So, Zune is coming in November. Contrasting with what we’re used to get from Apple, no detailed tech specs or prices were released. The screen has the same 320×240 pixel dimensions that Apple uses, but it measures 3″ diagonal (instead of Apple’s 2.5″). That is, the pixels are 20% larger. The large photos on Microsoft’s site appear smoothed in some way, since no individual pixels can be seen.

What is known of the feature set is… interesting. AAC support, WiFi support for letting friends try out songs, and a FM radio. I suppose FM radio is still in wide use in the US, but I doubt that people will want to pay extra to have it built-in by default. Same goes for WiFi; the impact on battery life won’t be too positive, especially if it’s turned on by default. AAC support may be an effort to get people to migrate from the iPod. There seems to be no built-in recording capability.

I’ve also seen a screenshot of the Zune store. Much like the new iTunes/Store theme, it seems to have a consistent visual appearance. It’s much darker and (to my untrained eyes) more webpage-like. Curiously they use all-lowercase titles in the “source list” where Apple now uses all-uppercase. The last item (“My Zune”) is conspicuously different in that regard. The UI also wastes space on the bottom by reproducing the Zune’s buttons. I’ll be interested to see if anybody complains that this deviates from the normal Windows interface…

All in all, I don’t think Apple has much to worry about in the short term.