The Express Upgrade program was a good idea, but it seems like every time Microsoft leaves anything to hardware manufacturers, they royally screw it up. Maybe the weak link in the Mac vs. PC wars is more of a hardware problem than a software one, with Dell, HP, Sony, Creative, ATI, Nvidia, and hundreds of mom-and-pops pushing out incompatible hardware, bad drivers, awful tech support, and sometimes uninspired design, all of which Apple has a lot more control over.
Windows isn’t perfect, but with Vista things are plenty good now. If the cult of Mac is still kicking ass in a year or two, and Microsoft hasn’t done anything to screw their momentum up, maybe it’ll finally be time for a Microsoft-branded PC, just like they did with the Zune. Microsoft can do the same thing here, taking some of that great Asus hardware, putting some design wizards on the case, and getting some shiny new Windows boxes into stores.
Speaking of the Zune, Microsoft is running a promotion where if you switch your browser homepage to MSN.com, you’ll be entered to win a Zune. Or rather, if you claim to have switched your homepage, you can win, it’s that easy. Just check out homepage.msn.com/zune to get in on the randomly chose fun, and you can go here to see how the five biggest browsers set their home pages.
Even more, here’s a story of a Zune user who actually found another Zunester and managed to share some music. The ironic thing is the other Zune user was a guy who was trying to promote his own band, and would have preferred to send the song without DRM, in order to make the band a little more popular. Maybe Microsoft could consider a way for artists to give away music via Zune, giving bands a reason to promote the Zune while spreading their own music. Music is being treated like a license, when it should be treated like a virus.