Microsoft caught with its pants down

An embarrassing public relations fiasco in the Microsoft world — though not quite as embarrassing as the notorious Vista launch.

On New Year’s Eve, all 30 gigabyte Zunes everywhere began freezing while booting up. (The Zune is Microsoft’s answer to the iPod) :

Internet message boards, including the one on the Zune website, are filled with panicky users wondering how to fix their Microsoft device once it seizes on the boot screen.

According to, the problem arose because 2008 was a leap year:

With 2008 having 366 days, Zune’s firmware may have run into trouble when its internal clock went over 365 days for the current year. […]

Microsoft has confirmed the freeze is a result of the leap year bug.

A leap year! No one could have seen that coming!

(How embarrassing, Mr. Gates ….)

Apparently the solution is to disconnect your Zune from its power source, allow the battery to drain, then recharge and reboot it after noon today (Jan. 1).


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