Microsoft's ZUNE Upgrade Strategy is Eco-Friendly

Microsoft recently announced their second generation ZUNE MP3 audio player. The new ZUNE 2 has many features that are missing in the first generation ZUNE 1, which was released nearly one year prior. Is it time to chuck the old device for new? Or, does Microsoft have a more environmentally sound solution.

Most often, early adopters of new technology have to grin-and-bear-it when the next generation of a device is released. Their once leading-edge device is now old and becoming ever closer to retirement. Soon, these technology lovers will be replacing their once loved device with a newer, more feature rich one.

Replacing devices isn't necessarily environmentally friendly. The increasingly rapid cycle of gadget obsolescence creates waste when the older devices are replaced and often discarded. Plus, creating the new devices consumes resources and creates additional waste.

But what if you could extend the life of your first generation device? Microsoft is allowing all ZUNE 1 owners to upgrade their devices (via software) to have all of the features of the ZUNE 2. And they are doing it for free!!!

ZUNE 1 owners, and there are more than a million of them, soon will be upgrading their players to become in effect ZUNE 2 devices. This is smart move on many levels for Microsoft:

  • ZUNE 1 customers will be less likely to switch to a competing product
  • Customers are more likely to believe that Microsoft cares about them
  • Upgrading via software instead of discarding and buying new is more environmentally friendly. 
  • It is a public relations coop

No wonder the new ZUNE 2 now comes in green.