Here’s an interesting tactic on Microsoft’s part…The company has shipped a number of flash-based Zune 2 devices a bit early. They’re not scheduled for public consumption until the 13th of November, but some retailers have been selling them off a bit in advance of next week’s official drop date. That’s great news for any die-hard Zune fans that have been chomping at the bit to get their hands on the 2nd generation DAP, right? Yes and no. While some customers have certainly been able to hold the little buggers in their sweaty palms, it seems that the devices themselves are less than functional. Microsoft has preprogrammed them with a non-functional iteration of Zune firmware. The Zune 2s need a new firmware version to function. The catch is that the company isn’t releasing the new firmware until the 13th. Yikes! The Zunes don’t ship with any form of physical install CD, so it looks like the anyone that got their hands on a Zune 2 is, well, SOL. Sorry, guys!