"Apple has an ad where they depict a PC upgrading to Vista as a serially-uncool business guy going in for surgery. Fine, so let's update this to make a proper analogy for the Apple upgrade process. Look, Apple has a shiny new operating system that ditches the old architecture (and we all know how often THAT has happened). How does Apple cool guy deal with the upgrade? He shoots himself, counting on reincarnation to bring himself back from the dead as a newborn baby, because surgery simply isn't an option. Imagine what an Apple-inspired game console might look like. It would look great and probably cost a lot, but open platform for developers and hobbyists to drive a software ecosystem forward? Not even close. I bought a Zune because I have experience of a Microsoft ecosystem that makes it easy for me as a software developer to customize. I don't envision a lot of Zune in-device customization, but if some smart person thinks of a reason for them to do that (making a device a music player first with extra functionality second might be a better approach than starting with a general purpose device a la Pocket PC and trying to make it useful as a music player), Microsoft will likely enable it, plus make use of the APIs very easy to do (wizards in Visual Studio, simulators, you name it). More important is the wider ecosystem of products that the Zune is likely to be a part of…which hopefully will include a car stereo with a large screen and an 8-track slot into which I can insert my Zune."
Why did John Carrol buy a Zune? Because he trusts the Microsoft ecosystem more than Apple's. What does that mean? Well, a very common thread in Mac vs. PC arguments is that MS products are configurable, customizable and frankly more power-user-friendly. As a software developer, John knows what it's like to try to program for Apple, so he concludes (correctly?) that more developers will want to develop for the Zune because the iPod ecosystem is so closed it's next to impossible to actually develop for it. Personally, I'm not exactly seeing a shortage in iPod accessories, and I don't think the Microsoft lure is enough to attract any significant portion of developers to the Zune. I am not, however, a developer, so what do I know? Any real developers want to pipe in with their take?