The New York Times's David Pogue reviews the Microsoft Zune and finds it wanting, both in absolute terms and compared with the iPod:
But what, exactly, is the point of the Zune? It seems like an awful lot of duplication [of the iPod] - in a bigger, heavier form with fewer features - just to indulg
But what, exactly, is the point of the Zune? It seems like an awful lot of duplication [of the iPod] - in a bigger, heavier form with fewer features - just to indulge Microsoft's "we want some o' that" envy. Wireless sharing is the one big new idea - and if the public seems to respond, Apple could always add that to the iPod.
Then again, this is all standard Microsoft procedure. Version 1.0 of Microsoft Anything is stripped-down and derivative, but it's followed by several years of slow but relentless refinement and marketing. Already, Microsoft says that new Zune features, models and accessories are in the pipeline.
For now, though, this game is for watching, not playing. It may be quite a while before brown is the new white.
One limitation that'll be significant for this blog's readers: You can't use the Zune as an external hard drive, as you can with he iPod and just about every other digital music player.