Really not sure how Microsoft managed such a wholesale 180 on consumer impressions with the Zune 2. Zune v1 was almost unanimously disregarded, but now is receiving some rave reviews.
Check out some of the headlines from top sites:
“80GB Zune Reviewed, Verdict: One Small Step for Media Players, One Giant Leap For Zune” – Wired
“Wireless syncing, good sound quality, and a nice touch control make this affordable player a good choice.” – PC World
“The Zune has blossomed from an ugly duckling into a worthy iPod alternative.” – CNET
“Customizable Zunes are wicked cool” – CrunchGear
Admittedly the Zune and the Zune Marketplace have had wholesale changes, almost enough to suggest there was an entirely different team working on this project.
In short, after getting hands on with the device, most are now respecting the Zune 2 as an iPod competitor, some even going further and saying it surpasses the iPod classic.
So now the focus turns to Zune 3, Microsoft will need to continue improving the product to actually beat Apple at it’s own game. This challenge should spark Apple’s interest and force them to continue being innovative to maintain their marketshare, which ultimately can only benefit consumers.
We’re still yet to see a price war break out between the now top 2 competitors in the audio player market. Wait for it, it’ll happen.