Microsoft unveils Zune 30GB player, Zune Marketplace; declines to disclose prices

“Microsoft Corp. on Thursday unveiled Zune, a 30-gigabyte music and video player that marks the software giant’s entry into a digital-media player market dominated by Apple Computer Inc.’s iPod,” Rex Crum and Michael Paige report MarketWatch.

“Microsoft said Zune will come with a three-inch screen, which is larger than the iPod’s two-inch video screen, as well as built-in wireless and FM-radio tuning technology, features that also aren’t available on the iPod,” Crum and Paige report.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s iPod features a 2.5-inch screen, not a “two-inch” screen, and offers the exact same 320×240 pixel resolution as Zune. Apple’s iPod Radio Remote. Listen to FM radio on your iPod and control everything with a convenient wired remote. Just $49.

“Additionally, Microsoft launched what it calls the Zune Marketplace [available this holiday season in the United States], an online music site where customers can purchase individual songs or buy a subscription that allows the purchase of unlimited songs for a flat fee,” Crum and Michael Paige report. “Microsoft said the Zune would be available in time for the holiday shopping season, but didn’t immediately disclose prices for the product, or for songs bought through the Zune Marketplace.”

Full article here.

According to the press release, Microsoft plans to offer Zune, manufactured by Japanese electronics maker Toshiba Corp., in black, white and brown, according to a company news release.

“The digital music entertainment revolution is just beginning,” said J Allard, vice president, design and development, at Microsoft, who is heading its Zune project. “With Zune, we are not simply delivering a portable device, we are introducing a new platform that helps bring artists closer to their audiences and helps people find new music and develop new social connections.”

Apple’s iPod holds more than half of the worldwide digital media player market, according to research company NPD, while iTunes accounts for over 70 percent of U.S. digital music sales. In the United States, the iPod has more than 75 percent of the digital music player market, according to NPD.
Is this a joke? Zune Marketpace? Great name. As for the Zune player, rarely has a product been so appropriately hued as Microsoft’s repackaged Toshiba Gigabeat in brown. It’s appropriately dressed for its inevitable date to circle the bowl.

We can see the ads now: Zune pitchman, South Park’s Mr. Hankey, singing, “PlaysForShit and looks like it, too!”

One thing’s for sure, the Microsoft marketing person who scheduled this “news” release for a Thursday, two days after Apple’s special event no less, is no genius.

If this was from any other company than Microsoft, we’d feel sorry for them – like we did for Toshiba when they first debuted this thing.

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110 Comments

  1. Gotta love how Mafia$oft is just eating into their “Plays For Shit” partners. How long do you think they are going to like being Mafia$oft’s little bitches before they give them the middle finger? I’d say Christmas 2007 at the latest. It will soon be just Apple and Mafia$oft, again.

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