Ed. note: Today’s Wall Street Journal features an article on the reluctance of some young consumers to purchase the Microsoft Zune. We have invited an anonymous commenter from the war-torn region of Darfur to provide his perspective:
Uzoma Anumudu chose the [Zune] when shopping for a portable digital media player last month. But now he has a problem: Microsoft’s new Zune player, which he bought as an alternative to the ubiquitous Apple iPod, isn’t in wide enough use. The 20-year-old University of Pennsylvania student grumbles that it’s hard to test a feature that lets Zune users wirelessly beam music to each other. When he went to a local Starbucks in search of fellow Zune owners, he found only a field of iPods. “Many people still don’t know what the Zune is,” he says.
“Oh, you poor, poor man! How terrible it must be that your $249 electronics device is not popular in your Ivy League school! How will you ever find someone with which to share your Thom Yorke remixes while drinking your costly specialty-coffee drink??? We weep for you!”
Consumers say the format wars make buying a new brand a turnoff. Samina Akbari, for instance, already owns an iPod Shuffle and is looking for a new digital media player with video capability. While the 27-year-old artist from Brooklyn, N.Y., finds Zune’s wider screen and wireless-sharing feature appealing, she wants to avoid transferring the episodes of “Project Runway” and “Grey’s Anatomy” she bought from iTunes. She plans to stick with the iPod and the iTunes store. “I’m not dedicated to iTunes, but I like the design of the iPod,” she says.
“How can such hardships be endured? While we live in fear of the Janjaweed soldiers, you have to live in fear that you will pick the wrong digital device in which to preserve your precious collection of fashion-design television programming! For shame that you must wrestle with this choice!”
Brian Timm, 17, a high-school student in Northville, Mich., sold his 30-gigabyte video iPod and preordered the Zune last month, so that he and his friends who also bought Zunes could more easily swap their favorite heavy-metal tunes. Sharing music was a hassle with an iPod, Mr. Timm says. “Other than give you one of my headphones, I can’t do anything.”
“Okay, now you’re just being whiny.”