Update: Today's $79 Zune at Woot makes this point event stronger.
For the 2 of you who haven't already heard, Woot is selling the original Zune (you can even bet the brown one) for $99 today.
“But Paul, why buy Zune 1 when Zune 2 is just a few days off?” You'll be able to upgrade your revision 1 Zunes to the revision 2 platform. I.e., rev 2 power at the rev 1 price. Kinda like those folks who bought the refurbed 4 gig iPhone to get into the game for a few hundred bucks less.
But, please, step outside of the good deal meme for a second (after you purchase yours, of course) and consider the following: Microsoft has been dumping the rev 1 Zunes through Woot (and other channels) pretty furiously over the last month or so (here was a $99 Black Zune run on the fourth and a quick look at and the Brown at $99 (not refurbished) over at Buy.com).
One could take two angles on this 1) Microsoft got a lot of Zune 1 players that they need to dump or 2) Microsoft is getting the Zune platform out there through as many channels as possible.
I'm going to go with #2 right now.
Yes, I realize I'm saying Microsoft has this deep strategy for a product that, until recently, has shown a complete and total lack of strategy.
But when iPod launched, the initial market problem was the iPod was considered the best of the best and you paid accordingly. If you wanted to not spend as much money, you bought something else. And then came the Nano and Shuffle. And then, iPod's domination really began.
You can now get into Microsoft's portable media platform at almost all price levels.
And it supports Podcasting in some mighty powerful ways (including 1-click subscription).
This is more than a good deal for the consumer. This is good news for us Podcasters.