In the throes of death, Zune HD shows life

As talks of the Zune’s demise went from whispers to nothing short of shouting, Zune users everywhere held their collective breaths as we anticipated a very impromptu funeral for our beloved device. The talks of its death or rebranding subsided after the Mango announcement where the Zune logo was shown in all of its glory. It wasn’t long until the wind fell from our sails as Microsoft confirmed that the Zune software will remain, and they beat around the bush on the device’s future. By this time, Zune nation was no longer holding its breath, instead we were willing to lay down, and take this passing of our friend without cowardice and without reservation. The Zune was able to be differentiable from the Windows Phone only by its amazing original games and useful apps (I guess they are only useful depending on who you are). That one little piece of the Zune that made it shimmer just enough to be noticed and still loved disappeared when the news broke that there are plans to port the Zune apps to the Windows phone. At that moment, for many of us, it was all over. The Zune became what it originally was: an mp3 player with video capabilities. Nothing more.

Then, earlier this week, the sun rose again over the Zune’s seemingly lifeless identity, and it came bearing the good news that someone still cares about the Zune HD. A new gambit of apps were added to the app store, not for WP7, but for the Zune HD. All of these apps remain frugal at the low low price of $0.00 and were very diverse in their use. Just like we expected, the games are nothing short of outstanding and are perfect for when we have to wait like at an airport or for an oil change. They do their job well by helping the time pass and you get a fairly enjoyable (and sometimes frustratingly so) experience. Also, a new level app fills the useful category. Had this app been released upon shipment, it would have made it much more desirable because on its release, the Zune HD had an accelerometer that was ahead of its time. Sadly, many years into the future, it is simply comparable to any current device.

I don’t believe that it could be said any louder or clearer: The Zune HD is alive, if only a bit retarded. I mean retarded in the musical sense of course (as in the case of ritardando), in that its innovation and updates flow in a manner that is slower and less upbeat than we are used to seeing with similar devices. I do not believe that this recent release of apps is a final breath of air before it submerges never to arise again. I do believe that we should expect more updates, of any magnitude larger or smaller than the most recent, in the future. Hang in there Zune Nation, and keep showing your support!