Top 10 Epic Phail PC Technologies: Zune
To apply the vernacular of the modern online PC enthusiast: Zune is an Epic Phail. Why?
I spent twelve long years of my life, 1984 to 1996, doing little other than evangelizing Apple products which resulted in the sales of hundreds of thousands of dollars into Cupertino's coffers. In those days, the advantages incorporated in the Apple Macintosh personal computer platform were so dazzling and light years ahead of the competition that it was a no-brainer: Shell out the money to meet Apple's significantly higher prices, but at least in return you'll get a computer that ordinary mortals can actually sit down in front of and manage to do work in, without having to resort to the asinine arcanery of DOS commands like:
FC [/A] [/C] [/L] [/LBn] [/N] [/T] [/W] [/nnnn] [drive1:][path1]filename1 [drive2:][path2]filename2
FC /B [drive1:][path1]filename1 [drive2:][path2]filename2
or even worse, the obtruse overbearing nonsense of Unix.
Nope, all you had to do was point, click, and get things done. In 1984 that was an absolute revelation. Sure, you had to peer into a black and white 9 inch screen in a whirring feta cheese block box, but heck, all you had to do was click on the right icons and you could complete a spreadsheet, a word processing document, or even publish an entire magazine.
All of this vast superiority from the Fruit Company's side came to a screeching halt with the introduction of Windows 95. Although nowhere near as polished and tasty as that rainbow Apple, Windows 95 was the first workable non-Cupertino originating Graphic User Interface with the inherent advantage that it would run on systems that cost less than your car.
At a time when a Power Macintosh 9500 system powered by a PowerPC 604 processor between 120 and 200 MHz cost about the same as a brand new 1996 Geo Metro, you could configure a roughly equivalent Intel PC running Windows 95 for about a third the price. Advantage: Microsoft... and Windows never looked back, firmly relegating Apple to a relatively tiny share of the global PC market which it has not escaped since... even with all those nasty PC vs. Mac TV ads.
Apple lost me back in 1996. I turned to Windows and never looked back either.
So when Microsoft first announced that their iPod rival had finally hit the market I have to admit that I did a little jig. My happy dance was based on the prospect of Microsoft wiping that smug smile from Apple's face with a portable media player system that would trounce the ubiquitous little slab with the white pods that seemed permanently krazy glued into the ears of every single North American individual under the age of 25.
My happy dance turned into plunging into depression and crawling up in the fetal position when I actually held the Zune in my hands. Instead of a hypertech iPod killer, what I had was a portable media player designed by a 1980s Soviet engineering committee. It was a clunky, locked-down, butt-ugly, fetid piece of crap that was being profoundly beaten in every imaginable benchmark of customer satisfaction by Chinese mp3 players that sold on sidewalk folding tables for five bucks.
Even if you wanted to submit to the awkward Zune through some real or imagined loyalty to Bill Gates, the music service Microsoft offered to support the Zune turned out to be iTunes as seen through Lucy's LSD hallucinations: One of the most Epic Phails in the History of Epic Phailology.
Why Ballmer hasn't just admitted defeat and stopped pouring good money after bad in Zune's ongoing marketing would leave anyone to wonder... until they realize... oh yes... we're talking about Steve Ballmer here: arguably the worst CEO in modern history, making AMD's Hector Ruiz look like Superman.
Zune is not just the last alphabetically, it is also at the bottom of the barrel of Epic Phails!
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