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.