"Microsoft’s first media player was met with mediocre praise. It was a decent player, but it stood in the shadow of the iPod. It turns out the second generation Zune is a lot more like the device Microsoft wanted to originally release. Polishing up old features and introducing new ones, many reviewers consider the Zune 80 to be the king of harddrive portable media players, but why didn’t Microsoft release this Zune last year as opposed to its mediocre brother? It turns out there’s two reasons: politics and ignorance. Regarding politics, Microsoft had partnerships with several entities such as MTV’s URGE music store. Microsoft, working hard to please everyone while maintaining specific standards for its product and service, had to make some sacrifices in order to release the Zune as fast as it did."
A short, but interesting article that confirms what most of us already knew: Zune 1.0 was a rushed-to-market product that was rife with flaws. Zune 2.0 represents Microsoft's best effort given a full year of work - and the results, while not exactly a home run, are much better than the 1.0 product in almost every way. Zune 2.0 is a great base for improvement, where as Zune 1.0 was a stopgap measure (about three years too late though).