Looks like the rumors and spy shots were spot on… The new Zune lineup has landed, consisting of 80GB hard drive, 8GB flash drive, and 4GB flash drive models ($150 – $250). All sport a five-way, touch-sensitive “Zune Pad.” Additionally, Microsoft is refreshing the Zune software (original model included) with new features such as WiFi and Media Center syncing (and rumored support for additional video codecs). The software enhancements seem compelling and, combined with the all you can eat Zune Pass service option, help differentiate the Zune from the iPod lineup. But MS just doesn’t carry Apple’s cachet and established ecosystem… it’ll continue to be an uphill battle.
As a consumer, I’d like to see MS start migrating more of these multimedia features into the Windows Mobile platform and I’d like to see Apple target the lower-end with cheaper, smaller iPhone models. Convergence, baby.