What's The Point Of Putting WiFi On A Device If You Can't Use It?

from the none-at-all dept

Microsoft’s Zune device, the supposed iPod killer designed by committee, continues to show some of the less-than-inspired design choices that only a committee would love. There was already the lack of support for Microsoft’s own ironically named “Plays for Sure” DRM, and now Engadget points out that the greatly hyped WiFi on the device is more or less limited to simply connecting to other Zune devices. You can’t use it to connect to the internet. You can’t use it to download content. Hell, you can’t even use it to connect the Zune to your PC (apparently you have to break out a cable for that one…). It’s hard to see the benefit of even using WiFi at all in this case, other than to get some marketing hype that will only lead to disappointed consumers when they realize the device doesn’t even do some of the most basic things you’d expect it to do. Of course, it’s likely that someone will quickly create a hack, though who knows how Microsoft will then react to it. Either way, it’s yet another bizarre design choice, that takes away features, rather than focusing on how to make the device as useful as possible.

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Comments on “What's The Point Of Putting WiFi On A Device If You Can't Use It?”

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Sudeep says:

Ouch!! that is the saddest example of Product Design …I Was impressed by Zune initially. I guess its back to Creative Zen Not even the 80Gig iPod is making me happy. Am Waiting for Bigger HDD Versions to hit so i have a good 2-3years ahead before i dump the device or a new one!>….Phew and i thought selecting a Multimedia player was easy!;)

Tom says:

Which Is Exactly why....

Which is exactly why it won’t amount to much. Besides, most committees suck when it comes to developing something like this because they always go for the lowest common denominator and then pat each other on the back for their “phenomenal” product while the rest of the world just rolls its eyes. Looks like another fine product from Micro$oft that I won’t be buying.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

i got the blue screen of death on the credic card pinpad at Bashas. As far as the article goes I am hoping that they will eventualy have an update avalable that would grant that kinde of acces or they would update it to kill all hacks or maby Microsoft is setting this up to be a device that people should hack. I might be 14 but I aint stupid.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Well crap

Bleh.. why would you want Vista?

Hackers already have stuff waiting to infect it and Microsoft is limiting antivirus software usage for it.

Is anyone else not surprised? Microsoft is known to just mimic ideas, create a mediocre product, and profit. Its not a bad business plan, but never expect anything innovative, revolutionary, or amazing from Microsoft. They will give you exactly what you want without dissapointing you without impressing you.

dorpus says:

Most Returned Item?

Are routers the most returned electronic item? The store employees insist it is “easy”, that you just “plug it in”, but then it doesn’t work. Then they will tell you you have to contact your ISP, but the ISP has no idea how to help you. I returned a router, so did my girlfriend, after spending hours fussing with it.

the unmerciful one says:

Re: Most Returned Item?

What the hell does the fact that you had to return a router have to do with some crappy Micro$oft product? I mean, forgive me for being an a$$hole, but seriously… weak, man.
Beyond that, you probably had your settings messed up. Read the manual before you bitch and return.
Rant ended, go in peace.

jack says:

Re: Re: Re: Most Returned Item?

why read the directions? I have two, one died under warranty and I got it replaced , took a week. it is a linksyss. I bougt a us robotics for $20 less with a two year warranty . so I am using it. both worked fine .linksyss came with software and directions, used neither.
I am running 3 puters , win 98, winxp, and redhat linux no problems.
E-mail jack1167@msn.com with questions and I’ll see what I can do. you never mentioned if it was wireless, or OS.

John Bailey says:

Zune's genuine advantage....

Picture the scene. You are sauntering down the street. minding your own business.. listening to your own carefully selected playlist of the day.. when suddenly!! An advert for the latest greatest barely post pubescent synthetic group appears in the middle of the playlist… OH JOY..

Just imagine the advantage of advertising beamed directly to your Zune! no more looking at posters or browsing in music stores.. Just hook up your Zune to vista and have the music helpfully downloaded and put on your tab at the Zune tunes store… Unless you tick the do not download advertising related songs, or forget, or the software crashes at the oppertune moment.

Seriously though.. there is already the option to install small programs and music or movie clips on your phone with your concent via bluetooth enabled posters. Just imagine how quickly it can be done via wifi.. And possibly not by your choice.

Anonymous Coward says:

i get ms’s idea. make a half assed attempt at the os for the system. you know you have the capability to do the wireless transfer/ wifi download, and what not. but why spend $$ on your own programmers making 100k a year when some pimpley faced nerd can do the same thing in half the time, and be more secure. once it’s released, file suit for breach of the eula, take his code, take all his posessions, and release a “update” featuring the new code. double the money NONE of the work.

Dustin says:

Just another bunch of misinformed people

The actual story that engadget posted was misinterpreted. If you actually go and read it it states that at launch the wifi will be used to zune to zune interaction….however with future firmware releases the wifi will become more usefull. And to all the ipod fanboys out there…settle down no one is going to take your little white player out of your man purse that you got at the gap…

Sanguine Dream says:


The Zune won’t even be able to play Microsoft’s own DRM. Let me guess they were so afaid that it would lead to even more people trying to hack and crack it they decided it was safer to leave it out right? I really wish I could get in on one of these design committees. They don’t seem to do anything but come up with halfassed ideas and get paid lots of money.

james says:


Who cares about a useless feature if you are not going to pay for it. The Zune will be cheaper then the iPod because MS will once again subsidize the price of the hardware to get market share.

Maybe the idea dorpus was trying to relate was having a product (or a feature on that product) that the average user can not figure out easily.

And to the guys who just plug in their routers, if you don’t have a WiFi router, please get one, I love free WiFi.

Anonymous Coward says:

For the first time I agree with Mike

I returned mine after 1 day.

I agree 100% with everything you’ve stated. I’m beginning to think that Microsoft has Apple envy. Apple may not make as much money, but they do just about everything better and are simply “smarter” than MS. So what does MS do? Try to copy only to end up creating a broken Frankenstein device rather than something actually better.

Just wait until the iPod comes out with a larger screen and WiFi. Bye Bye Zune.

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