AAPL Stock: 118.3 ( + 0.49 )

Printed from

MS exec: Zune player gets a 'B-'

updated 03:20 pm EDT, Tue September 4, 2007

MS exec: Zune a 'B-'

A Microsoft executive has gone on record about several topics, mainly the health of the Zune media player. Mindy Mount, the corporate vice president and CFO of Microsoft's entertainment and device division, says that she grades the Zune a "B-" in its current state. She argues that the player is doing well, saleswise, for "a product out in less than a year and a half," but that the company is still developing the brand and trying to expand its identity. Apple's iPod is described as a motivational competitor, forcing the Zune team to evolve. No specific successors have been mentioned.

Mount also comments that while the Zune has a good screen, a video service is not yet around to take advantage of it, and that the public has felt the player is a "little heavier" than expected.

No comment is offered on rumors of an impending Research in Motion purchase, except that the mobile strategies of the companies are very differnt: RIM concentrates on a niche of enterprise users, while Microsoft is interested in creating a mass market for Windows Mobile.

Addressing the cellular world in detail, Mount says that Windows Mobile may need a more advanced graphical interface, similar to that of the iPhone. A Microsoft-designed cellphone is said to only be a possibility, but at a minimum, Mount explains, Microsoft is already planning to put more emphasis on photos and music in Windows Mobile.

Lastly, the Xbox division is expected to finally turn a profit, having lost money since the introduction of the Xbox 360. Buyers worried or frustrated by continuing technical problems may benefit from a new "accelerated life testing" technique the company has developed, which could improve quality control by compressing the effects of two to three years of usage into a short space of time. [via ZDNet]

by MacNN Staff




  1. njfuzzy

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This is just MS setting the stage for the upgrade. Specifically mentioning "the screen is good, but no video service" and "heavier than people expected" is just making the improvements in the Zune 2 seem more impressive by setting up the idea that those shortcomings are what people want to change the most.

  1. robttwo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    oh brother...

    If their own "spin" is that the Zune is a B-, what does that actually make it? D? an F?

    Another brilliant MS marketing strategy!


  1. Eriamjh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Zune2 is coming

    A friend is in China writing tester code for the next Zune. Expect it next spring or summer, maybe sooner.

  1. BelugaShark

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It's ok let MS think they have a B- product on their hands, they'll put less effort in it than if they thought they had a D+ product. Those who buy Zune are those who envy Apple but their zeal get in the way.

    Zune should be named "Zeal"

  1. MacnTX

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Zune 2

    And it'll be released to the sound of crickets chirping everywhere....

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969


    real review

    Here is an unbiased review from engadget(google: zune review):

    "We came away underwhelmed and not at all surprised -- and why? The expectations were for Microsoft to deliver a "Microsoft" player and system; maybe not too shabby looking, but not very usable, and definitely bug-ridden"

    As robttwo mentioned, a microsoft B- review is more like D or F in real life.

  1. ethical_paul

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Announcing 2 new colors!

    Dark Brown and Light Brown

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969



    MS is mostly talk - blah blah blah - everything is always in terms of "promises", "pending" and "possibilities". Which to extent is common for a software/hardware developer; but in their case it has grown tiresome by now since their promises are consistently late, fall short or completely broken.

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    B- huh ?

    It's pretty bad when they berate their own products like that_

    I bet Balmer rates it at an A+_ ANd we all know how well he has his finger on the pulse of everything that is "technology"_

    Is she gonna get fired for saying such things ?

    Another thing - How is it that Apple can always seem to put out a First Gen product that isn't "perfect" - per se -- BUT it's usually pretty damned close to being so_

    The iPod First Gen is "c***" compared to what it has spawned and elvolved into - but compared to a Zune I'd still go after a Gen One iPod any day of the week_

  1. ruperts

    Joined: Dec 1969



    this was known right from the beginning ... the first time i saw a zune, i thought what funny thing someone would bring out a device that looks more like something from the 70's... so, no, I'm not suprised that it never took of as the MS marketing team said it would....

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented