Microsoft surprised everyone in late 2006 by introducing its Zune digital media platform, software, services, and hardware that competes both with market leader Apple and with its own older Windows Media Player–based PlaysForSure.
Microsoft’s Zune platform is a fairly transparent copy of the Apple playbook.
Microsoft’s failure in the digital media market is that it actually does bundle its excellent Windows Media Player software with Windows, and it’s done so for several years now.
Zune 2 was a revelation, and Microsoft really turned the Zune around by starting over from scratch. Whereas the first-generation Zune was all about the hardware, the secondgeneration platform expanded dramatically in all areas.
The initial release lacked the ability to create smart playlists, though Microsoft fixed that with a Zune 2.5 release in mid-2008. In late 2008, Microsoft offered up its third-generation Zune platform, which was really just an evolution of Zune 2. The devices didn’t change from a hardware perspective at all, though the capacities were upped to 8, 16, and 120GB.
Zune 3 is still the current version of the Zune software, but you can expect Microsoft to keep releasing new hardware, devices, and services and to generally improve the Zune platform.
The Zune PC software is an alternative to Windows Media Player, But still can’t replace because of its various features.