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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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Here's A Tip ...
By kelmon on 9/4/2008 5:08:15 AM , Rating: 2
Gather 'round, Microsoft Executives, for I am about to dispense wisdom that will enable you to grow the market share of your Zune.

Are you ready?

SELL THE DAMNED THING OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES!

(* Deep breath *)

Look, this isn't complicated. You have a product that you want to challenge Apple's iPod. The problem is that you only sell it in the US whereas the iPod is available in every country in the known universe. This even applies to your other competitors. By not selling the device outside the US you have immediately shrunk your available market. It's been 2-years since you released the original Zune - are you seriously telling us that you aren't ready yet?

Oh, and stop pricing products in your Marketplace in silly Microsoft Points. People are far more comfortable in buying things when they understand how much it is going to cost them.




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