Microsoft to add more substance to its Zune family

Microsoft's first generation Zune music player is launching today at a price of $249. The 30GB, WiFi enabled player will be made available in over 30,000 retail locations and is sure to be a hot item for Christmas wish lists. But just as the Zune is hitting store shelves, the boys over in Redmond are already working on updates to the player according to Engadget.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stated that a firmware update will be made available for the Zune in the future that will enable wireless sharing of user-created video content. The Zune currently enables wireless music sharing on a 3x3 basis (three plays for three days with the option to purchase the tracks).

Ballmer also hinted that a Zune with integrated phone capabilities would also be released down the road. No other details were provided, but rest assured that Microsoft will be going head to head with the long-rumored iPhone.

Microsoft is going to need all the help it can get in competing with Apple's full range of iPod players. With 5.5G iPods, 2G Nanos and 2G Shuffles running around, Microsoft's sole 30GB entry isn't quite going to cut it. With Apple seeing a 75% marketshare in the United States, it’s the cheaper flash-based iPods that are taking up the bulk of iPod sales instead of the higher-priced hard drive-based models. It's only a matter of time before we'll see cheaper, flash-based Zunes hitting store shelves.

"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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