Thursday Top 10: Reasons to Love Microsoft's Zune

Gadgets, Top tens

Following the controversy around Tuesday’s Top 10 Reasons To Hate Zune, here’s the promised second installment taking a more positive spin on Microsoft’s multimedia device. Because hey, it’s not all bad by any means. Zune is big news in the consumer gadgetry market, with Microsoft clearly hoping it’ll do to Apple’s iPod what they hope Xbox 360 will do to PlayStation 3. If that makes sense.

Anyway, here’s ten reasons to roll out the bunting for Zune. And in the interests of fairness after Tuesday’s Wi-Fi hoo-ha, one of them is entirely false. Enjoy.

1. Everybody loves an underdog. And let’s face it, iPod could do with some competition. It’s not as if the other manufacturers – including those licensing Microsoft’s own platform – have made great inroads into Apple’s market share. Healthy competition should spur even more innovation on both sides.

2. Mmm… widescreen. I’d rather watch movies on this baby, even if I have to turn it sideways to do it. Hopefully Microsoft will have some good deals with the movie studios by the time Zune launches.

3. Microsoft is smart. They launch, learn and improve. Remember the days when Xbox was just a big ole whirry box with rubbish games? And now look at Xbox 360. Whatever you think of the first-gen Zune, subsequent iterations will be better.

4. The brown Zune. Maybe all those people who said brown was The New Black had a point. And it does go nicely with my corduroy jacket…

5. It’s got Wi-Fi. And yes, that means you can send full-length tracks, not 30-second samples like some fool the other day was claiming. People have been wishing Apple would bring out a Wi-Fi iPod for ages, but Microsoft got there first. Simply having it in Zune gives potential for all manner of cool features. Over-the-air downloads, streaming live TV, 64-person Minesweeper battles. It’s all good.

6. Worthiness. For everybody who buys a Zune, Bill Gates effectively gets a few more dollars to spend on good causes. Which is better than giving Steve Jobs more moolah to spend on polo-necks.

7. Goblins. Zune is powered by little green goblins pedalling minature bicycles. Trust me, it is. And that’s cool.

8. Good relations. Apple’s negotiating tactics have rubbed the music industry up the wrong way, although it’s too early to tell if the same is true of the movie studios. Microsoft could steal a march by going in as the good guy with these people. Especially if Bill leverages his multimillionaire contacts and calls up Paul McCartney. “So, about those Beatles albums that haven’t ever been sold digitally…”

9. The buttons look nice. Look, you can’t look down on superficiality in this market.

10. The FM radio. Who’d listen to radio when they had their entire music collection to hand? Plenty of us. How else are we supposed to keep up with The Archers?

Stuart Dredge
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  • Haha, nice one Stu – up until now I hadn’t really bothered paying much attention to the Zune, but I must admit, that all sounds fairly good, particularly the wifi. I kind of hope it does trump the iPod, I’ve had so many hassles with the 2 I’ve owned, so anything that’s better than that is OK in my books.

    Not sure about him spending the moolah on polonecks. I’d say more like black muscle tops and fitted jeans 😉

  • 3. this is a reason not to love Zune and not to buy it, but to wait for future versions. And while I’m at it, I’ll just wait for that Zune phone they stupidly pre-announced.

    Why would anyone in their right mind pre-annouce a product before the one they hope will get them a foothold in a competitive market is even out?

    I want this to provide competition, but it’s almost as if Microsoft WANTS to fail.

  • “1. In what way is Microsoft an underdog? They’re the most profitable software company in recorded history.”

    Unlike all those software companies that were around before recorded history.

  • I think the Zune is misunderstood. And frankly erroneously compared with the ipod.

    The Zune can sense other zune devices, and knows the names of the other zune devices thus creating a platform for social-networking.

    Microsoft is trying to emulate the myspace or bebo social networking experience on a portable device. In fact, myspace is the perfect comparison.

    You can listen to someone elses playlists, share photos, watch youtube style user videos, and maybe even leave messages and stuff…we wont know the full feature list till its out.

    It is more than just a buy song/play song device like the ipod is. It is really trying to be like myspace, and we all know how addictive myspace/bebo is.

  • OK, you’ve had your fun, haha! Seriously, now how about those 10 compelling reasons for the Zune.

    Oh, that was them?

  • Neither!
    Weather or not it does now, the Zune *will* require windows media player 11. Then, say goodbye to actually owning your own music collection.

    Buy off-brand. They play almost all formats without stripping your rights.

  • 1. In what way is Microsoft an underdog? They’re the most profitable software company in recorded history.

    2. A bigger screen is not necessarily a “wider” screen. It’s the exact same aspect ratio, just turned sideways.

    3. The jury is still out on this one.

    4. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But that said, I haven’t spoken to a *single* person who thinks the brown Zune is attractive.

    5. Yes, it has Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi that is so feature-crippled with DRM that it makes the sound of it much less appealing than it might otherwise have been.

    6. Wrong. Microsoft has already stated that they’re going to *lose* money on each Zune, thanks to Apple’s aggressive pricing on the 30MB iPod. So perversely, every Zune sold is *less* profit for Billy Boy to spend on humanitarian causes.

    7. No argument there.

    8. I don’t see how you reach this conclusion. Microsoft’s pricing is virtually identical to iTunes – US$0.99 a song.

    9. See #4.

    10. A half-decent feature, I grant you, but with any number of FM-enabling accessories available for iPod, this is hardly a breathtaking feature enhancement.

    Sorry – your first Top 10 list was more accurate!


  • I have to admit I misunderstood you. You are finally a nice guy that loves Zune, Microsoft and Bill Gates.

    See now ? Zune has changed your life. DONT you never go back to that silly looking white iPod. Although it is white, the evil has taken upon it!

    I will add your story to the “Zune has changed my life” section of my site 🙂


    P.S. OK I understand that you love Zune, but Bill ??? 😉

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