So here's the Toshiba Gigabeat S, which engadget is saying is the basis for the Zune;
Add a fake scroll wheel and move a few buttons around and it looks about right.
From what I can see, it's about the same size as the 5g iPod, although MS add-ons may have increased that. The Toshiba claims 5 hour battery life, so figure no more than half that if the wireless gets used much.
Windows Mobile, or Windows Media Mobile, or whatever they call it. At any rate, explicitly designed to interact with Media Center, so probably seamless transfer of DVR content, possibly additions to the MC interface to enable content transfer between the Zune and a Media Center computer. Pretty clearly they want this thing to be a extension of the MC paradigm into the portable space.
So it looks to be a standard MS vs. Apple set-up: Apple's focus on clarity and usability over feature set creep; MS trying to put as much stuff in there as possible with a mind towards some kind of "convergence" on world domination, or at least the living room.
I can imagine the promo video- consumer in tastefully spare loft space happily browsing content via a Windows Media Center box and a 52" plasma. Quick shots of music, video and pictures menu items. Scrolls down to "Zune" setting, highlights a few menu options, happy little animation happens, consumer plucks Zune from cradle and continues watching video in wide-screen mode as he walks out the door (presumably not slamming into a wall or falling down the stairs). Consumer hooks up with posse of uber-cool buddies, all toting Zunes, quick shot of wireless menu option on Zune screen, uber-cool buddies begin to nod in unison, grinning like mad.
Which makes for a great video, just like the Oragami videos seemed to promise some kind of incredibly groovy untethered lifestyle. The problem is that once you've put a lot of elements and "features" together in the MS way is it still easy to use? In a way that makes sense to the average consumer? Do size and battery life trade-offs really make sense for what you get? Are there any hidden "gotchas" as you navigate the MS ecosystem?
Even all these years after Apple demonstrated that making a thing that does what it does with nothing but clarity and simplicity, the competitive response is invariably "lets make it do more stuff".