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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

May 24, 2007 at 3:03 PM

iPod Amnesty Bin at Microsoft Zune headquarters

In what was apparently meant to be a private jab at its biggest rival, the Microsoft Zune team set up an iPod Amnesty Bin at its headquarters to collect the discarded digital music players of Microsofties making the switch to the home-team brand.

A picture taken May 18 and posted to the flickr photo sharing site shows a clear plastic bin with a sign that reads “iPod Amnesty Bin” and “bite me”. There’s also a green apple — maybe a Granny Smith — with a couple of bites missing.

A spokesman with the PR firm that handles Zune confirmed that the bin exists, er, did at one time, in a building at Microsoft’s Bear Creek Campus, at the far end of Highway 520. He couldn’t say if it was still there or provide any other details.

A Macworld UK blogger called the bin a retreat to “to schoolyard ethics” by Microsoft “as its empire collapses in the face of Apple’s iPod.”

I’m not one to take sides (happily using the Sansa I got for Christmas), but it’s hard to impugn the guys and girls on the Zune team for having a little marketing fun at their competitor’s expense — especially since they’re taking a page out of Apple’s book in the process. The hilarious “I’m a Mac” advertising campaign is witty, but also contains a fair amount of what could rightly be called schoolyard teasing.

Meanwhile, the Zune folks want us to pay attention to their player’s 9.2 percent April market share, which they announced yesterday, along with strong results for the pink Zune, now more popular than brown and white, but not black.

Update: Brier Dudley has details on the origin of the photo.

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