All the hate...
...seems to come directly from folks that havent seen one let alone used one.
Some basic points -
1. The sound quality is superb. Head to Head-Fi, most folks agree its one of the very best.
2. The UI is actually far quicker and easier to use.
3. The software is pretty damn good and (bizarrly) for a MS product isnt bloated like its rival.
4. The leap year bug was the fault of the Freescale chip, not any coding on MS part.
5. Sales will drop if your market is not world wide.
6. If you dont market it, sales will drop.
7. Zune gets regular free updates that include actual features that Zune users ask for!
8. The Zune Store is a far better model than the Apple Store.
9. The hardware is more robust and doesnt pull scratches out of the air.
10. If MS makes crap hardware, what are all those Mice/webcams and Kboards doing?
11. I havent seen ANY DRM on my Zune ever. My Gf has been infuriated many times by the DRM on her Shuffle.
12. I dont think MS ever regarded the Zune as a takeover product for the iPod. I like the competition, its good.
13. Due to the regular updates being for ALL models I dont feel obliged to buy a new one every new release.
14. After having a iPod, Zen, Archos 404, I've finally found the player that works for me.
The main problem for the Zune is the marketing folks. The hardware, software etc. is all there and its got good really quick. I just dont understand the marketing, or lack of.