Reflecting on Slashdot | iPod Has Nothing To Fear From Slow-Starting Zune, I have to wonder about the vicious cycle Microsoft may be caught in. Here’s my thinking: It has become mythic that 1.0 products from Microsoft are shoddy and bad. So, from a company standpoint, if the perception is that 1.0 is bad, why waste resources and time on 1.0? Why not focus that on 2.0 and hope to catch people when they are going to pay attention?
Microsoft basically re-packaged a Toshiba device. So, instead of doing the work, they phoned it in. The first Zune isn’t even what they could have done if they’d actually tried. Zune 2.0 will, in fact, be Zune 1.0. It’s all a shell game.
There’s the vicious cycle. You see, Zune 2.0 will suck as bad as Zune 1.0 would have, had they even made it. And, if 2.0 is the new 1.0, then 2.0 will inherit the mythic failure … and we’ll have to wait until 3.0 before quality happens?
Update ( 29nov06 @ 10:46 am):
I just remembered that the Dreamcast was a kind of Xbox 1.0. The Dreamcast console had Windows CE as an option for developers to use in the stack for porting games, but it didn’t work well at all and very few games actually bothered. So, there’s another example of outsourcing 1.0 to someone else, like repackaging the Toshiba player as the first Zune.
The wikipedia article goes on to say that the ability to use a VGA monitor with the Dreamcast was “was shunned by the public.” Really? I loved that feature. What I hated was the memory cards that had the battery life expectancy of a gnat, and then lived an annoying undead life of beeping at me to remind me that it was dead.