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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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Awesome look
By L33tMasta on 7/31/2006 5:06:20 PM , Rating: 3
That device has a great look to it.

RE: Awesome look
By MrPieGuy on 7/31/2006 5:10:25 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, nice screen size, and good look. Should integrate well with WMP, if this is priced right Im almost certainly going to buy.

RE: Awesome look
By One43637 on 7/31/2006 5:47:14 PM , Rating: 2
i'm still on the fence on the design, but i do favor the bigger screen. good thing they offer it in black too.

RE: Awesome look
By Burning Bridges on 7/31/2006 6:28:52 PM , Rating: 1
come on guys, those buttons are 3rd gen iPod and the wheel is that from a poor apple imitation, the bigger screen is good, but only if you can use it in landscape mode then in would rock for films :)

that said apple has their all-screen iPod coming out soon, or so I am told, it will be interesting to see how they weigh up.

Watch that screen...
By White Widow on 7/31/2006 6:28:25 PM , Rating: 2
MS just better make sure that such a large and beautiful screen is super scratch-resistant.

RE: Watch that screen...
By NagoyaX on 8/1/2006 2:04:34 AM , Rating: 2
Well i got a warrenty to claim on my zen, so im waiting to see how much zune will cost...
It looks good to me though

Microsoft may need to cross its fingers.
By segagenesis on 7/31/2006 5:09:49 PM , Rating: 2
Standard disclaimer as I have stated before: I own a Nano. Despite owning the competition I can only hope that a large player such as Microsoft can give enough heat towards Apple to where they stay on the ball with future devices. Granted, even being Microsoft nothing is guaranteed because the cost of entry will be initially higher and the obvious fact that it does not work with iTunes, or even PlaysForSure. Well, maybe for me that would not matter... I only use

I realize there are other players on the market, alot of other players, but Microsoft's clout seems to be the only one that could actually make Apple start to worry. On the other hand, I would dare say that the portable music market is a rather dangerous territory for even Microsoft. That's alot of money they are gambling there...

RE: Microsoft may need to cross its fingers.
By eomhS on 7/31/2006 6:04:54 PM , Rating: 2
i think this player is the best thing for consumers there could be, currently Apple has no competition, with microsoft trying to make this big, it'll drive apple's prices down (hopefully), competition is great and the product looks awesome

RE: Microsoft may need to cross its fingers.
By michael2k on 7/31/2006 8:02:16 PM , Rating: 2
Seems unlikely when the rumors state the the Zune will be priced as if a 60gb iPod, while offering a 30gb size...

And so far it is Apple driving prices down; do you not read the reports where Creative continuously loses money every quarter because the price of the inventory (HDD and Flash) is higher than the price of the MP3 player?

Apple is already playing competitively :)

RE: Microsoft may need to cross its fingers.
By TomZ on 7/31/2006 9:36:39 PM , Rating: 2

Seems unlikely when the rumors state the the Zune will be priced as if a 60gb iPod, while offering a 30gb size...Apple is already playing competitively

You're drawing conclusions based on rumors; not a good way to do analysis, IMO.

Anyway, I would point out that Apple has a near monopoly with online music sales (like 70% for 2005), so they are able to determine market pricing. So, no they are not playing competitively, except in other areas where they are forced to. The presence of another "biggie" like Microsoft will help take away Apple's ability to set prices, terms, and conditions for the entire market.

By michael2k on 7/31/2006 11:27:22 PM , Rating: 2
Anyway, I would point out that Apple has a near monopoly with online music sales (like 70% for 2005), so they are able to determine market pricing.

If only the online music market weren't in competition with the offline music market. 70% of the online music market makes up about 5% of the iPod compatible music market. The remaining 95% of the market goes to biggies like Walmart and Best Buy, who also are big enough to determine market pricing. It's not exactly fair to think of this as "not playing competitively".

In other areas, such as DAP, they are competing, otherwise companies like Creative Labs would not be losing money in price wars or in the cost of inventory.

