Zune Bloggers Censored?

    November 14, 2006

As of late, the press and reviews for Microsoft’s digitial music player Zune have been less than stellar. Bearing that in mind, does that give Microsoft the right to disassociate itself from websites or bloggers which they consider disparaging?

Personally, I have written several articles comparing Microsoft’s Zune digital music player to Apple’s iPod and came to the conclusion each time that iPod was the superior product. Each article was written after careful research, comparison, and analysis of strictly the factual data regarding each product. Apparently the facts do not matter to Microsoft, only good press.

Microsoft sent out agreements to bloggers and sites which it advertised on stating that, “You may not display the Logo(s) on any site that disparages Microsoft or its products or services, infringes any Microsoft intellectual property or other rights, or violates any state, federal or international law.”

Words of censorship are not taken so kindly by free-speech minded bloggers and some website owners such as Andrew Baron of Rocketboom. Baron had been asked by Microsoft not to disparage the Zune player as part of an advertising deal with Rocketboom.

Rocketboom claims to be completely unbiased in terms of a digital music player, and Baron even says that, “I hope that people who do enjoy the Zune will enjoy watching Rocketboom on their Zune players.”

Upon further consideration, Baron decided that he could not agree to the deal with Microsoft and later said that, “I have been losing sleep over it and decided this is just not going to be right for Rocketboom,” in his personal blog.

The general public, however, cannot be censored or asked to sign agreements with Microsoft not to give Zune a bad review. The digital music player was released today in the United States and is available for purchase at the reported price of $229, lowered from the original $289 price tag to compete with iPod.

User reviews as well as consumer reports will speak loudly and perhaps the general public will take kindly to Zune. Who knows, maybe Zune will corner the market for digital music players, but only time will tell.

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