A different kind of "Zune challenge"

Funny, the Zune team didn’t take me up on my Zune Challenge. I guess they don’t think it’s important to come on my show and explain why Zune is so cool.

Why funny? Because a company named “Zude” DID take me up on it and flew out last week to get an interview. It’s going to be my Demo of the Year. Damn, Zude is cool and it looks like they’ve solved their scalability problems. More on that later in the week. Zude is a site where you can build a new kind of Web experience (competes most directly with MySpace, but really is awesome).

Anyway, there’s a new “Zude challenge” that David Berlind started. He posted on his blog that he’d shave his head if Zune got enough market share to move into the #2 spot in media players. Microsoft is currently #4. Now Carm Lyman of Sandisk is getting into the challenge. SHE will shave her head if Zune moves up into Sandisk’s spot. Now THAT is confidence! Or something.

Comments

  1. “I guess they don’t think it’s important to come on my show and explain why Zune is so cool.

    Is there any reason why they should think it important to come on your show…afterall, you already think the Zune sucks and so does your audience I’m sure.

  2. “I guess they don’t think it’s important to come on my show and explain why Zune is so cool.

    Is there any reason why they should think it important to come on your show…afterall, you already think the Zune sucks and so does your audience I’m sure.

  3. To be honest, skc is correct. Your mind was made up long ago. You will never break with the “iPod mass mentatlity” so they didn’t accept your offer.

  4. To be honest, skc is correct. Your mind was made up long ago. You will never break with the “iPod mass mentatlity” so they didn’t accept your offer.

  5. skc: my first Zune video was watched more than 100,000 times so at least SOME in my audience think the Zune is important enough to consider.

    Keep in mind that when I interview people I usually keep my own personal opinions out of it. Especially when they are demoing their products. It’s pretty clear you haven’t watched any of my videos if you don’t understand why it’s important to come on.

    Ask around to some of the CEOs about what being on my show does for companies and/or products. There’s a reason why so many of them come on.

  6. skc: my first Zune video was watched more than 100,000 times so at least SOME in my audience think the Zune is important enough to consider.

    Keep in mind that when I interview people I usually keep my own personal opinions out of it. Especially when they are demoing their products. It’s pretty clear you haven’t watched any of my videos if you don’t understand why it’s important to come on.

    Ask around to some of the CEOs about what being on my show does for companies and/or products. There’s a reason why so many of them come on.

  7. zune scene: it’s pretty obvious you have no clue about what I do and haven’t watched any of my videos

    I’m always interested in discovering why I’m wrong and I always give my subjects a chance to explain themselves.

    If they really do have the goods that will come out very well in my videos.

    Also, keep in mind, I don’t edit my videos so you get to see the full conversation. If I treat someone like shit you’ll see that and be able to make up your own mind.

  8. zune scene: it’s pretty obvious you have no clue about what I do and haven’t watched any of my videos

    I’m always interested in discovering why I’m wrong and I always give my subjects a chance to explain themselves.

    If they really do have the goods that will come out very well in my videos.

    Also, keep in mind, I don’t edit my videos so you get to see the full conversation. If I treat someone like shit you’ll see that and be able to make up your own mind.

  9. My first Zune video is here — I dare you to find some bias.

    Oh, and if Microsoft only talked to journalists and bloggers who loved them Microsoft would never get much PR. The trick to PR is to convince those who are skeptical. After all, how many people read your Zune-advocacy site? Not as many as read me in Fast Company magazine, that’s for certain!

  10. My first Zune video is here — I dare you to find some bias.

    Oh, and if Microsoft only talked to journalists and bloggers who loved them Microsoft would never get much PR. The trick to PR is to convince those who are skeptical. After all, how many people read your Zune-advocacy site? Not as many as read me in Fast Company magazine, that’s for certain!

  11. Scoobie: I don’t know anything about fast company so I can’t say. I doubt it got 1/4 million visitors on Nov 14th 2006. But it’s an irrelevant queestion, I dont think it’s in the same market as a Zune forum.

