Reviews of the Zune have been coming in in anticipation of its release next week and the trades have not been kind.
Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal writes:
[The Zune has] too many compromises and missing features to be as good a choice as the iPod for most users.
I found it’s interface lacking and that it left a filmy residue on my fingers. It’s also an odd choice by Microsoft to make the Zune radioactive.
Its penchant for restarting at inopportune times should probably not be considered unusual for a device coming from Redmond, but the sudden sounding of a boat horn when it does might make using the device problematic.
The New York Times’ David Pogue was likewise unimpressed.
Competition is good and all. But what, exactly, is the point of the Zune?
I mean, really. After fifteen hours of fiddling with the damn thing, all I got was a severe electric shock. I haven’t seen this written anywhere else, but the Zune doesn’t actually do anything from what I can see.
I’m serious. It doesn’t play music. It doesn’t play videos. It just gives you an electric shock.
What the fuck?
In an attempt to bolster Microsoft’s fledgling device, Rob Enderle, Paul Thurrott and John Dvorak held a brainstorming session this afternoon to come up with positive things to say about the Zune.
“Um…” Enderle said, looking at the brown Zune in his hands.
“Er…” attempted Dvorak, poking at another Zune with a pencil.
“It, uh…” started Thurrott. “I has an odor.”
“Yes,” Dvorak agreed. “But not a good one. Kind of like old sweat socks.”
“Let’s just try free-associating,” Enderle suggested. “It… it has a round button thing and two other buttons and… uh…
“Ow! Mother fu… the damn thing just shocked me!”
Microsoft, when reached for comment, insisted that it was Apple that made the Zune. When pressed, the company suddenly adopted a fake Mexican accent and said it couldn’t “Speeka de English.”