Although it’s never going to replace the iPod in most people’s pockets, Microsoft’s done a lot to overcome the initial missteps with their Zune line of portable media players.
In fact, if not for the overwhelming advantages of the App Store, I’d recommend the Zune HD to people over the iPod Touch. It’s a fantastic media player with a beautiful high-definition screen and a great interface, and it’s available at a wonderfully down-to-earth price: the 32GB Zune HD only costs $199 compared to the 32GB iPod Touch’s price of $299.
Only the Zune platform’s woeful app marketplace makes it a sucker buy for those who want the most of their PMPs: if all you want to do is watch movies or listen to MP3s, the 32GB Zune HD is a great deal.
Now, Microsoft is teasing the imminent release of the 64GB Zune HD. There’s no price available yet, but my guess would be $299, which is $100 cheaper than the 64GB iPod Touch. Whether or not you think that’s a good deal depends a lot on how invested you are in the App Store, but if you’re looking for a great, next-gen PMP at an affordable price, this is one Microsoft product that even an Apple fan can feel pretty good about owning.