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Zune HD's web browser is 'iPhone-like'

updated 12:10 pm EDT, Wed August 5, 2009

Zune HD Browser Experience

The web browser for the Zune HD will be one of the highlights of Microsoft's media player when it ships, a hands-on with the devices show. Testing with the player by CNET reveals that the browser, although made by the Internet Explorer team, is directly comparable to Safari for the iPhone and can do nearly everything Apple's software can, including multi-touch commands and the on-screen keyboard. It only lacks recognition of embedded video.

"The Zune's new Web browser smokes," Senior Editor Donald Bell says. "Not since first using the iPhone have I been this impressed with a mobile web browser... page load was snappy, and pinching and reorienting pages work just like the iPhone and iPod touch."

Outside of the web, the Zune HD also promises to make use of its Wi-Fi even during regular music playback. Tracks automatically receive artist info, photos and related artist lists regardless of whether or not they were bought through the Zune Marketplace. As long as the player is online, it can also take users to related artists in the Marketplace to download them.

The player itself is "expensive, solid, and sexy," Bell adds. It's slightly thicker than the iPod touch but considerably narrower due to its smaller and lower resolution 480x272 display.

Microsoft won't yet commit to a price or a ship date for the player, although it's expected in September at or near $249 for a 16GB model. The player is intended to outclass the current iPod touch in features with a high-color OLED display, HD Radio tuning and 720p video playback on a TV. The latter uses a special video dock that will come with HDMI output and a remote control.

by MacNN Staff



  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    in other news

    dog bites man...

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    MS copies Apple again

    Raise your hand if this surprises you.

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    hey luck

    more ms "innovation" just for you.

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Well, well...

    That means they stole Safari?

    Comment buried. Show
  1. luckyday

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh Nat

    Haha. Now Microsoft making their product as good as Apple's is copying. Amazing.

    Multitouch has been around for a while. Apple didn't come up with the idea. They just think they patented it. To be honest, as Apple really come up with anything that nobody thought of? 5 years ago, my friends and I knew that the future of the cell phone was to integrate the phone, camera, and computer into one device with a touch screen. Pretty obvious evolution.

    What has Apple done that is so surprising and creative?

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    oh luck

    "What has Apple done that is so surprising and creative?"

    we have discussed you doing your homework before coming on here. still, you do not listen. sigh. i just don't know what else to do.

  1. joecab

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not so luckyday

    "Multitouch has been around for a while"

    An oversimplification. The details of how it's being used is what's innovative and patentable. And "obvious" doesn't count if it just sits in your head gathering dust; it's doing something interesting with it that matters.

  1. macnixer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    eternal truth

    the sun rises in the east and macnn made news of it. :)

    Frankly I do not understand "The Zune's new Web browser smokes," Senior Editor Donald Bell says."
    What is he smoking - Ganja (pot)?

    MS has been copying and forget that they need to come up with something innovative. Wait this word is not used on MS Campus.

    MS Internal Motto - What is Apple Doing Today?
    MS Adverts - Where do you want to go today?

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969



    What's this got to do with touch screens? Apple didn't invest the MP3 player, they just made it work. Apple didn't invest the smartphone, they just made the first smart phone.

    Apple invents a lot of stuff, they also know how to look at a market and see what's wrong with it, then develop a product that works. In the case of the Zune, what commenters are referring to is not that M$ copied Safari, rather they copied the means by which to implement web browsing on a touch device. I don't understand the confusion (if that's what it is). M$ has had a mobile web browser long before the iPhone, but instead of actually designing a UI appropriate for a mobile device, the just went with what they knew. I'm in awe as to how someone can't see this - Apple has changed the entire smart phone industry - if they'd done it right the first time Apple would never have entered the market as there would not have been a need. Jobs nailed it when he said, "people hate their phones."

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: What?

    they just made the first smart phone.

    Actually, they didn't invent the first 'smart phone'. It took them two years to figure out how someone who gets an email could, say, copy information from that email and paste it in another application. Not exactly smart.

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