Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Old Zunes struggle to make it into 2009

You really have to hand it to Microsoft: it might not have managed to make the Zune as popular as the iPod, but it's certainly managed to make it as reliable as Windows. Every 30G model of Zune has stopped working. The reason?

It doesn't believe that today exists:

On Wednesday evening Microsoft said it had traced the problem to a software bug “related to the way the device handles a leap year.” Apparently the Zune was expecting 2008 to have 365 days, not 366.

So, hey, it's only a problem which is going to occur every four years, so where's the drama?
The company said the internal clock on the players should automatically reset by noon Greenwich Mean Time on Thursday (7 a.m. Eastern time). Microsoft is advising Zune owners to allow the player’s battery to fully drain and then turn the devices back on on Thursday.

In other words: Your Zune won't work on the 366th day of a year, so wait until the year ticks back over to day one.

I try not to use Zune as a punchline, I really do. But a music player that won't work on New Year's Eve? It's like it wants to be laughed at.