Zune's launch comes 1 year after Xbox 360

Engadget has been pretty much on the mark with all of its Zune commentary prior to Microsoft's official confirmation of the portable media player, so we'll take their word for it when they say that Microsoft's first Zune-branded portable media player (PMP) will launch on November 14th. According to their sources, Microsoft will open the flood gates in August giving detailed information on the player and its launch strategy.

Engadget's sources also confirm that the player will be available at launch in black, brown and cotton. We're not so sure that the buying public is craving a brown media player, but we'll let them slide on that one. Also in the cards are a 30GB hard drive and a screen that is 50% larger than the 5G iPod.

Microsoft is betting big on its Zune brand. The company is rumored to be shelling out $500 million USD on marketing for Zune and has already contacted a number of iPod accessory makers to provide products for Zune players. But even with all of the money that Microsoft is throwing at the project, they acknowledge that it will take years to catch up with the iPod which already has a 5-year head start.

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