Ask an MVP About: Microsoft Zune

As a Zune owner, I wanted to ask a Zune MVP about the current  ‘state of the Zune’, so I sent Marques Lyons a few questions.

Q: Marques, tell us about Microsoft’s latest Zune device.

A: If you ask Zune, the latest Zune device is Windows Phone 7, since the music+video hub offers some of the basic functionality of previous Zune devices. The most recent Zune-specific device is the Zune HD. Both allow people to take their favorite music and media on the go and both allow users to access the music marketplace to sample new music (especially beneficial if one has a Zune Pass). I know people often ask if there’s a new Zune device in the works and I don’t know the answer to that question. That’s just something we’ll all find out together at some point, I guess.
Q: These days everything is ‘iPod, iPod, iPod’! As a Zune MVP, does that bother you?

A: I’m not bothered at all about being in an iPod world, just as much as I’m sure Apple enthusiasts aren’t that bothered that Windows 7 and PCs are the dominant computer system. I think that iPod, as a music device though, has been overshadowed by apps and games and Zune has been able to remain true to the purpose of helping people access their media wherever they want. As long as people are able to support their favorite artists and enjoy their music, I’m fine with whatever device they decide to use. I’m not a fan of blind fanboyism and hating on a person because of their choice of device. There can be justifiable differences to be had, but simply saying “your device sucks because of the company that made it.” is never a viable argument with me.

Q: What does the future hold for the Zune?

A: I’m not fully sure what the future holds for Zune. I am sure that Zune will remain the brand for entertainment (minus video games since that’s Xbox 360’s territory). Since the Zune software is used for Windows Phone, I’m sure that will stay around. Zune Pass continues to be a great differentiator between Zune and iTunes. I think we’ll see greater expansion of the service and tighter integration with the tuners that it’s currently available on.

Q: What is on your Zune, Marques?

A: My Zune plays is all over the place. Anyone who follows me on Zune Social knows that I have very eclectic taste, but that’s because I’m more about a good cohesive song than I am about what genre that song comes from. There are great songs to be found in practically any style, you just sometimes have to make the effort to go seek them out. If you were to ask me what some of my favorites were then I would tell you music by Seal, Kaskade, Stone Temple Pilots, amongst others.

Finally, tell us a little about yourself!

Me? I’ve been a Microsoft Zune MVP since 2008. I was very active in the Zune forums (when they were still on and since then I’ve started Inside the Circle (a blog that’s zune/music centric) and I’ve recently begun my own personal blog, which is still more a commentary on technology, being an MVP and pop culture.
I have such a vested interest in music because that’s what I studied in college (I have a degree in Jazz Trombone performance) and I like to use my MVP status to help amplify the voice of indie groups or organizations who are out there using music for positive contributions to our society.

This is one of many MVP interviews here at