Editorials: Social Where?

So yesterday I was at my retail job when working in the electronics department I was called to the hard drive mp3 players to assist someone with choosing a device for their own use. I can’t tell you exactly what I expected, however I can say with some candor that it wasn’t what i got.

I politely asked her if I could help her with anything and she glanced over at me for a second and said “Yes i’m interested in the Zune. Could you tell me more about it?” I decided to do a hands-on tutorial so I take her through the first couple of menus and then she starts to ask questions. She asked about pretty much every feature except one, the Zune’s built in wireless. Not once during our thirty minute conversation did I get the impression that she even cared about the wireless connectivity and I actually had to demonstrate it for her before she realized exactly what I was talking about.

In the the last few months we’ve seen the spotlight come off our beloved player’s wireless function and more on it’s core features so much that it begs me to ask what happened to the social connectivity we were promised? Zune ads no longer emphasize it, it’s crippled by restrictions, and now everyone sees the Zune not as a wireless player, but as a player with wireless and weak wireless to boot!

While writing my first article for ZuneSpring during it’s inception I began to consider the possibilities of wireless being used in a device of this caliber. My head filled with strange and tantalizing ideas like, wireless downloading, or using chat to converse with friends over wireless hotspots. Well over eight months later I think it’s safe to say that none of those features or any of the wireless dreams early adopters wished for will see the light of day (and no, I not taking into consideration the release of Zune2, which i’m don’t doubt will carry some of these features). To be truthful we weren’t promised these things and since that is true it wouldn’t be a bad argument for someone to blurt out that I fell for the hype because in fact I did.

Are there features coming down the pipeline that will enhance the social? Of course there are, but that still in no way rewards those who spent their cash to join the social. We all saw the tag line line, “join the social”, but I guess as it turns it the social wasn’t all Microsoft made it out to be.

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