Zune could finally compete with the iPod. By Jenny Zwick

Zune 2.0 Announced - EclipseMagazine.com Cool Tech

Last year Microsoft launched the first version of its wannabe iPod killer, the Zune last year to a big fat yawn from the public and tech critics alike. The original device was pretty fugly from a hardware standpoint, its colors muted and drab, and the software itself pretty lame. There was just no compelling reason to get a Zune over an iPod. But the one thing I’ve always admired about Microsoft is once they make up their minds to get into something, they keep at it until they get it right – usually it takes about 3 or 4 iterations for this to happen, but it does happen. Yesterday they announced the Zune 2.0 and it’s shaping up nicely.

The new Zune’s are thinner than last year’s model and they come in three new formats, 4 and 8 gig flash based model (in different colors), and an 80 gig black model. Microsoft also changed the software so that it’ll be easier to manage podcasts, and they are attempting to improve their much hyped, but little used sharing function by allowing users to share their music with other Zune owners, only now the music doesn’t expire but you still only have 3 plays before the DRM fries it. In addition hardware and software changes, MS is going to launch a Zune Social Network where you can upload and download song recommendations.

It all looks and sounds intriguing enough to at least me me interested in Zune as a viable alternative to iPods especially after Apple’s disappointing recent iPod “revamps,” and Apples arrogance. It’s nice to have a true alternative.

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