When Microsoft decided to enter the portable media player field
with the original
Zune, its goal was to dethrone Apple’s iPod as the media player of choice.
That never happened; the Zune didn’t take off as Microsoft had hoped it would.
reporting that Microsoft will hold a press event tomorrow, with Bill Gates
on hand, to launch the Zune 2.0. The first generation Zune was able to claim 10
percent of the hard drive based portable media player market, amounting to
about 3 percent of the overall media player market.
One of the things that the new Zune 2.0 will offer is a
thinner profile than the chunky first generation Zune players. Microsoft
is rolling out a new flash based Zune at the press event sized along the lines
of the iPod nano at 3-inches by 1.25-inches.
These small flash-based Zune's are reported to be video and
WiFi capable and will have higher storage capacities than competing products
from Apple. One could gather from that last statement that the flash based Zune
2.0 would be available in 8GB and perhaps even in a 16GB capacity.
Microsoft will reportedly manufacture about 2.4 million Zune
2.0 devices for the holiday season. Two thirds of these devices are expected to
be the flash based players. The new Zunes are expected to be available in
November along with Microsoft’s new line of Zune accessories. Pricing
information on the new Zune products is unavailable at this time, but expect
pricing to be very competitive with similar offerings from Apple.
A Microsoft patent application recently uncovered by DailyTech shows a new social aspect to
the Zune player that allows Zune users to subscribe to playlists. The timing of
the application leads many to believe this service will be part of the new Zune
2.0 as well.
Engadget is reporting that its sources suggest that the official
launch will be on Wednesday. In addition, Engadget has
a picture of the original Zune running 2.1 firmware and Zune-Online has leaked pics of the new
flash Zune and slimmed down 2nd gen HDD-based Zune.
quote: Why does everyone Zune bash!?
quote: its come a long way from the original Xbox in a lot more ways than technology
quote: XP, Xbox 360 is just a glorified PC, and the Zune, is an average run of the mill mp3 player.
quote: Without a true 4-way selector (scroll wheels suck), without WMA support, (Ain't no way in hell I'm transcoding 58GB of songs.), and without something other then the god awful monstrosity that is iTunes I personally won't go anywhere near an iPod.
quote: The battery life sucks compared to the iPod's (I have to charge it everyday because I can only get around three hours max).
quote: - give consumers what they want rather than controlling them, FM/Wifi was a good start how about Divx/Xvid/ogg/flac
quote: or maybe a $400 mp3 player that has the worst sound quality known to man? Then go Apple.