John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

If Microsoft Announces a Zune Price Cut on the Day of an Apple Event, Does Anyone Hear It?

Odd coincidence, this. Hours before Apple introduced its new iPods at a special event in San Francisco, Microsoft said it was knocking $50 off the retail price of its 30-gigabyte Zune music player. Effective yesterday, the price of the poor-man’s iPod is $199.

In a post to the Zune Insider Web log, Microsoft’s Cesar Menendez said the price cut was a scheduled one, and not a flaccid cry for attention in a whirlwind of Apple announcements. “It’s part of the normal product life cycle, something we’ve had on the books for months,” Menendez wrote. “We just got some research back and customer satisfaction with the 30-gigabyte device is really high (around 94%), and we expect even more consumers will now want to discover the Zune experience at the new lower price.”

The price drop comes after Mindy Mount, the corporate vice president and CFO of Microsoft’s entertainment and device division, gave the Zune a slightly above-average grade for its performance at market to date. “We all feel that last year was a good, solid effort for first year,” she said. “I’d give it a B-. Some things were really great.”

And others, how to put this delicately, … not so great.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald