Zune 30GB Freezing a Leap Year Glitch!

Jan 1, 2009

Microsoft is blaming leap-year for the record global break down of 30GB Zune digital music players! In the early hours of New Year’s Eve, the 2006 model Zune 30GB devices started to freeze and got stuck on the loading screen. Every efforts to run the music player failed and users began to report the problems on a Microsoft message board. Now, Microsoft says that it was an internal clock driver that failed to read a leap year.


As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 2,500 comments had been posted on the official Microsoft’s Zune message board in response to an entry entitled “Help-frozen zune!!!!

After the complaints, Microsoft issued a statement giving the credit to “a bug in the internal clock driver related to the way the device handles a leap year.” The statement also stated that the freezing issue should be resolved over the next 24 hours as the time change moves to January 1, 2009. The statement said:

We expect the internal clock on the Zune 30GB devices will automatically reset tomorrow (noon, GMT). By tomorrow you should allow the battery to fully run out of power before the unit can restart successfully then simply ensure that your device is recharged, then turn it back on. If you’re a Zune Pass subscriber, you may need to sync your device with your PC to refresh the rights to the subscription content you have downloaded to your device.

So, Zune 30GB was not ready for a leap year and the interanl clock failed to compensate for 2009 being a leap year! Now, the real question is how come this leap year thing remained unknown to Microsoft untill yesterday? Do they really test everything before releasing a product to the market? In our view, this incident will definitely harm Microsoft in the market of digital music player. What you say?

3 Responses to “Zune 30GB Freezing a Leap Year Glitch!”

  1. MySiteComeTrue on 1st Jan, 09 09:01pm #

    This will really hurt microsofts appearance. I mean, really, something like this should have been taken programmed correctly. However, it doesn’t show much about their testing. The only way to test for the leap year really would be to wait for one, and that is unreasonable.

  2. Cromely on 2nd Jan, 09 12:01pm #

    I don’t think this have long term harm for MSFT. It was a 24 hour problem that affected just one model of a first generation product that’s been discontinued for more than a year. And the problem fixed itself. I imagine there will be a patch for 2012, if any of the units are still in use at that point.

    This incident will provide plenty of opportunities for snickering at MSFT’s expense, but that’s too be expected.

    Long term the Zune faces other challenges, just like all the other non-Apple MP3 players do. The market forces at Apple are huge.

    The interesting thing is that Apple need the Zune and other players to be somewhat successful to stave off monopoly concerns. If Apple does actually achieve a monopoly in MP3 players, then they may have anti-trust concerns with the exclusivity of he iTunes store.

    Right now, I don’t think the freezing will be a big problem for MSFT. I think they have bigger challenges on the desktop management side of the MP3 player market. In my experience, Windows Media Player is a lousy way to manage content for a player.

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