Doctorow: Only masochists will buy Microsoft's Zune

Summary:So far, by the looks of Microsoft's official site for Zune (which will no doubt get activated with a full blown iTunes Music Store-like store come Zune's anticipated launch date of Nov 15), Microsoft's fashion strategy for Zune (which is it really what it needs to succeed) is to go with a bunch of no-name hipsters that redefine cool instead of someone that matches Apple's "deployment" of Bono (lead singer of the megaband U2). In a poll that asks "Who should be Microsoft's Bono?

So far, by the looks of Microsoft's official site for Zune (which will no doubt get activated with a full blown iTunes Music Store-like store come Zune's anticipated launch date of Nov 15), Microsoft's fashion strategy for Zune (which is it really what it needs to succeed) is to go with a bunch of no-name hipsters that redefine cool instead of someone that matches Apple's "deployment" of Bono (lead singer of the megaband U2). In a poll that asks "Who should be Microsoft's Bono?," only 6 percent of 452 who answered (as of last count) thought Microsoft should go with some no names (that's 1 percentage point behind the Victoria's Secrets models) and 5 points behind comedian Steven Colbert (did anybody see him sing "I Write the Songs" with Barry Manilow? Who knew?). A whopping 46 percent of those polled don't think Microsoft can't succeed with Zune (see below for a snapshot of the poll results):

Perhaps the problem  -- if you believe what Cory Doctorow has to say -- is that there aren't enough masochists in the world to make for a legitimate target market (for anything, not just Zune). 

According to Cory:

You were a sucker if you bought MSN Music tracks. You're a masochist if you buy Zune tracks.

Cory got the tip from Brent Lord who got some news from News.com's Ina Fried that Microsoft's MSN Music is officially shutting down. Big deal you say? Well, maybe not if you didn't buy any music from the MSN Music Store. But just supposing you made a big investment there and want to keep using those songs (legally), you must (from here until eternity) make sure you have a PlaysForSure-compliant playback device. The problem is that the future of the PlayForSure ecosystem is unknown. Now that Microsoft is launching Zune, it's conceivable that PlaysForSure (incompatible with Zune) will share a grave next to Bob in the Microsoft graveyard at some point in the future... thereby stranding not just MSN Music Store buyers, but also people who acquired or subscribed to content from one of the other PlaysForSure-compliant merchants (F.Y.E., Napster to Go, Real, Yahoo, etc.). 

This Digital Rights Management-induced nightmare is the the same one that has future-oriented librarians worried sick. The scenario they most fear is where important historical works are stranded on their shelves because the proprietary hardware and or software needed to open them up no longer exists.

Topics: Microsoft

About

David Berlind was fomerly the executive editor of ZDNet. David holds a BBA in Computer Information Systems. Prior to becoming a tech journalist in 1991, David was an IT manager.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.