jumping to conclusions

http://www.forbes.com/static_html/blogs/about_ewalt.htmlWant to read a crappy review? Check this out. For those too lazy to click a link (I feel your pain), it’s a “review” of the new Zune by some Forbes guy, and here are some highlights:

It’s set to hit stores on Tuesday, and some gadget geeks are getting excited. But it appears they will be sorely disappointed.

I say this having never actually used a Zune…

But the sharing feature has been crippled to the point of uselessness.

The new Zune Marketplace is even stupider.

There’s plenty more to complain about. Microsoft’s copy protection schemes are too restrictive.

All considered, we could be looking at the biggest consumer electronics flop in recent history here.

Now, I’m all for pulling stuff out of your various bodily holes, but this is ridiculous for several reasons. First of all, I’ll say that he’s got some valid points. The wireless is crippled, the copy protection does suck, and it is a bit too clunky. That said, this is a travesty of a review.

Not only has he not even held the device, but he’s going as far out as he can with his conclusions and not reserving any judgment. The wireless ability is not very useful in its current form, but it’s far from pointless. If he thinks that the music industry would stand for any more music sharing ability than what Microsoft has managed to include, he hasn’t been keeping up with the latest court cases. And there’s definitely the possibility of an upgrade, even though I don’t advise anyone to buy a Zune planning on having wireless Internet in the near future.

As for his denouncing of the Zune Marketplace, it’s just…stupid. Even “stupider” than the rest of his article. Every review I’ve read from people who have actually used the Zune Marketplace has been favorable. It’s based on WMP11, which I find highly intuitive (based on my experience). And he goes on to say that he had to read a passage several times to understand that 79 Microsoft points equals 99 cents. Hell, I know that’s hard to figure out – I’d hate to see this guy having to deal with the exchange of currency, working for a company whose focus is financial transactions or something.

WMA is hardly the most restrictive DRM. If you want more details on this, feel free to email me. 😉 But perhaps his most convincing argument that this could be the “biggest consumer electronics flop in recent history” is the fact that it comes in brown. I actually like the brown, but I’m sure those who find it ugly wouldn’t buy a black or white one instead, since they’re so offended by the brown one.

The reality is, the Zune will sell. It’s not nearly as good as it should be, but it’s not destined to the failure he’d like to believe. There are still plenty of things to like about the Zune, such as its stellar interface, quick navigation, Xbox 360 integration, durability, affordable price, wireless (yes, even if it kind of sucks), and large, quality screen. Don’t count out one of the world’s richest companies when it comes to making a merely adequate product sell.

4 thoughts on “jumping to conclusions

  1. Seriously. /Wacks.

    But also, opinionated rich people and their opinions, and richness, and people-ness. Preemptive product reviews about products with their preemptivity. Ignorant fucks and their fucking ignorance. Adjective nouns conjunction possessive participle adjective gerund.

  2. if clicking on it sends you to some weird site, copy and paste it into your broswer’s address window. that should work.

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