. The newest Zune will offer all new accessories, a new interface, and a new software ecosystem.

This act, in essence, cuts all previous Zune owners off from the new Zune environment.

It’s a cruel act by Microsoft, a proverbial flip of the bird to customers who invested early in the company’s fledgling (and faltering) iPod competitor. It essentially renders all of their devices end-of-life and turns them into obsolete bricks.

It also says that Microsoft lacks a cohesive long-term strategy for their handheld device. Compare that to Apple’s successful iPod implementation: I can still plug the very first iPod  ever – an 8-year-old device – into my modern Mac and it’ll sync with iTunes.

Meanwhile, the Zune somebody bought last month is already trash.

So buyer beware: how long until Microsoft shuffles their executive again and the brand-new Zune HD becomes a non-functioning remnant of the company’s indecisiveness?

BTW, AppleInsider’s Prince McLean has posted a great critique of the Zune HD’s questionable hardware engineering: From OLED to Tegra: Five Myths of the Zune HD.

One thought on “Microsoft Flips the Bird to Early Zune Adopters

  1. Yes, I read AppleInsider’s piece. They raise a few reasonable points, but it comes across more as FUD than anything else.

    You’ve got a couple of things wrong here, Andrew. Microsoft is not cutting support to current Zune users (of which I am one). Granted, the Zune HD looks like a not bad gaming/app platform, and on that count the older Zunes will be left behind.

    But in terms of what the earlier devices were originally BUILT for–audio and video–they aren’t being “left behind” at all. Microsoft has just released v4.0 of the Zune desktop software, and it’s fantastic. Many users have said they prefer its interface to that of iTunes.

    As well, Microsoft has said its Zune Marketplace will finally be made available in Canada, hopefully with the innovative Zune Pass subscription service that allows users to download up to 10 songs a month to keep.

    And the Zune HD uses the same connector as the original Zunes, so any new accessories should work fine with the older devices.

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