Microsoft’s second generation Zune media players became generally available yesterday and the good news is that while the reviewers are not ecstatic or predicting the imminent demise of Apple’s iPod, they are crediting Microsoft this time around with solid if somewhat stolid entries in the flash and disk-based media player markets (cf. this compilation and Walter Mossberg’s review).
Perhaps even better for Microsoft is that they have a new Zune ad agency who reportedly is de-emphasizing the “Social” although I am hard pressed to say that the new TV ads are that much of an improvement despite actually showing the product. That, of course, is an innovation compared to prior Zune ads. Still, no one seems to have told the crew at Microsoft’s new and improved Zune Arts that the Social is out and they are merrily generating more bizarre sharing videos.
This looks to be another building year for Microsoft’s Zune and I would suggest that we will know that they are really ready to rumble when we see the Zune available outside the USA.