  12. Scoobie: I don’t know anything about fast company so I can’t say. I doubt it got 1/4 million visitors on Nov 14th 2006. But it’s an irrelevant queestion, I dont think it’s in the same market as a Zune forum.

  13. shave his head?!?! OMG!!! LOLZ!
    please.. oh also, please clarify this sentence:
    “Zude is a site where you can build a new kind of Web experience (competes most directly with MySpace, but really is awesome).”

    If Pulitzer prizes were given for blogging… wow, stunning information.

  14. shave his head?!?! OMG!!! LOLZ!
    please.. oh also, please clarify this sentence:
    “Zude is a site where you can build a new kind of Web experience (competes most directly with MySpace, but really is awesome).”

    If Pulitzer prizes were given for blogging… wow, stunning information.

  15. ARGGH! Good lord! I’m going to buy two Zunes because I’m tired of you “challanging it” just let it be. It will do fine and if I were Sandisk I’d keep my mouth shut.

  16. I haven’t viewed Robert’s video yet (on my to do list). But I just thought I’d add that Microsoft’s chances of getting to the #2 position in overall portable digital media player (PDMP) sales (currently in 4th with 3 percent share, and the 2nd place holder SanDisk is at 10 percent) have very little to do with the quality of the Zune player itself.

    SanDisk’s #2 position is primarily based on the fact that the company has a series of quality offerings in the <$150 priceband of the PDMP market. A substantial portion of PDMP sales are in this priceband and SanDisk was smart to address that demand with some attractive products. Microsoft has, even with its latest announcements, chosen to ignore those buyers. The least expensive Zune is $149, well above the value range where SanDisk earned its share. As a result, the lion’s share of SanDisks operation in that price band will remain unimpeded by Microsoft’s offerings.

    Even worse for Microsoft is the fact that this holiday season, while SanDisk squeezes demand for Zunes on the low end, there’s a new crop of hybrid multimedia phones and devices like the iPhone, iTouch, and LG’s Voyager that will be seen as alternatives on the high end. Zune will no doubt appeal to some buyers. But is it enough to break out of #4 and overtake #2 Sandisk? For it to do that (since it’s not going to compete with SanDisk on the low end), at least 7 if not more points of marketshare will have to come out of #1 Apple’s share (currently at 71 percent). 7 points may not sound like a lot. But in most established markets, that’s like Mt. Everest.

  17. ARGGH! Good lord! I’m going to buy two Zunes because I’m tired of you “challanging it” just let it be. It will do fine and if I were Sandisk I’d keep my mouth shut.

  18. I haven’t viewed Robert’s video yet (on my to do list). But I just thought I’d add that Microsoft’s chances of getting to the #2 position in overall portable digital media player (PDMP) sales (currently in 4th with 3 percent share, and the 2nd place holder SanDisk is at 10 percent) have very little to do with the quality of the Zune player itself.

    SanDisk’s #2 position is primarily based on the fact that the company has a series of quality offerings in the <$150 priceband of the PDMP market. A substantial portion of PDMP sales are in this priceband and SanDisk was smart to address that demand with some attractive products. Microsoft has, even with its latest announcements, chosen to ignore those buyers. The least expensive Zune is $149, well above the value range where SanDisk earned its share. As a result, the lion’s share of SanDisks operation in that price band will remain unimpeded by Microsoft’s offerings.

    Even worse for Microsoft is the fact that this holiday season, while SanDisk squeezes demand for Zunes on the low end, there’s a new crop of hybrid multimedia phones and devices like the iPhone, iTouch, and LG’s Voyager that will be seen as alternatives on the high end. Zune will no doubt appeal to some buyers. But is it enough to break out of #4 and overtake #2 Sandisk? For it to do that (since it’s not going to compete with SanDisk on the low end), at least 7 if not more points of marketshare will have to come out of #1 Apple’s share (currently at 71 percent). 7 points may not sound like a lot. But in most established markets, that’s like Mt. Everest.

