Originally Posted by djdj
I own two 16GB iPod Touches (1G & 2G), and they are NOT a substitute for a netbook or other small computer. Not even close. No multi-tasking, no keyboard, small screen, small amount of storage, no connectivity for external devices... shall I go on? Just try to connect your digital camera to an iPod Touch to transfer pictures... As much as you might like them to be, the iPod Touch and iPhones are not general purpose computers.
The only way the Zune HD might be a competitor to the Nano is the fact that they are small flash memory devices. Oh, and there is only a $30 difference between 16GB players. Without a touch screen or wireless connectivity, and its tiny screen and relatively limited file format support, the Nano is an entirely different class of device targeted at a different market. Comparing with the iPod Touch, however, the only real difference is the App Store. The Zune does support third party software, there is just no "Zune app store," at least for now.
There is already an SDK for the Zune. It has been available for coming up on two years. The entire development environment is FREE, and available for download by anyone. It will have to be updated for new features of the Zune HD, but to say that there is no SDK is just wrong.
Of course there are form factor limitations that make the Touch, for some tasks, a poor substitute for a full fledged computer.
But it most certainly is a general purpose computing device, in that it runs a full on OS within which run a vast array of general purpose applications. Niceties of IO or convenience aside, the Touch is the equal of desktop computer from just a few years ago, in terms of hardware grunt and software sophistication.
While the Nano, of course, is a much smaller device than the Zune HD will be (and lacks a web browser), I make the comparison because, like the Nano, the HD appears to be primarily a media playback device. Just because the Nano lacks a touch screen or wireless connectivity doesn't change that-- the Zune, as has been so far revealed, pretty much does what the Nano does-- just with a bigger screen, a touch UI and wireless. So I can listen to music, look at photos, watch a video: on the Zune those things are perhaps more convenient or prettier, but they are still the same tasks.
The Touch is an entirely different order of device. Saying the Zune simply lacks an App Store "for now", as if that were something MS can just order up when they get around to it, sort of misses the point.
And blithely asserting that the existing Zune SDK just has to be updated for "new features", as if the basic, scroll through lists and select things with a pad UI were somehow just a more basic version of a Touch level OS suggests you're not really thinking this through. You might as well claim that Apple just had to update the iPod classic OS to create the iPhone.