Zune Zeitgeist

    The world’s starting its long, slow digestion of the Zune. Hopeful folks continue to envision a kickback program for people that buy tracks shared from one Zune to another. Others talk about the alternate firmware Rockbox, already available for other players and bringing them features like gapless playback and alternate codecs, being ported to the Zune (if it expanded the wireless features, it would be quite an update). Hacks have emerged to allow folks to use their Zune has a portable hard drive.
    The majority of the teeth gnashing, in this Billboard obsessing society, are the sales. Anecdotal reports have the Zune collecting dust on sales, with half of society thinking it’s a new oven cleaner and the other half waving their iPods at it and laughing. A recent report says that the Zune has actually claimed the runner-up spot for MP3 player sales, edging out Sandisk for the number two spot for sales since the Zune was released.
    Microsoft doesn’t care about the sales. They do, but you need to remember history. No one used Windows until version 3, and when the Xbox came out, it was just some big clunky black box with a PC’s guts inside it. Now the world is standardized on Windows, teabagging a corpse in Halo is a favorite adolescent activity, and the Xbox 360 holds a reasonable lead on the next-gen battle in its small(er) white package. Microsoft is not well known for its initial efforts, but their tenacity in refining a product makes the Zune fascinating to keep tabs on, not for the lackluster launch but to see where the company will take it.