Microsoft's Christmas-timed "iPod Killer." To be honest, I hadn't really even heard much about it before tonight. Just a few of Cory Doctorow's "DRM is Evil!" freakouts at Boing-Boing, the kind of thing I've gotten so tired of I just zapped it from the RSS feed without reading the attached article. But then Scott Kurtz referenced it in PVP, and I got curious. So I did what anyone would do. I Googled it.
First up on Google's list of links are blowjob-level fan pages for the player. I was reading these things, which go out of their way to avoid mentioning any of the shortcomings, and I was still suspicious. See, for all its minor faults (including a DRM scheme that does worry me, long-term) I *love* iTunes and my iPod. And generally... I hate Microsoft. So maybe I'm suspiciously minded by nature.
But my next stop, as it should be, was Wikipedia. There I started to get a more accurate look at the Zune, and after a few reviews at the New York Times and Chicago Tribune, I got what I think is a pretty accurate picture of the Zune.
It's a music industry-friendly player that is Microsoft's desperate attempt to take back some of the market that Apple has pretty much conquered. My guess is that within a year, Apple will have integrated the two good ideas (Wifi and a bigger video screen), done them better (maybe a more expansive use of Wifi and less crippling sharing options) and the Zune will shortly be a faint memory of Microsoft helping Apple do its product improvement research for them.
Can't wait for my wifi-enabled next-gen iPod, though. Thanks, Zune!