First Microsoft faces accusations of knowing about faulty Xbox 360 hardware before the consoles ever shipped, and now the company is facing another hardware-related crisis: Zune mass destruction.... or rather, the Zunepocalypse.
All they really can do for a fix is wait until next year (or as MS said, 12:00 Noon GTM January 1, 2009). How are you going to roll a firmware patch out onto a bricked Zune? They're lucky this was a temporary problem, or they would have had a lot of recalling to do. As soon as the un-bricking takes place tomorrow, MS should be able to roll out a patch, they have the next four years to do it. I'm sure it will come out pretty quickly to quell the chance of this happening again, but you never know.
The worst part about this whole incident was Microsoft's inability to inform the public of what was going on. If they would have said, this is what we think, and here's what we're going to do about it, I don't think people would have freaked about the problem(see the zune support forum) as much as they have. Instead, they made a small announcement kept absolutely quiet for about half a day. I understand people probably will get mad when they spend $200 dollars on something like the Zune, but the combination of whining in the Zune forum, and Microsoft's inability to keep the public at least slightly informed just made things worse. This just adds another bad mark onto Microsoft's track record...
Great. Microsoft innovates a new bug, for a relatively new product (one Microsoft year is roughly equivalent to seven human years -- check out the time between OS releases, e.g.), and then only discovers it when it's too late. Procrastination (read: incompetence) seems to be one of their strengths, if not also a social skill.
Bad enough that tax payers, consumers and businesses footed a bill totalling hundreds of millions of dollars for their Y2K debacle. (Oh. We forgot the century was turning. Our bad.) Now, owners of their failed "iPod killer" have to suffer yet another insult, beyond a significant degree of insult that obtains from the simple fact of owning a Zune.
When does it end? It ends when Microsoft discovers a bug that dissolves their incompetent corporate mismanagement. Oh, wait. That bug was already discovered but, because Microsoft is Microsoft, noboday cared. Except for those zanie Microsoft Kool Aid drinkers who seem to believe that every POS Microsoft creates is touched by Midas himself.
Thanks again Microsoft. You're nothing if not consistent.
This reminds me of that recent article about nuclear subs switching to running a Microsoft OS to save money. Do you think the sub comes with ports to dock the Zunes? I wonder if there's a "This might work in Vista if Vista happens to be working at the time" sticker somewhere on the outside of the Sub.