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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: Get with the after market program guys!!!
By ATC on 9/3/2008 2:29:53 PM , Rating: 2
If there is one message I want to make clear to the iPod competitors is that your never going to beat the iPod without designing boomboxes, clock radio, Stereo Ports, FM Broadcasters, etc that work with your player. Using the audio jack is a mess compared to just docking and go.

Completely agree. The 3rd party support for the iPod is what makes it a killer. Zune, or whomever else, really have no chance until they break into that 3rd party support. You also forgot to mention cars that have the iPod dock. Quite a few cars have them now; yet another accessory that makes the iPod unbeatable.

RE: Get with the after market program guys!!!
By Mitch101 on 9/3/2008 3:37:21 PM , Rating: 2
I think someone should make an iPod to Zune/Sansa/Zen adapter/sleeve that slips over the iPod docks by now. I haven't looked at the pinout but an adapter shouldn't be that difficult to make.

Just put your Zune/Sansa/Zen into a sleeve and its not iPod dock compatible in some devices. Maybe not full functionality but if it works in most devices it would be great.

By Parhel on 9/4/2008 12:14:07 PM , Rating: 2
That's a great idea, but I bet there would be major software compatability issues. What they need are some industry standards for both hardware and software. It sucks to be locked into an iPod because your car supports it.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer
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