The Microsoft Zune prides itself in being the only significant alternative to Apple’s wildly popular iPod and iTunes duo. But there’s a problem: Zune distances itself from the industry standard software and hardware systems. Considering Microsoft’s dominance stemming from the personal computer revolution, the Zune’s unique value proposition is less like the corporate mothership and more like the original Apple Macintosh: isolating and challenging. Which, considering their fashionably late entrance, makes the Microsoft Zune a tough sell.Back to that industry standard: seasoned MP3 veterans know the Zune does not talk to iTunes, Windows Media Player or any Macintosh computer. And it cannot double as a USB storage device. While all of the above is remedied by hacks, installing Zune’s (mandatory) software is similarly complicated.Microsoft recommends running Windows Update before downloading the Zune 3.0 software, which is time consuming depending on the age and condition of your PC. After that, it’s merely a trip to Zune’s webpage for the free software. Except when its not: Zune 3.0 wouldn’t install on my laptop PC, and it took 20-30 minutes to finish on my older, Windows XP-based desktops.Thankfully, once Zune 3.0 is installed, it’s a fast runner. The layout is stylish and easy to understand, and quickly… Read full this story
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