July 25, 2006

More Of The Same: MS Vaporware

While pundits, Macheads and Microsloth fanboys are simply chattering about MS's semi-official announcement of its Zune "music and entertainment" system, John Gruber of Daring Fireball hits the nail on its head (and of course, it's funny as well)

Magic 8-Ball Answers Your Questions Regarding Microsoft's 'Zune'

Q: So in other words, this has all the hallmarks of a good old-fashioned Microsoft vaporware campaign: wildly optimistic ship date ("this November") and a laundry list of features missing from the iPod and iTunes (Wi-Fi, social networking, a video game mode, adjustable faceplates, and maybe even Sirius and/or XM satellite radio). I'll bet it will ship on schedule, with all those features, and will be lightweight, thin, and get great battery life.

A: VERY DOUBTFUL.

Q: I was being sarcastic. My point is that it's now late July, and despite the fact that there are leaked photos and a features list the length of your arm, no one has claimed to have actually seen a working prototype. And some of these proposed features, like peer-to-peer file sharing and proximity-based recommendations, sound rather like a lot of work. Do they honestly expect to have this on the shelves in time for Christmas?

A: MY REPLY IS NO.

Q: So what they've done is leak a November release date and a fantastic feature list a feature list that the next batch of new iPods, no matter how cool, are unlikely to match and hope that people will wait for the Zune. And then even when it misses the holiday season and slips into 2007, and won't include all of the previously-promised features, they'll say it wasn't their fault (despite the fact that the whole point of the Zune platform model is that Microsoft controls the entire system) but that it'll be worth the wait anyway. That sound right?

A: SIGNS POINT TO YES.

I expect Zune to be nothing more than the same tired, weak attack on the iPod's dominance. If... IF it ever comes to past, it'll be delayed by months and will be minus most of its alleged extras.

Posted by ronn at July 25, 2006 09:59 PM

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