The new 'Zune' mp3 player from Microsoft is not opening to accolades. Outside the community of true believers the buzz is more a faint whisper.
Writing in Forbes under the headline "Zune Stinks," David Ewalt says "(Zune is) set to hit stores on Tuesday, and some gadget geeks are getting excited. But it appears they will be sorely disappointed."
He quotes respected technology write Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal who said "To buy even a single 99-cent song from the Zune store, you have to purchase blocks of "points" from Microsoft, in increments of at least $5. You can't just click and have the 99 cents deducted from a credit card, as you can with iTunes. You must first add points to your account, then buy songs with these points. So, even if you are buying only one song, you have to allow Microsoft, one of the world's richest companies, to hold on to at least $4.01 of your money until you buy another. And the point system is deceptive. Songs are priced at 79 points, which some people might think means 79 cents. But 79 points actually cost 99 cents."
Sounds as though the same people who wrote the Windows control panels built the Zune. Looks pretty though; kinda like an iPod.