This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

The Microsoft Zune is a typical 1.0 release for the Redmond giant—clunky and plagued with problems—but could it emerge as a big hit and the anti-iPod? ComputerWorld's Mike Elgan thinks allowing hackability in the Zune could thrust it to the top of the marketplace, giving it customizability and enhancing its popularity. While he levels some harsh haterage at the first Zune, he points out lots of Zune hacks already emerging. He also sees the possibility of a newer, looser Zune prevailing in the DAP market, predicting that "Microsoft could create a Zune that's more desirable than the iPod," somehow dominating the market like PCs have slam-dunked Macs in market share.

His suggestions for Zune hacking, leading to its world domination, after the jump.

Let people transform the Zune into an Xbox game controller, a TV remote control, a portable presentation device, a wireless PC hard drive or a Vista gadget emulator. Give me a wireless keyboard and a Zune version of Pocket Outlook, and I'll never buy another iPod. Build ClearType into Zune and make it the ultimate eBook reader (and sell eBooks on Zune Marketplace).


But Mike, so far, the Zune is just as locked down as the iPod is, maybe even more so. Plus, the iPod has gotten such a tremendous head start here. By the time the next version of the Zune is released, Apple will have an iPhone and a widescreen video iPod on the market. That's going to be awfully hard to catch up to, isn't it?

Zune: So you want to be an iPod killer [ComputerWorld]