Microsoft Zune: A Worthy iPod Rival
The Microsoft Zune ($249.99 list) is a shot across iPods bow. I got a first-hand look at the Toshiba-built, Microsoft-designed digital music player and the associated software and supporting Web site and all I can say is "Wow."
For years, the
The Zune is clear proof that Microsoft has learned something from Apple and virtually every other music player manufacturer thats come before it. The 5.6-ounce device feels good in your hand. At first, Microsoft will just offer a 30GB model. Nonetheless, its a bit heavier than the
Offered in three colorswhite, black, and brownthe Zune is not nearly as shiny as an iPod. In fact, the plastic casing has a subtle texture. My unit initially looked all brown, but then I noticed green piping along the edges. Oddly, it seemed to disappear when I turned the player this way and that. Microsoft execs explained that I was seeing the real color of the outer plastic coveringits green. The translucent plastic covers the device, which is painted brown. This is a nice feature and means you cannot scratch the paintthough you could conceivably scratch the plastic. Microsoft told me they expect the fine texture to get sort of burnished from people holding the Zune, which could personalize these players. Well see.
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