"Is Microsoft's Zune turning into Bob? According to early press reports following the launch of Microsoft's iPod Killer, it may well be. We all remember Microsoft BOB -- right? That disastrous effort to change the whole desktop GUI metaphor to something more cute and family friendly? Well, Bob didn't go over so well and the project, plus its "shoot me in the forehead, please" smiley face logo have become synonymous for ambitious Redmond projects that flopped. Barring a major re-think from Microsoft (something they didn't give to Bob) Zune may be a Bob for the gadget world. Zune's problems started even before the device hit store shelves. Most reviewers -- many of them iPod owners -- couldn't help but compare the device to Apple's megapopular MP3 player and find it wanting. While the device did get high marks for it's UI and look and design,the close feature similarities and prices between the 30GB Zune and similar iPod models, as well as iPod's greater number of model and size options, and iTunes franchise have made the Zune seem a tough sell."
Ouch - that's one damning comparison! Although as you read the article, you get the sense that the author meant the exact opposite. Bob was a very unique software tool, something completely new and different - and it bombed so very hard. Yet it was still a risk - the Zune, on the other hand, isn't so risky. It's more like a PlaysForSafe device that, so far at least, doesn't have anything really unique and interesting to offer. I'm still working on my review, but suffice it to say that while there's a lot to like about the Zune, there are also some very frustrating limitations.