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 MSNBC.com employee Rex Sorgatz, posted the photo, and said he thought the bin was someone's idea of a joke, nothing more. MSNBC.com 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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?