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Zune 30 firmware updates are coming November 13  (Source: Microsoft)

Zune 80 alongside the Zune 4/8  (Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft prepares Zune updates for next Tuesday

Microsoft announced its second generation Zune music players in early October. Microsoft righted many of the wrongs that plagued the first generation Zune and added a number of new features to pique the interest of potential buyers.

The new Zunes now have the ability to wirelessly sync within range of a host computer. Microsoft also dropped the 3-day limitation from its "3-day-or-3-play" DRM scheme, gave the Zune the ability to playback content from Windows Media Center-enabled PCs and added support for h.264 and MPEG-4 file formats.

When Microsoft announced the new Zune, it also shocked many in the industry when it noted that first generation Zunes -- now called the Zune 30 -- would also receive the new Zune software features via a firmware update.

Microsoft sent out an email to current Zune 30 owners yesterday informing them that the new firmware update along with updated Zune Marketplace software will be available on November 13.

"Beginning November 13, Zune will be providing service and software updates for your device and your PC," stated Microsoft in the email message. "The updates will be automatic, but you'll need to accept the terms of service in order to receive the latest features. By accepting the updates, your Zune will have the same software that comes preloaded on all new devices."

The new Zune 80 features a $249 price tag and an 80GB HDD. Microsoft was also able to enlarge the screen from 3.0" to 3.2" while also making the device both lighter and thinner.

In order to keep up with Apple's fast-moving iPod nano family, the boys from Redmond also introduced two flash-based Zunes: the Zune 4 and the Zune 8. As the names imply, the players have capacities of 4GB and 8GB respectively to go along with their $149 and $199 price tags.

The Zune 80 will be available in black, while the Zune 4/8 will be available in pink, green, black and glossy red.


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Zune
By drebo on 11/6/2007 9:09:15 AM , Rating: 2
I certainly like the look of the Zune better than the iPod. I ordered a 30gb Zune from Buy.com for $99...good to see that they're fixing a lot of things with it and that those fixes will be available to me.




RE: Zune
By hannibal the mechanical bull on 11/6/2007 9:19:51 AM , Rating: 2
Its nice to me, but I would like a smaller shuffle or nano competitor.


RE: Zune
By hannibal the mechanical bull on 11/6/2007 9:41:18 AM , Rating: 2
err... I meant I would like to see the actual Zune 4/8 devices, and potentially a Shuffle replacement as well. My Wife has a newer shuffle, its nice because it clips on her shirt and she can go jogging with it, it weighs just about nothing, if not for the cord you wouldnt even notice its there.


RE: Zune
By AlphaVirus on 11/6/2007 11:11:54 AM , Rating: 2
Mpeg-4 playback, good job M$. This opens the door to watch alot of my movies on the Zune.

I really would like to get a Zune, its a nice product. I finally got a chance to play with one in the store and it is by far more functional than an ipod imo. A few cons of course but overall much better.

One thing I could say Apple has over Microsoft, the cool factor. Apple has marketed itself as being the hip, different, and cool product so all the kids get them. Usually when kids buy a product, it also influences the non-tech savvy adult. The adult says "Hey if the kids are buying it, it must be whats hip these days so I will get one and be cool" (of course not all parents are like this but alot do try and be the "cool" parents)


"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

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