Besides being snarky and asking why Microsoft bothered in the first place, I've been thinking about the more significant aspects of the Zune, such as what it means (and could mean) to the market and the culture of the industry. There is a lot to be said about the fact that Microsoft is paying a record label tax on every device sold and the terrifying precedent that sets, as well as the IP-trampling and DRM-wrapping Wi-Fi sharing feature. Through all this I realized that Microsoft *could* have a great product on their hands - if they got to working on some true innovation (instead of - at best - an unpolished gimmick), and cleaned out the criticism todo list. It wouldn't be easy, especially in light of the uphill battle that seems to be getting steeper by the week, but it could theoretically be done, and we all would be better off if it happened (remember: competition is good for you and me). After the break, I've listed a a few fundamental elements and features that could propel the Zune not simply into the position of a justifiable contender to the DAP throne, but that of a truly innovative and culturally significant product like the iPod has become.