By Harry McCracken | Wednesday, December 31, 2008 at 9:21 am
Good grief–vast numbers of folks with 30GB Microsoft MP3 players with the latest firmware are reporting that their players have reset and are stuck at a boot-up screen, and are therefore inoperable. It’s not clear what’s going on–the fact that Zune tech support has the day off probably doesn’t help–but Microsoft has posted a note stating that they’re aware of the glitches and are working on it.
For the sake of all those Zune owners, you gotta hope that there’s an easy fix–and that if it requires another firmware update, the fact that the Zunes can’t start up isn’t a roadblock.
Even if Microsoft manages to put things right swiftly, this is a huge embarrassment. I can’t think offhand of another major software company that’s had three recent instances of software accidentally crippling itself (the other two involved Windows Genuine Advantage screwing up the computers of paying Microsoft customers). And all the effort Microsoft has put into improving the Zune’s reputation through building better devices, software, and services may just have gone down the drain. If there’s a God of Technology-Product Reputations, he or she apparently has it in for the Zune platform.
More details when we get ’em. I’m glad we didn’t do a story on the stupidest moments of the year, since we’d have posted it by now, and this just might be the stupidest of them all…
(UPDATE: We’re doing a little poll on all this. Take it here. Thanks!)
(FURTHER UPDATE: The official Zune Twitter feed says they’re making progress and might have news soon.)