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Major Zune overhaul due in January?

updated 08:30 am EST, Wed November 26, 2008

Zune Codename Pink Rumor

Microsoft is planning a major update to the Zune that may presage the rumored Microsoft-built phone, according to an alleged tip given to CNBC's Jim Goldman. A claimed "good" source tells the reporter that a new Zune device, codenamed "Pink," is due to surface as early as the CES show in January and would represent a cross between existing Zune design and elements picked up from Microsoft's acquisition of Danger, which is believed to have been absorbed into the Entertainment division at the company that handles both the Xbox and Zune lines.

What features the device will include are unknown from this latest report but are rumored to involve NVIDIA's newer Tegra processor for high-resolution video playback. Microsoft itself has also ultimately pointed to an eventual move to touchscreens without committing to any particular timeframe and notably had a relatively low-key Zune update this fall, releasing capacity increases and new firmware rather than a significant redesign.

Goldman's reported contact also supports the notion of Microsoft producing its own phone and echoes reports that point to a possible introduction at the Mobile World Congress (3GSM) show in February, though when it would be released and what it would include is unknown. Microsoft has historically been slow to turn from announcements of Windows Mobile versions to shipping products.

However, the source does explicitly denote the intention to use at least the phone as "true competition" to the iPhone and so is likely to focus on a touchscreen. Microsoft has so far found relatively little success in relying on its partners to compete with iPhones and at best can pin its hopes on HTC's Touch Diamond, which is slated to sell just 3 million units by the end of the year, or less than half of Apple's summer sales alone. Full touchscreen Windows Mobile phones are nonetheless becoming more common with the appearance of the LG Incite for AT&T and the American version of the Samsung Omnia for Verizon.

by MacNN Staff



  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ah yes

    Cant wait for that comedy to unfold. Hmm; wonder what the new color will be? Moldy brown? Cause after all, it will be c*** in a new package. This is Microshit after all.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Once again

    MS is copying Apple. Now what are they up to? Waiting until AFTER the holiday season and revamping their line-up. Probably at some convention, showing it off at a keynote hosted by a dapper, well-dressed individual. Or Ballmer.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    s**** partners again

    LOL... All you WinMo partners are just about to get screwed if this is true.

  1. simdude

    Joined: Dec 1969


    keep an eye on them

    Ok, the Zune has been pretty much a flop. It's typical of the "Ballmer, I don't really get it", mentality. But don't write off Microsoft. The leadership has been poor, but they have a lot of decent programmers. Ever hear of guys like Herb Sutter? He's a leading voice in software development and a Microsoft dude. The problem is, having a lot of programming talent with poor direction lets you create undesirable products really quick. If Microsoft were to ever get some true vision, they could be back in the game in one or two product cycles.

    As long as Apple doesn't start to create a product, and then try to find a market, but instead builds stuff people want, they will do well. Just don't turn your back on MS because they've sucked in the past.

  1. mytdave

    Joined: Dec 1969


    so typical

    Gawd, if an original thought went through the 'mind' of Microsoft, it would be the shortest trip in [name your location].

    I wonder, though, why after more than 20 years of this same BS there are soooo many people who still can't see that MS just copies everything Apple does, and still can't make it as good.

    The scary thing here though, is that they still have endless gobs of money they can throw at failing products and push them until there is nothing else left. How many years did Xbox lose money?

    Also, if they are building a device around the nVidia chip, Apple will actually have to pay attention and work their arses off to compete with it. It may be running the c*** Win Mobile or Zune OS, but it will be fast, and capable of incredible game play. Don't underestimate its potential.

  1. tindrum

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just n time for Christmas

    Yeah, if I'm gonna refresh a consumer product line that's lagging, I'll do it in January. Oh well, with all the doom and gloom, maybe it won't matter either way.

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    no body turns their back on them. of course they sucked in the past and will suck in the future. doesn't matter. as ballmer keeps saying "we just keep coming and coming and...". in other words, they buy their way into a market.

    the new zune's will be.... TOUCHSCREEN! they'll look similar to iphone/touch. they'll function similar. they'll probably be an app store. it'll all probably suck. but...
    it will stay on the market long after competing products are done and gone because they can afford to keep it on the market. they'll make the next one a little better, then the next one a little better, losing billions in the process.

    msn. anyone? xbox. anyone? zune...

    and that is the single most annoying thing about them. they don't compete. if techs-r-us created a product and it lost a billion heads would roll and it would be goodbye product. ms just keeps soaking up the loss's til the others are all headless.

  1. Monde

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Whats a zune?

    No really, whats a zune?

    Someone had to say it.

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Zune Fone Baby!


    plus - MacNN douches again_ Please MacNN explain to your readers how this directly relates to Mac related news? The fact that it is an unconfirmed rumor not-withstanding.

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