There was a gap in Microsoft's anticompetitive maze and its name was iPod. The Zune project is supposed to fill the gap and strenghten Redmond's portable multimedia player / game console front. Just like origami, Zune 1.0 will be a useless thing to please avid analysts and not so avid developpers. Just like origami, Zune is not even a brand. Since it's pronounced the same way as June, a reference in mobile multimedia, SK Telecom could even sue them. Besides, Zune.com doesn't belong to Gates yet but to Gate Market Research Limited*. So the teaser website is comingzune.com, which could mean we won't have a device for Christmaz but at earliest coming Zune or maybe Zuly 2009 because this is the way we work up in Washington.
The least one could say is that one could see this iPod killer coming. iPod has been doomed for a while** and Microsoft has nothing to do with it : once again, apple have to become a more open community and to reach and federate far beyond their own customers. But they're back at ruining their best efforts - at least, this time, the iPod as a device is far from being the best looking multimedia player so I won't be crying a iRiver over it.
Microsoft also tends to bore me. They're not even as good at being evil as they used to be since Paul Allen focuses on rock'n roll, Bill Gates on non virtual viruses, and Steve Ballmer on retirement plans. The company itself is focusing on self destruction : giving more dividends for shareholders, purchasing more stocks, being defensive even when it attacks. Of course Microsoft will lose money with Zune, just like with Origami, the XBox, Windows Mobile, MSN... any innovative thing money alone can't buy.
* you can't fool me lads : of the 20 significant changes in zune.com's whois in the past 5 years, 90% happened in the last 2 months !
** see "Apple - something rotten beyond the Kingdom of France" (20060322)