Windows 11 has been making waves, driving an uptick in Microsoft’s share price while dominating the news cycle over the past two days. Even celebrities have been weighing in here and there, including the intrepid entrepeneur Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX fame. Musk, as it turns out, is a fan of the Zune.
The Zune was a nifty little device, but it eventually got swallowed by the rise of smartphones, with its all-you-can-eat music service eventually evolving into Xbox Music, and then Groove Music, before being shut down. Although I never had the opportunity to experience the Zune for myself (since they weren’t sold in the UK), I used Groove Music for years. The superior app experience and cloud storage for music you own was, even now, far ahead of what Spotify offers. Alas, like many good things Microsoft does, it failed to achieve mainstream adoption.
Elon Musk may be joking around with his Zune tweet, but it underscores the point Satya Nadella was making in the Windows 11 reveal, about how for decades, Windows has always just kind of been there. Things like MS Paint, Solitaire, and even the Start Menu itself provoke massive nostalgia responses. And of course, our dear old Windows Phone, cut down in its prime (wipes away a tear).
With Windows 11, Microsoft potentially has an opportunity to bring a more polished and inspiring experience to a new generation of users. And who knows? Maybe twenty years in the future when we’re all on Windows 18: Holographic Edition, a new generation of bloggers will be writing nostalgic posts about Windows 11 too.