Zune's fascinating potential


Beyond offering a subscription service, though, Zune Marketplace isn't nearly as advanced as iTunes or, for that matter, some of the other subscription services. Besides not offering videos, podcasts are unavailable, and, with just over 2 million tracks, it offers far less music than iPod's 3.5 million.

That summarizes Microsoft's entire Zune effort: It has some strong, even compelling features but also many areas that are underwhelming. It is the beginning of a work in progress that will be attractive to some users now. But many users will find that it is not quite ready for prime time.