Paul Thurrott has just published his review on the new series of Microsoft’s iPod competitors, the Zune 2. The first-generation has been augmented with a new hard-drive based player and two flash-based players, the Zune 4GB and 8GB. The new Zune’s have been completely rebuilt from scratch, hardware as well as software. I’m an iPod-guy, myself, but the way the Zune’s evolving, they’re looking more and more appealing. The Zune 2 is now a feasible alternative to the Apple iPod (at least from what I’ve seen).
Read Paul Thurrott’s extensive and honest review at WinSuperSite.com
They got the basics right. No more hour-long tedious setup-times and horrible Windows Media Player-esque PC software. The devices’ firmware has been upgraded to version 2.0 (2.1 by now I think) and adds podcasting, amongst other minor improvements. The PC-software has also been revamped and is admittedly gorgeous-looking. Kudos to Microsoft for making the software upgrades interchangeable with the 1st generation Zune as well. This way early adopters won’t feel cheated and are improved for their loyalty.
The copy-cat feeling everyone had with version 1 should fade away now, as MS is trying to innovate in a space that’s ruled solely by Apple. No matter how evil Microsoft may look, they entered the market and a year in, they’ve become number two and surpassed all other competition. Quite and achievement, if you’re honest.