Originally Posted by addabox
This..... doesn't seem good.
Unless the Zune is broken, it's taking what appears to be 10x longer to load a web page than the Touch, and even then doesn't get it all.
And here's the Zune taking a solid 10 seconds
to launch the calculator app, which, WTF?
I agree with what someone else posted, possibly in another thread-- the tech press is invested in the horse race, and the Zune does enough right to give them a credible contender. But I've been sort of shocked as the blithe way many mainstream reviews sort of blow off what seem to me to be deal breakers, stuff like the clumsy way transport controls are accessed, or the terrible browser performance, or the lack of bluetooth, or a wired remote.
If I were writing a review, I'd spend less time being "blown away" by the "sexy" hardware and "hypnotic" interface and start wondering why apps take forever to launch or its a pain in the ass to change the volume. I mean, aren't these sort of fundamental issues?
Unless the Zune becomes an iPod touch clone, feature for feature (but with a few distinguishing features thrown in), it won't go very far, and remain something of a novelty/curiosity in what has become a shinking market for PMPs. MS has to have a solid, simple, and very aggressive growth strategy behind it - robust App Store, Cloud services integration, e-mail, and other features of the "pocket computer" paradigm which has taken the handheld segment by storm, and which is even re-imagining the entire portable computing sector.
It's bad enough that it has no phone functionality. Over the next two years we'll see a consumer-oriented shift in the accessibility of smartphones. Carriers, due to increased competition (up here in Canada, at least) will relax some of the more salient barriers to entry that the average consumer might experience. In short, smartphones that are capapble of a wide variety of functions and roles will replace standalone devices.
The nice thing about the iPod Touch is that is provdes an easy upgrade path to the iPhone. The devices are alike in many ways. But the communication functionality - phone, e-mail, SMS, MMS (depending on your carrier) really sets the iPhone apart. Its lead is becoming unassailable. Over two years and still nothing comparable.
The Zune HD should have been released in 2006 (but MS doesn't do that sort of thing.) Had that happened, and had MS back then had the additional foresight to see the growth potential in such a device, we wouldn't be asking endless quesions about what the hell MS is thinking today. They have the Xbox platform. Hopefully MS has the foresight to understand its full potential. Do they? If they do, how long can they afford to wait until they get around to some sort of serious Xbox-Zune integratoion? But MS really has no foresight in these areas, because, as we're learning, they simply don't need
to innvovate anything. Apparently, if you have enough revenue and deep enough pockets, failed products are called "experiments." Apparently, irrespective of how long your customer base has to wait for you to release something that the competition has had (successfully) for years, it's ok. Because you can somehow afford to wait forever if need be. If you have money, it's alright to underperform constantly. A dangerous assumption. Small wonder MS has serious image issues. These are not just excuses for MS' failures, lateness, and overall ineptness, but also ominous portents of what awaits the Zune HD if MS doesn't give itself a sorely-needed attitude adjustment.