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Microsoft will be offering new 120GB and 8GB Zune models

Microsoft launched its Zune digital audio players (DAP) hoping to dethrone Apple and its dominating iPod from the top of the DAP heap. As it turns out, the Zune proved to be no match for the iPod. The iPod sits firmly at the top of the sales pecking order while Microsoft languishes much farther down the list of the most popular DAPs around.

Despite the sales figures, not being what Microsoft hoped for, it is still trudging along with new models and updates to the software to bring about the "Zune Social". In May of 2008, Microsoft launched the Zune 2.5 update and episodes of TV shows. Later in May of 2008, GameStop announced that demand for the Zune in its stores was so low it would no longer be carrying the products.

Engadget reports that information on new Zune models has surfaced from B&H Photo. A 120GB Zune in black will be available for $249.95. An 8GB Blue flash-based Zune will be available for $149.95. Zunerama reports that it has received a screen shot from someone at Wal-Mart that shows the black 80GB Zune and the 4GB Zune have been discontinued. The screen shot is so blurry as to be virtually unreadable.

If the screenshot is accurate, it would seem the 80GB hard drive based Zune is being replaced with the 120GB version. The 4GB flash based Zune is phased out in favor of the 8GB version.

The players would go head to head with Apple's classic iPod 80/160 GB players, priced at $249/$299, and its 8GB flash iPod Nano, generally available for around $179.99.  In the previous generation, the iPod featured better battery life, while the Zune sported a bigger screen and some extra features, though there's no telling how the next generation models of the two players will stack up.


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RE: None of this matters
By novacthall on 9/3/2008 1:48:04 PM , Rating: 2
Dittos to the above.

I retired my iPod that I got in 2004 this year after 4 years of faithful service for a Zune 8. I absolutely love it, and haven't regretted the decision one bit. My wife even retired her iPod that I bought for her to pick up a Zune after playing with mine.

I don't really fit Apple's target market, though. I never purchased anything off the ITMS. I still buy CDs. I don't have a commute that I can watch TV shows on, nor do I travel enough to need one. I dislike being associated with anything remotely "trendy" (in all fairness, that's my problem, not theirs).

As far as sound quality goes, I typically think my hearing is pretty good, but I honestly can't tell the difference. The Zune seems to pick up more interference from my work Nextel phone than did my iPod, but I don't think that's a Zune problem so much as it's a "it's 2008 and you're playing an MP3 player through your tape deck, dummy" problem. I use Bose QuietComfort 2 headphones when I travel and my music sounds great.

The one thing I miss is an equalizer, but iPod's was horrible anyway, so I'd rather not have any at all than one I can't use. I'm looking forward to see how they grow the device.

No love lost, I just didn't need an iPod.


RE: None of this matters
By michael2k on 9/3/2008 3:59:58 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like the Zune is the new Mac :)


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