(Ok, I just realized that I had previously typed all of this up, so I decided to not let it go to waste)
Honestly because of all of the better news that has come out recently I considered not writing about it, but I kinda promised I would so here's my rant on the Zune HD.
I was actually excited about it and still am in a way, but there's a few factors that kill the excitement for me.
#1. It runs Internet Explorer.
I always mention in arguments that Microsoft needs to utilize the fact that they own a web browser and implement it in more of their products like the XBox 360, but one thing always comes to mind and that's the fact that Internet Explorer sucks.
IE8 was the first to pass the Acid2 test, which is nice but sad as Mozilla, Apple, Google and Opera are all well on their way to making their browsers pass the Acid3 test.
As a web designer with a love for new technologies it annoys me that IE8 a browser with alot of market share doesn't comply with the most valuable ones.
SVG, Canvas tag, Audio and Video tags, HTML5 Offline Storage, CSS Border Radius, etc...
All things I can't use because too many people that view the sites I design, still use Internet Explorer.
#2. No Apps.
Honestly for a company that is known for making operating systems and holds such a monopoly on them, it's a little sad to know that in the Zune HD announcement we didn't hear anything of applications.
I mean we may see an application feature over time (like with the iPhone) but to not have it at launch especially when it affects the decision of buyers greatly is a foolish move.
Especially since the Zune kernel is Windows CE, and Microsoft is doing so much work to make Windows Mobile look appealing to the public.
People aren't into buying products that only provide one thing anymore, more and more they want handheld PCs, and that's not something you can overlook.
This one's easy. Microsoft still isn't viewed as a company as hip as Apple, plus the first Zune didn't do so well, and alot of people have already invested in an iPod Touch or iPhone.
I don't think I need to say more.
What I think.
Honestly, I think this thing has a chance. I don't think Microsoft is dumb enough to throw this out there without first noting that users love iPod/iPhone apps, and I think they're bound to unveil some interesting social features with it.
The big picture right now, especially with E3 coming up is that Microsoft has alot of competitors in this field now, possibly with better products.
You have the iPhone/iPod Touch and now the PSP GO! along with alot of Android powered stuff.
Edit: Now that Microsoft has revealed Facebook, Twitter and Last.fm support for Live I wonder if these networks will integrate with the Zune.