Microsoft launches Zune, clarifies what's up with apps, raps iPod

Microsoft's third and perhaps best Zune effort goes on sale today, taking on the new generation of camera and app-equipped Apple iPods with a relatively pure music and video player.

This time the emphasis isn't on the Zune's funky design or wireless sharing feature. Instead the spotlight is on Zune's sleek new hardware, including a 3-in.' OLED touchscreen display, and the refreshed software and online music service.

Zune software for sorting, selecting and discovering music and videos is migrating beyond the devices. This fall it's coming to the Xbox and next year it could show up on mobile phones.

Meanwhile, the new Zune HD is the showcase. The name refers to the device's ability to receive HD radio and output 720p video (when hooked up to an optional A/V docking device and HDMI cable).

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