  19. well…I tried to offer to be interviewed, but was ignored. Guess you wanted MS folks only. Again, I would bring my original Zune to demo.

  20. well…I tried to offer to be interviewed, but was ignored. Guess you wanted MS folks only. Again, I would bring my original Zune to demo.

  21. Scoble, I guess what I’m getting at is that it’s highly unlikely that the people that are genuinely interested in the Zune will watch an interview hosted by someone that thinks it sucks.

    I know I wouldn’t.

    I’m sure the Zune team would make the same assesment. So they’d be better off not wasting their time.

  22. Scoble, I guess what I’m getting at is that it’s highly unlikely that the people that are genuinely interested in the Zune will watch an interview hosted by someone that thinks it sucks.

    I know I wouldn’t.

    I’m sure the Zune team would make the same assesment. So they’d be better off not wasting their time.

  23. Nathan: again, the offer is only open to people who have access to one of the new Zunes, not the original ones.

    skc: I’m glad you aren’t marketing my company. I wonder where all these iPod fans came from. After all, iPods were regularly derided (even by Microsofties). Hint: Apple made sure everyone saw it, even those who hate Apple.

  24. Nathan: again, the offer is only open to people who have access to one of the new Zunes, not the original ones.

    skc: I’m glad you aren’t marketing my company. I wonder where all these iPod fans came from. After all, iPods were regularly derided (even by Microsofties). Hint: Apple made sure everyone saw it, even those who hate Apple.

  25. skc: again, more than 100,000 people watched that first Zune video. So, lots of people are willing to watch a video of mine. It’s pretty clear you have no clue. But then we already knew that cause you run a site that’s totally based around one product. Who should listen to you? You’re so obviously biased it isn’t even funny.

  26. skc: again, more than 100,000 people watched that first Zune video. So, lots of people are willing to watch a video of mine. It’s pretty clear you have no clue. But then we already knew that cause you run a site that’s totally based around one product. Who should listen to you? You’re so obviously biased it isn’t even funny.

  27. I think #2 is an given eventual, getting good reviews and press, begrudgingly from even the Apple Cultists, and the spec’s are quite good, and a most-welcome bonus per upgrades for prior products. Come release date people will, in fact, show them to you, time and place — all the usual NDAs, PR and Microsoft policies and all; nothing new there.

    It will take them awhile, but it’s a good product, people shouldn’t be so ideologically dismissive, petty wars over mp3/video players, like it’s a religion is just childish, they are all good, depends on your needs, wants and likes. I lean more video, so Archos Gen 5 has me more giddy, but Zune 2 is a must-buy, 80 gig and all with that killer UI.

    The “One Zune to computer, rest guest sync” and the wireless limitations are still functional downsides, but hopefully workarounds. Making any Microsoft or Apple hardware product run halfway decent always requires boatloads of hacks, sigh, or “de-strategy tax”, as I like to call it. ;)

  28. I think #2 is an given eventual, getting good reviews and press, begrudgingly from even the Apple Cultists, and the spec’s are quite good, and a most-welcome bonus per upgrades for prior products. Come release date people will, in fact, show them to you, time and place — all the usual NDAs, PR and Microsoft policies and all; nothing new there.

    It will take them awhile, but it’s a good product, people shouldn’t be so ideologically dismissive, petty wars over mp3/video players, like it’s a religion is just childish, they are all good, depends on your needs, wants and likes. I lean more video, so Archos Gen 5 has me more giddy, but Zune 2 is a must-buy, 80 gig and all with that killer UI.

    The “One Zune to computer, rest guest sync” and the wireless limitations are still functional downsides, but hopefully workarounds. Making any Microsoft or Apple hardware product run halfway decent always requires boatloads of hacks, sigh, or “de-strategy tax”, as I like to call it. ;)

  29. Christopher: I’m still trying to pick myself off of the floor. You defending a Microsoft product? Wow. (Christopher almost always would argue with me when I told him Microsoft stuff was cool).

