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MS confirms Zune Wi-Fi buying, new hardware [U]

updated 05:15 pm EDT, Mon September 8, 2008

MS Confirmes New Zunes

(Updated with official shots, details) Microsoft today confirmed the recently leaked third-generation Zune details that appeared over the weekend as well as filling in new details of its own. The new hardware will be the first from Microsoft to support over-the-air downloads to the Zune, allows tagging songs on FM radio to buy them later, and supports dynamic, themed Channels that can be updated equally wirelessly.

Games will also be preloaded on Zunes for the first time and include both Hexic and Texas Hold'em; most Zune games will support custom soundtracks.

New to the confirmation is word of Audible audiobook format support and the ability to download books from libraries using the OverDrive service. In the PC-side software, Zune will also include an automatic recommendation system for the Zune Marketplace, similar to Apple's Just For You at iTunes, and a Mixview that shows the connections of a given artist or album to other items in the collection to provide a more organic connection between tracks.

Confirming price leaks, Microsoft says the Zune 8GB flash player replaces the 4GB version as the baseline and ships for $149. A 16GB version will sell for $199, while a hard drive-based Zune 120GB will sell for the same $249 as the 80GB model. The company intends to drop the price on earlier Zunes to clear out stock and will sell the 4GB player for $130, while the 80GB edition will sell for $230.

Players are already surfacing as in stock at some stores now, though the firmware update and matching software aren't expected until September 16th. These should apply to earlier-generation players, though Microsoft hasn't said whether these will also work with the Zune 30.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft's decision to confirm virtually all details of its Zune refresh ahead of any formal announcement, in some cases as quickly as late August, is unknown. However, reports increasingly suggest the new Zunes will receive an official press release on Tuesday and so would potentially be overshadowed by iPod and iTunes announcements.

by MacNN Staff



  1. rytc

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If they are worrying about being overshadowed then why announce a refresh the same day as Apple - there are 364 other days in the day, use one.

  1. Marf

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Microsoft is catching up

    It certainly looks as if Microsoft is gaining ground on Apple's iPod. But the Zune still hasn't gathered much traction.

    This is interesting because we get to see Microsoft compete in a real market. It seems to me that in the software world, Microsoft lets other companies do R&D and find a winning formula. Then Microsoft throws something good enough together, and bundles it with Windows. Divide, then conquer, as most people never bother to change their default settings.

    But here, Microsoft doesn't its large, stumbling foot in the door. I think the Zunes would be much more popular if you got one free with every purchase of a Dell, Acer, Compaq, or Sony machine running Windows.

    Come on Microsoft!

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    the palin move.

    because they're like children, one gets attention and the other one is "hey, look what i'm doing! me too me too!"

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    of course they'd be more popular if they were free. that'll be next.

    they may be competing in a real market right now but that will pass. as others falter and don't have the deep pockets to keep at it ms will throw more money on it til they emerge victorious.
    xbox? anyone? msn? anyone? like balmer says "we just keep coming and coming and...". translation: we'll buy our way into any market.

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Have they added....

    Has MS added East Asian font support yet (2 yeas)? I really liked the Zune, but ultimately took it back for an iPod Touch since the Zune cannot display Japanese, Korean and Chinese...FOUR FONTS!!!! That is all it takes MS!!!! FOUR FONTS!!!

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You're the one! I was wondering who bought that Zune.

  1. Monde

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I once saw someone look at a zune in a store. They shortly put it down though and bought a replacement remote control. Natural mistake I guess.

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