Microsoft's Zune has been released and the negative reactions have out polled the positive from what I've read so far. But by far one of the most vicious and also most informative negative reviews I have read comes from the Chicago Sun-Times. Andy Ihantako's, Avoid the Looney Zune, lays out a number of issues including installation issues, software issues, and others. I have to agree that the support info about fixing the install issue seems more than anyone would want to bear. Let's not even talk about the fact that the initial release is not supported by Vista RTM at the moment. (Not really a killer deal at the moment, but enough to build a bunch of bad PR.)
I dole out smacks to Marketing Mavens all the time for what I perceive as idiotic moves. Here's another one. Whoever came up with "Squirting" as the label for sharing songs between Zune players and actually thinks this will survive the "coolness test" among the younger set, obviously needs to spend some time with teenagers. I asked several kids in our current Christmas show cast about this yesterday. First, only one had even heard of Zune. Second, when I asked them what they thought of the squirting feature, the label was met with looks of derision and peals of laughter. Certainly not scientific, by any means. But telling.
Much has been made, by way of excuses, that this is a first generation product and it will only get better. Great. But given the UMPC like reaction to the Zune so far, Microsoft really needs to think twice about foisting Beta hardware on the world. Sure they've got the bankroll to make this a long term strategy, but it sure can't help future advances if you have to overcome being a bad joke with each new release. I'd hazard a guess that Zune will end up on some end of the year worst lists within the next few weeks.