  30. Christopher: I’m still trying to pick myself off of the floor. You defending a Microsoft product? Wow. (Christopher almost always would argue with me when I told him Microsoft stuff was cool).

  31. Maybe the Zune team didn’t take you up on it because the Zune is not cool. That’s a very high possibility.

  32. Maybe the Zune team didn’t take you up on it because the Zune is not cool. That’s a very high possibility.

  33. Another “hate” Microsoft post by Scoble. I am happy that the Zune team is ignoring you. It’s not like you are the sole person they should be courting towards. I would rather see them continue to improve Zune product line rather than spend unnecessary time with people like you. I think it was a mistake for them in the first place to even send you a Zune version 1 product when it was released earlier since you ended up trashing it either way. If even company becomes like Apple and stops ignoring people like you they will be better off.

  34. Another “hate” Microsoft post by Scoble. I am happy that the Zune team is ignoring you. It’s not like you are the sole person they should be courting towards. I would rather see them continue to improve Zune product line rather than spend unnecessary time with people like you. I think it was a mistake for them in the first place to even send you a Zune version 1 product when it was released earlier since you ended up trashing it either way. If even company becomes like Apple and stops ignoring people like you they will be better off.

  35. By the way talking about Zune 2 I am pretty sure it will end up capturing a good chunk of market share. Now I hope for Zune 3 they open the platform for 3rd party applications and add more features with slick packaging and they might well turn the tables on Apple just like they did on the PC side.

  36. By the way talking about Zune 2 I am pretty sure it will end up capturing a good chunk of market share. Now I hope for Zune 3 they open the platform for 3rd party applications and add more features with slick packaging and they might well turn the tables on Apple just like they did on the PC side.

  37. Praise when good, scorn when not. Just Microsoft hasn’t had much to praise, and royally screws things with potential.

    But the Zune just works, not very sexy, but it keeps on working, no battery problems, no eternal Apple Store refreshes; the iPod has proven quite sexy (I do like them), but at least, from my vantage point, quite problematic. But final verdict withheld until the Zune 2′s hit the market, as the 360 looked good on paper too, and then design-flaw serious.

    But even so, look at their record…

    Bad:
    Vista (far cry from the Longhorn hype of PDC 2003), Search/MSN, WebTV, Ultimate TV, MSN TV, Cable TV ventures, Office and Windows Live, .NET, WGA, Video (WMP, WMV, ActiveMovie, ChromEffects, DirectMovie, ASF), “Smart”phones, Tablets, Pocket PCs, Xbox/Xbox 360, Networking hardware, UMPCs, WMA, eBooks (MS Reader abandonware), PlaysForSure, Enterprise software, Embedded, WinCE…etc..

    Good:
    Microsoft Mice/Keyboards, Office 2007 (what a wonder), Zune 2 (final outcome not yet determined), and eventually when all problems fixed, the Xbox 360. And others, I am sure, just the good doesn’t roll off the memorybanks, as easily as the bad.

    Funded mainly by OEM taxes, Microsoft’s history is filled with launching ideas, spending truckloads of cash, maybe destroying their rival(s) in the process, and then abandonware leaving it to rot or bottom-feeding off a market all since left.

  38. Praise when good, scorn when not. Just Microsoft hasn’t had much to praise, and royally screws things with potential.

    But the Zune just works, not very sexy, but it keeps on working, no battery problems, no eternal Apple Store refreshes; the iPod has proven quite sexy (I do like them), but at least, from my vantage point, quite problematic. But final verdict withheld until the Zune 2′s hit the market, as the 360 looked good on paper too, and then design-flaw serious.