Well, the thing is ugly
By Josh7289 on 7/31/2006 6:40:23 PM , Rating: 2
Besides the fact that the Zune is ugly, I would like it to succeed enough to drive Apple's iPod to have some of its features (bigger screen, etc.).

At the same time, I don't give a crap about any PMPs because I buy all my music on CDs and play them on my portable CD player or PC. I like to actually own my music.

RE: Well, the thing is ugly
By mkuredjian on 7/31/2006 6:52:42 PM , Rating: 2
For one thing, I hope this player motivates Apple to integrate move video playback codecs into the iPod. Having to re-encode everything into H.264 is insane.

RE: Well, the thing is ugly
By michael2k on 7/31/2006 8:03:55 PM , Rating: 3
Uh, why do CDs or PCs stop you from owning an iPod?

Rip the CDs to your PC. Plug in your iPod. All your music automatically is uploaded into your iPod, if you use iTunes.

1) You still have your CDs
2) You still have copies of your CDs on your PC's HDD
3) You now have an iPod with music ripped from your CDs

RE: Well, the thing is ugly
By TomZ on 7/31/2006 9:25:37 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously the OP is talking about avoiding the purchase of music using proprietary DRM format. If you don't buy into Apple's model for purchasing content, then there's no advantage to purchasing their hardware or using their software. There are plenty of alternatives that are rated as just as good if not better than iPod, e.g.,

This comparison rates the Creative Zen V Plus as equal to iPod Nano, and iRiver Clix higher than the iPod.

Finally, I would also add that there are a lot of consumers that are rally turned off by Apple's arrogant marketing. These people wouldn't buy an iPod even if it were the highest rated. This is the double-edge sword of developing that type of brand image, unfortunately.

RE: Well, the thing is ugly
By Rollomite on 8/1/2006 1:07:16 PM , Rating: 1
I agree 100%. I have a 30GB 5G iPod, and almost exclusively upload my own music from CD's onto it. The only music I will purchase from iTunes is that rare exclusive release. Plus, who can complain about free podcasts? I own an iPod so I don't have to carry a briefcase-sized CD holder everytime I go somewhere. Plus, I'm still from the crowd that thinks if a band can't make an album's worth of good music, they don't deserve ANY of my money. Promoting the sale of single tracks is only driving the music industry to promote more talentless, one-hit image whores, over true singer/songwriters. Plus, I like to read liner-notes.

dont like the way it looks
By LumbergTech on 7/31/2006 9:05:52 PM , Rating: 2
i like the screen size but i dont really like the way the device looks seems to me its like lets copy ipod but try our best to pretend like we arent copying it..i like minimialist design but this thing just looks ugly to me

RE: dont like the way it looks
By TomZ on 7/31/2006 9:40:14 PM , Rating: 2
The reason it looks too plain and ugly is that you can't see the active content on the display. The contents of the display give the device a lot of its personality or character.

If you don't believe me, then go over to Apple's web site and see if you can find any pictures of the iPod with the display off. Even one.

does it do .wma only?
By Randalllind on 7/31/2006 11:42:42 PM , Rating: 2
What format is it for .wma or will it do mp3's? I guess WMP11 will come out in November suppose to launch with Zune.

RE: does it do .wma only?
By Master Kenobi on 8/1/2006 7:49:13 AM , Rating: 2
Will likely favor WMA and/or WMV, but it would be dumb not to support mp3, even the ipod will take mp3's.

By Shoal07 on 8/1/2006 10:07:35 AM , Rating: 2
I bet the soldier market will be into the brown color. Almost everyone had some type of MP3 player. Laptops are too big and you need something for the long hours of downtime.

A darn shame...
By rupaniii on 8/2/2006 12:15:08 AM , Rating: 2
If it had basic controls and wifi, it'd have been a great XBOX Live Arcade console.... even better, a chat device too if you added an Audiovox PC6700 style slide under keyboard! Well, next time around?

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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