A quick update before I head off to deliver a presentation...
David Pogue delivers his review of the new Zune in his review Microsoft gets better at carrying a Zune (International Herald Tribune). He said that "the Zune has come a long way, with built-in FM radio and wireless autosyncing."
"Microsoft might finally be getting the hang of hardware. The company's overall track record for designing gadgets is pretty awful. Remember the Smart Display? The Spot Watch? The Ultra-Mobile PC? The original Zune?
But Microsoft's new, second-generation Zune music/photo/video player is a pleasure to use. It fixes a long list of things that made the original Zune such a pathetic wannabe...
The Zune store is missing a lot of iPod features, too: TV shows, movies, audio books, monthly allowances and comprehensible pricing.
The bottom line: the iPod is still a more versatile, compact and beautiful machine, but the Zune has come a long way in very little time. Already, its potential audience is no longer limited to a sect of irrational Apple haters. It's now a candidate for anyone who values its unique powers - excellent built-in FM radio, scratch-proof case and wireless autosyncing - more than they value the richness and choice of the iPod universe.