Zunes of Death: Microsoft’s Y2K9 Problem

By  |  Wednesday, December 31, 2008 at 9:21 am

Zune of DeathGood 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.)


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8 Comments For This Post

  1. DTNick Says:

    I know it’s a bit of a cliche, but only one phrase can sum up Microsoft’s flub here:


  2. Jake Says:

    Sounds like a Y2K8 problem.

  3. Harry McCracken Says:

    Or, most specifically, a 12/31/Y2K8 problem…


  4. Sohail Ahmed Says:

    wow… I was looking for the same from past one hour… thanks for the post, it’s really great.

    – Sohail

  5. Bob Says:

    A widespread problem with a Microsoft product in 2008/2009? What a surprise!!!

    Zune users/purchasers: Your first mistake should be obvious to you! (Hint: Notice that we’re not reading about any Y2K8 or 9 problems with the iPod…)

    I have always and will always purchase Apple products because they work – period.

  6. steveballmer Says:

    Only an infidel would believe dis LIE! Yes the Zunes strategically reset themselves and went into self-improvement mode for 24 hours! Dis was not a bug! It was a feature! The Zunes needed a vacation! Does not the godless staff of CBS the same?

  7. 11303 Says:

    11303They have paid off $100,000




  8. 11356 Says:

    11356How to get really, really rich




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