I was in the middle of writing an entry about the Zune, when it occurred to me that the iPod attracts so much attention, it seems hardly anyone realized that the real competition isn't the iPod, it's iTunes. After all, without iTunes the iPod is just sleek paperweight. I thought if anyone wouldn't overlook the importance of making a great music jukebox and music store, it would be Microsoft with all it's emphasis on software. So I began downloading the Zune software to check out how it compared to iTunes. The first thing the installer does is check for updates. Huh? I just downloaded it, how could there be updates? Somehow though, there are, and it has to download them. This on top of the time I spent downloading the installer. Finally it finishes with the updates, and I get this lovely "Installation Error" message above. Wow. There's a link on the screen so I click it which instructs me to dive into Windows Event Viewer to try to figure out what happened. Double Wow. This is where the average person would just give up. I've been using Windows since forever, installed countless applications, and this is the first time I've had to look in Windows Event Viewer to troubleshoot an installation. Also I've used every version of iTunes since version 4, and I've never had any installation problems. Now, I don't own a Zune, I just wanted to try out the program, which you'd think would be something Microsoft would want to encourage. But this experience has been totally disappointing and frustrating. I even found myself getting annoyed at the language on the help page:
Use the information in the Date and Time columns to locate the events that were logged for MsiInstaller during the time that you could not complete the Zune software installation.
Are you kidding me? When "I" could not complete the installation?! It's the Zune installer that couldn't complete the installation, and somehow I'm getting blamed. The copy should read more like "during the time when the Zune software installation failed." Microsoft really needs to work on Zune software installation experience and try to keep from blaming users for their software problems in help documentation. I'm going to work on installing it again tomorrow, even though it really doesn't deserve another chance.