The original Zune, in my opinion, was anything but impressive.  The design was bulky and the available colors resembled various forms of bricks.  The only advantage to the Zune was that it offered a large viewing screen which made watching movies more enjoyable.  However, the release of the iPod Touch and the iPhone made the Zune completely obsolete in terms of design.

However, Microsoft is coming out with a new version of the Zune that has a new design that looks promising.

On the hardware side, Microsoft will beef up Zune’s capacity, expanding the hard drive-based model to 120GB and the flash-based player to 16GB.

More significant are the software and service improvements. Most notably, as is the case with the iPod Touch, Zune owners will now be able to use the device’s built-in Wi-Fi to download songs.

Also new, the updated Zune will make recommendations based on the songs someone is listening to and there will also be new Zune “channels” programmed by experts and along themes like “work-out” music.

Zune will also come with two games–Hexic and Texas Hold ’em–and adds support for audio books in the Audible format.

Link: Microsoft confirms Zune details

The new design looks slimmer, and the storage space has dramatically increased.  Only time will tell if Microsoft’s second attempt at the Zune will be more successful than the previous attempt.

Comments welcome.

Justin