Microsoft's first generation Zune music player is launching
today at a price of $249. The 30GB, WiFi enabled player will be made available
in over 30,000 retail locations and is sure to be a hot item for Christmas wish
lists. But just as the Zune is hitting store shelves, the boys over in Redmond
are already working on updates to the player according to Engadget.
In an interview with Bloomberg,
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stated that a firmware update will be made
available for the Zune in the future that will enable wireless sharing of
user-created video content. The Zune currently enables wireless music sharing on
a 3x3 basis
(three plays for three days with the option to purchase the tracks).
Ballmer also hinted that a Zune with integrated phone
capabilities would also be released down the road. No other details were
provided, but rest assured that Microsoft will be going head to head with the
Microsoft is going to need all the help it can get in
competing with Apple's full range of
iPod players. With 5.5G iPods, 2G Nanos and 2G Shuffles running around,
Microsoft's sole 30GB entry isn't quite going to cut it. With Apple seeing a
75% marketshare in the United States, it’s the cheaper flash-based iPods that
are taking up the bulk of iPod sales instead of the higher-priced hard
drive-based models. It's only a matter of time before we'll see cheaper,
flash-based Zunes hitting store shelves.