Although I think that title pretty much sums up what I’m thinking right now, I’d like to elaborate. Many a Zune user this past two weeks have worked themselves up into a tizzy because their ZuneHDs neither have a Software Development Kit, released by Zune nor are they compatible with Microsoft’s forthcoming XNA 4.0 development framework. While I agree on some sentimental level that those of you who agree with them may have a point I’m sorry to say you are totally and completely off base.

At the same time as this spike of Zune Team hostility has happened my inbox has been bombarded with things like “Why did you let this happen?” and “This is the MVPs fault!”. To people who feel that way I would like to slap you with the hard rubber chicken i call reality. Microsoft made it a point early on to emphasize the scope at which ZuneHD would focus on music and video abilities. In fact, I believe then Zune Team member Brian Seitz mentioned it, once, or twice, oh wait, over and over again. What’s interesting is that the same article I just linked to offers a little bit of conjecture from one CNet blogger Ina Fried.

“Microsoft suggested that the Apps menu, for the moment, might just be an outlet for such games. However, the company is clearly leaving the door open for much more.” –Ina Friend

There lies the problem. With the invention of the internet and career bloggers who review and hype products, we’ve gotten out of the habit of doing research ourselves and realizing that you buy something for what it can do today not what it may do tomorrow. That last bit should sound familiar as well, I wrote it in the same article as I wrote this:

“First let me stress that I couldn’t make this reaction up if I tried. It’s as if Chicken Little has ran outside, sounded the alarms, and you can see a spaceship in the distance. Even if the rumors are true and they are discontinuing the player, (which in all honesty is likely but not absolute), you would still be able to download music, use your Zune pass, you know, ALL THE THINGS YOU COULD DO BEFORE!” Why Dump Zune 2 Devices

Of course then I was referring to the discontinuation of the entire older Zune line, so the situation was slightly- no it was exactly the same! For the first three years every time they have been able to back port a feature they have, unless it was no longer rational to do so. The moment we think our devices won’t be updated in the fall each community has to have this same conversation all over again.  No one purchases a feature-phone and expects it to-do what tomorrow’s feature-phone will do, even if it does have the hardware. Why? They realize that as a consumer of electronic devices, that’s not how the cookie always crumbles. More to the point they acknowledge by swiping their credit card that the things it does and what they know about it currently, are why they are buying it in the first place. Buy devices for what they do today, not what you think might happen tomorrow. That is all.

7 Comments on “Sunday Sitdown: Of SDKs and Getting A Grip”

  1. Agree w/ you 100%. However, It is a bit of a disappointment that it won’t be getting an sdk. Like you said though, buy a device for what it **can** do now what it might be able to do in the future.

  2. Dude you’ve got nothing on Ina Fried. At least she has a career. Way to misspell her last name the second time, btw.

    And last time I checked, people have been spreading rumors and misinformation way before the so-called “invention of the Internet”

    I get your point, that we should value a product for what it does today instead of what it’s rumored to do (or not to do) tomorrow, but your infantile and condescending tone makes it hard to take you seriously. Forgive us, in this economy, for wanting to get the most bang out of our buck for our investment in the Zune ecosystem.

  3. Indeed Bernard,

    You could however have just pointed out the misspelling without the need to be rude about it.

    The last I checked you were the only one being condescending and rude, so watch the tone please.

    As for the rumors, the internet has made things move much faster which at times means a gross exaggeration or entire fabrication of ‘truth’ that happens at a rate that would amaze ourselves just 15 years ago.

  4. @bernard: Whether I misspelled her name wrong on not, (I didn’t catch that so good call), that fact remains that if your argument is my tone was condescending & I there were rumors before the invention of the internet, you backup the exact point that i’m making. I am I no way targeting just her, that was just a perfect example of the press we got leading up to the ZuneHD launch. Now as far as a career, forgive me if I just ignore that line all together.
    As a consumer electronics purchaser I completely understand wanting to get the most out of a product you already own, thats natural, and shows that you are thrifty with the funds you have. What isn’t smart is complaining a year later when a newer device comes along. And again, I never heard any mention of a Zune sdk by any Microsoft employee. Could I have put it a nicer way? Yeah, maybe. Would I? Not a chance. The name of this column is called SundaySitdown because, it’s usually a rant with little or no editing about a chosen topic, that attempts to convey my point as if I were sitting across the table from you in person.

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