    But even so, look at their record…

    Bad:
    Vista (far cry from the Longhorn hype of PDC 2003), Search/MSN, WebTV, Ultimate TV, MSN TV, Cable TV ventures, Office and Windows Live, .NET, WGA, Video (WMP, WMV, ActiveMovie, ChromEffects, DirectMovie, ASF), “Smart”phones, Tablets, Pocket PCs, Xbox/Xbox 360, Networking hardware, UMPCs, WMA, eBooks (MS Reader abandonware), PlaysForSure, Enterprise software, Embedded, WinCE…etc..

    Good:
    Microsoft Mice/Keyboards, Office 2007 (what a wonder), Zune 2 (final outcome not yet determined), and eventually when all problems fixed, the Xbox 360. And others, I am sure, just the good doesn’t roll off the memorybanks, as easily as the bad.

    Funded mainly by OEM taxes, Microsoft’s history is filled with launching ideas, spending truckloads of cash, maybe destroying their rival(s) in the process, and then abandonware leaving it to rot or bottom-feeding off a market all since left.

  39. Speaking of 10net (sorry for 3 comments) they have been doing really good of late, less shaky cam MTV dizzy Jump Cuts and more Newsish story-telling. I still find Laura an annnnonying shrill host (she makes my teeth hurt), and it’s still half marketingese spag, but ole ArtRagey Larry (class act guy there) really been kicking it, and some of the gadgetish posts been quite informative. B+ at least, and Jeff has a heck of a content management system on the back-end, just needs the H.264 Zune 2 kick up, which I assume will happen mid Nov.

  40. Speaking of 10net (sorry for 3 comments) they have been doing really good of late, less shaky cam MTV dizzy Jump Cuts and more Newsish story-telling. I still find Laura an annnnonying shrill host (she makes my teeth hurt), and it’s still half marketingese spag, but ole ArtRagey Larry (class act guy there) really been kicking it, and some of the gadgetish posts been quite informative. B+ at least, and Jeff has a heck of a content management system on the back-end, just needs the H.264 Zune 2 kick up, which I assume will happen mid Nov.

  41. As the owner of several iPods including the latest touch, I have decided that It’s time to add a Zune to my Collection,I toyed with the Zune Gen 1 and Liked the overall product and thought the interface was superior to the my iPod overall.
    I think that the next Gen Zunes look intriguing especially the 80 gig unit,after observing all the negative reactions and name calling by the cult of the Mac, I will now become a Zune owner as well.

    I think also that the Zune will eventually gain even more traction, and that’s a healthy thing, Just as Microsoft and now Google seem to have grown to big for their own good, so has Apple in the mp3 player market, the arrogance has settled in and there needs to be balance and humility brought to Cupertino.

  42. As the owner of several iPods including the latest touch, I have decided that It’s time to add a Zune to my Collection,I toyed with the Zune Gen 1 and Liked the overall product and thought the interface was superior to the my iPod overall.
    I think that the next Gen Zunes look intriguing especially the 80 gig unit,after observing all the negative reactions and name calling by the cult of the Mac, I will now become a Zune owner as well.

    I think also that the Zune will eventually gain even more traction, and that’s a healthy thing, Just as Microsoft and now Google seem to have grown to big for their own good, so has Apple in the mp3 player market, the arrogance has settled in and there needs to be balance and humility brought to Cupertino.

  43. Robert, I think you are partially right and partially wrong on this topic.

    I’ve always been on the edge about buying an iPod, but to date I haven’t. There is just something about the UI for iPods that I don’t like. I also don’t want to be forced to use a music program just to use my DAP (the Zune is no different in this department).

    When I played with the original Zune, I liked their UI better, but I didn’t care for the form factor, or that it had a hard drive instead of flash.

    You are right that Microsoft has nothing to compete with the Touch. Apple is way out in front there. I’ve played with the Touch, but I don’t want to spend $300 or $400 for a music player. I never watch videos now, and I don’t think I’ll see that changing.

