Microsoft Zune team invited to give up iPods

Microsoft's Zune team has placed a bin at its headquarters where employees can deposit unwanted iPods

In what can be seen as either a joke or a real attempt to get employees to give up Apple iPods in favor of the Zune MP3 player, the team at Microsoft that builds Zune has set up a bin at its headquarters so employees can drop in iPods they don't want to use anymore.

A photo of the "iPod Amnesty Bin", which has on it an image of a bitten green apple and the words "Bite me," has been posted on Flickr. From the looks of the photo, not many people have been willing to give up their iPods, though a few of the earlier versions of Apple's popular media players were lying at the bottom of the bin.

A user who calls himself "fimoculous" and identified himself in an e-mail as employee Rex Sorgatz, posted the photo, and said he thought the bin was someone's idea of a joke, nothing more. is a joint media venture between Microsoft and MSNBC.

"My guess is someone at Zune thought it would be funny, that's all," he said. Sorgatz said he is an iPod user, but could be convinced to switch if he found a superior product.

Matt Rosoff, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, also suspects the bin's placement is meant to be funny, as it would likely be in the Zune team's best interest to use the latest iPod devices for competitive purposes. Indeed, none of the iPods in the bin in the photo were current versions.

"Most of the people [working on] Zune would want to have an iPod to keep track of the competition," he said. "On that team, they're all into digital music, so all of them probably have a bunch of players."

The photo got numerous comments from Flickr users, who in general thought it was amusing, though some were less impressed than others by the joke.

"Only someone stupid enough to buy a Zune would be equally stupid enough to not sell their discarded iPod on eBay," commented Ariel Waldman, (ariel_waldman on Flickr), a digital insights analyst at interactive marketing agency VML Inc.

"That's funny," wrote another who goes by "Dr_Watso" on Flickr. " I was always amazed that people ... jumped on the iPod bandwagon, even though there are so many much better devices that cost a whole lot less."

The Zune team is based at Microsoft's Bear Creek offices in Redmond, Washington, near the main campus.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment. A spokesman for the Microsoft public relations agency that represents Zune said she could not reach anyone on the team for comment, but she suspects the bin is meant to be a joke or a "morale booster" for employees at Zune headquarters.

Microsoft launched the Zune last November, but the device has done little to sap enthusiasm for the iPod, which remains a top seller in the hard-drive media-player market, according to marketing-research firm NPD.

Still, Microsoft is ramping up its marketing efforts around Zune in the hopes it can drum up interest in the device. The company released a pink Zune earlier this month that is outselling Zunes in white and brown, according to the company, and also launched a new print advertising campaign to promote the pink Zune called "Sync Pink." Microsoft also introduced a new TV commercial that highlights the features of Zune that differentiate it from the iPod, such as wireless sharing and the FM radio tuner.

Microsoft is leveraging the popularity of its Xbox game console to promote Zune as well. In light of the highly anticipated release of the "Halo 3" Xbox game later this year, Microsoft unveiled a limited edition, "Halo"-themed Zune that comes preloaded with "Halo" videos, soundtracks and trailers. The device will be offered exclusively at GameStop retail stores and on its online store beginning June 15. There already have been preorders for the device, Microsoft said.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Elizabeth Montalbano

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial® BX200 SATA 2.5” 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive

Learn more >

ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – Reign beyond virtual world

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

D-Link TAIPAN AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Modem Router (DSL-4320L)

Learn more >

D-Link PowerLine AV2 2000 Gigabit Network Kit

Learn more >

Xiro Drone Xplorer V -3 Axis Gimbal & 1080p Full HD 14MP Camera

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things


Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

ASUS VivoPC VM62 - Incredibly Powerful, Unbelievably Small

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Best Deals on Good Gear Guide

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?