So yesterday I posted a look at the new Zune device and software, which caused quite a stir with the (as I suspected it might). Ok, I'm sugarcoating it. Some went ballistic over my criticisms of the new products -- and took it out on me, often personally.

There are lots of things I'd like to remind these people of. Like, besides the fact that it's just a product, I (and Engadget) have been a vocal advocate of Microsoft's entry into the space since before the Zune was ever announced. We led the charge in press coverage of the Zune last (and for a while the Apple fans even called us Zune fanboys). Nothing's changed though, we're critical of all this stuff, and whether some people believe it, we don't easily let Apple off the hook either (read our iPhone review and iPod touch review if you want to dig in). If we didn't care about -- or hated -- the new Zune we wouldn't waste our time telling Microsoft how to get it right, we'd just ignore the thing and you wouldn't see any risky, critical editorial. (Believe it or not, PR agencies by far prefer negative reviews than having their product ignored.)

The thing is, we have high expectations of companies like Microsoft because we know that they can deliver. And you have high expectations for us for the same reason. We get that, so we'll be posting further, deeper Zune coverage this week.

Just two things you need to know: first, don't expect our thesis to change. We're disappointed by the Zune, but only because we were hoping that MSFT would blow it out this time and really raise their game like they did with the Xbox 360. We definitely see the improvements -- and that's important -- but we'd be lying to you if we didn't think there was a lot that could be better.

Second, abusive comments are why I closed yesterday's Zune thread; it's no secret we moderate comments, and even shut them off completely when things get out of control. Cool down, don't take this stuff personally, be reasonable, lay off the personal / ad hominem attacks and Apple-bias stuff, and we can all have a fun, productive conversation about the gadgets we love (or at least want to make better).

-Ryan

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Zune people: we hear you, expect more coverage soon