    If you compare Zune 4 and Zune 8 to the Nanos, there is now a competing product. The gap between the Nano and the Zune flash players is greatly reduced, or eliminated.

    If you compare the Zune 80 to the iPod Classic you will find the same kind of apples to apples comparison.

    If you compare any of the Zunes to the Touch, there is no comparison. It loses hands down.

    So I will be curious to play with a new Zune 4 or 8. I’ll be interested to see how these new Zunes compete in the market with the Nanos and the iPod Classic. I’ll also be curious to see how the name brand of the iPod will affect the buyer who isn’t sure if they should be a Nano or Classic while they are holding a flash Zune or a Zune 80.

    I think Microsoft would have been better off undercutting each of their competing products rather than matching the price of the competing products.

  44. Robert, I think you are partially right and partially wrong on this topic.

    I’ve always been on the edge about buying an iPod, but to date I haven’t. There is just something about the UI for iPods that I don’t like. I also don’t want to be forced to use a music program just to use my DAP (the Zune is no different in this department).

    When I played with the original Zune, I liked their UI better, but I didn’t care for the form factor, or that it had a hard drive instead of flash.

    You are right that Microsoft has nothing to compete with the Touch. Apple is way out in front there. I’ve played with the Touch, but I don’t want to spend $300 or $400 for a music player. I never watch videos now, and I don’t think I’ll see that changing.

    If you compare Zune 4 and Zune 8 to the Nanos, there is now a competing product. The gap between the Nano and the Zune flash players is greatly reduced, or eliminated.

    If you compare the Zune 80 to the iPod Classic you will find the same kind of apples to apples comparison.

    If you compare any of the Zunes to the Touch, there is no comparison. It loses hands down.

    So I will be curious to play with a new Zune 4 or 8. I’ll be interested to see how these new Zunes compete in the market with the Nanos and the iPod Classic. I’ll also be curious to see how the name brand of the iPod will affect the buyer who isn’t sure if they should be a Nano or Classic while they are holding a flash Zune or a Zune 80.

    I think Microsoft would have been better off undercutting each of their competing products rather than matching the price of the competing products.

  45. Well I own a Zune, and in some time an ipod, and a zen creative(which had the best features for me).
    When I first got my creative, everyone thought it was ugly compared to the ipod, but the functions on it where simply amazing, everything I wanted was there, unlike the other two.
    Personally if an ipod fan comes and complains about my zune I tell him to bug off, I simply don’t care and never will about this whole battle. You listen music with what you want.

    What I do care is about watching some shaved heads, hopefully they do, so these guys know that nothing can be taken for granted.

  46. Well I own a Zune, and in some time an ipod, and a zen creative(which had the best features for me).
    When I first got my creative, everyone thought it was ugly compared to the ipod, but the functions on it where simply amazing, everything I wanted was there, unlike the other two.
    Personally if an ipod fan comes and complains about my zune I tell him to bug off, I simply don’t care and never will about this whole battle. You listen music with what you want.

    What I do care is about watching some shaved heads, hopefully they do, so these guys know that nothing can be taken for granted.

  47. I still don’t understand how users say the Zune screen are much more clearer and sharper than the iPod or iPod Touch. 320×240 stretched screen is superior to a 320×240 with 163 pixels per inch? Same with the iPod Touch. Nano at 204 pixel per inch and touch @ 480×320 at 163 pixels per inch. There’s no comparison, if you want clear, super sharp images, weather its the UI, Photos and specially movies, iPods just deliver. Stretched image? No thanks.

  48. I still don’t understand how users say the Zune screen are much more clearer and sharper than the iPod or iPod Touch. 320×240 stretched screen is superior to a 320×240 with 163 pixels per inch? Same with the iPod Touch. Nano at 204 pixel per inch and touch @ 480×320 at 163 pixels per inch. There’s no comparison, if you want clear, super sharp images, weather its the UI, Photos and specially movies, iPods just deliver. Stretched image? No thanks.