The man who was formerly in charge of the Zune has admitted that the ill-fated Zune hardware was a blunder for Microsoft.
The sentiment was expressed by Robbie Bach who oversaw Zune hardware which is viewed as one of the biggest mistakes Microsoft has had. Well, maybe apart from the Kin Phone. Nonetheless, Bach also oversaw Microsoft’s entertainment division as the Xbox became the success it is so give the man credit where it is due.
Anyway, Bach revealed his thoughts at the Northwest Entrepreneur Network event in Seattle last Friday.
According to him, if he could do Zune all over again, he would skip the hardware.
“If I had hindsight, 20-20, and could do Zune over again, we would skip portable media players completely. We would go to what, at the time, was the Windows Mobile team and say we’re going to produce the coolest music service for your phones ever. The portable music market is gone and it was already leaving when we started. We just weren’t brave enough, honestly, and we ended up chasing Apple with a product that actually wasn’t a bad product, but it was still a chasing product, and there wasn’t a reason for somebody to say, oh, I have to go out and get that thing.”
That’s a pretty bold statement admitting that Microsoft was basically chasing Apple.
He also heaped a lot of praise on Apple saying their execution within the past decade was right on.
“They have made very, very few mistakes over the last 10 years. It’s remarkable, actually. I give them a lot of credit. I don’t always agree with everything they do, but they’ve made remarkably few mistakes. If you’re in a startup and your competition doesn’t make mistakes, the world is a hard place, and it doesn’t matter how much money you have.”
Furthermore, he also revealed that he though Microsoft’s marketing of the Zune could have been better. In fact, he describes it as “confused”.
“On the Zune side, and this is as much my fault as anybody’s, I think our marketing message was very confused,” the former Microsoft executive said.
“I don’t think people walked away saying, this is what Zune is and this is why it’s different. This is why I have to have it. We did some really artsy ads that appealed to a very small segment of the music space, and we didn’t captivate the broad segment of music listeners,” he added.
Image from GusF on Flickr