Zune

The big ‘M’ with a bold new Zune

The big ‘M’ with a bold new Zune

With so much hype around the new Zune, all eyes seem to be on Microsoft. They had big changes to make over their previous model, and the MP3 player market is so cutthroat at the moment. Of course when I speak of cutthroat I’m referring to the swift knife in Steve Jobs hand known as the iPod.

Microsoft to excel past Apple with new Zune Originals

Microsoft to excel past Apple with new Zune Originals

Everyone knows that if you order your iPod from Apple online you get the option to customize is with up to two lines of text across the back. Well Microsoft is taking it a step further with their new Zunes and offering up 4 lines of text and even the option to have an entire piece of art engraved on the back.

The new 4, 8, and 80GB Zunes that are dropping tomorrow will have this option of customization, but the real question is, will Microsoft be selling the customized Zunes or do they have a deal worked out with one of their third party retailers where they take care of it all? I think it would be nice to see Microsoft actually start selling something hardware wise themselves.

Zunes old & new get fresh firmware November 13th: WiFi sync and mobile downloads

Zunes old & new get fresh firmware November 13th: WiFi sync and mobile downloads

While I don't think I'd actually buy a Zune, I do admire how Microsoft has committed to making the latest firmware for its Zune 2 PMP available for first-gen hardware too.  Come November 13th those who took the non-iPod route in favour of Seattle's finest will be able to install the new software, giving wireless synchronization and on-device access to the Zune Marketplace as well as the Online Community.

 

Zune 2 advert potentially misleading with touchscreen indication?

Zune 2 advert potentially misleading with touchscreen indication?

Colour me confused.  Microsoft have kicked off their all-singing, all-dancing ad campaign for the Zune 2 - under the byline "You Make It You" - and as far as I can tell they're suggesting that you have plans to fill your PMP with kangaroos and jellyfish.  What's more concerning than the odd menagerie is the fact that the advert indicates that the Zune 2 has a touch-sensitive screen.

Check out the video for yourself, after the cut...

Zune 2 already on sale

Zune 2 already on sale

Apparently there are some Wal-Mart locations that are a bit over-zealous on their timeline for release of the Zune 2. So if you live in St. Louis or are able to get there, you might check out a certain Wal-Mart that has decided to start selling them about 12 days ahead of time.

I have an original Zune, and I consider it a serious mistake, especially after buying an iPod Touch, but I am going to wait till the new firmware with the new features is released, update it, and then see if that makes it any more worthy, but I doubt it. The Zune 2 is just this much closer to being worthy of the price they are asking, if they would just give it one truly unique and new feature, it would probably sell, but as it is, they are only giving it the capability to sync with your PC wirelessly, a capability it should have had with the first release.

New Zune Car Package

New Zune Car Package

Well it looks like Microsoft is at it again with the whole not letting anyone else touch the dock connector thing. As such they have released a new FM transmitter for the new Zunes that are coming in November.

The new FM transmitter can find the optimum stations (for example those without other stations broadcasting on them) automatically so you get the best audio playback through this device. There is also a grip pad so everything isn’t sliding around all willy nilly.

Zune 2 Photo Leaks – Just When You Thought It Couldn’t Get Any Worse

Zune 2 Photo Leaks – Just When You Thought It Couldn’t Get Any Worse

Apparently it can, and Microsoft knows just how. There appears to be 3 new models, the two smaller ones are the 4 and 8 Gigabyte sizes and the full sized one is, as best I can read the out of focus print, carrying an 80GB hard drive.

Just up front, I want to state that SlashGear has no deal with Microsoft to keep the embargo of these photos, and they weren’t sent directly to us, they are from Zune-Online.com, but the embargo was until midnight of the 3rd, or tonight for those of you who stay up late. Now on to business, its nice to see that MS is finally giving the 2nd gen Nano a run for its money, too bad they are a full generation too late. Also, the 80GB Zune, once again, a day late and a dollar short, Apple now has 160GB iPod classics.

Zune 2 rumored to launch Tuesday

Zune 2 rumored to launch Tuesday

If the rumour weasels are to be believed, Microsoft are ahead of their planned October 16th launch of the next-gen Zune range and are intending to drop the feisty little fella tomorrow.  According to BetaNews, Microsoft are planning a launch event to be held at Redmond, with Bill Gates and Design & Development Chief J. Allard announcing the new hard-drive and flash based tiered range before fighting over who gets first dance with the blushing débutante.

 

Zune 2 image confirmed; Microsoft aiming for October 16th launch

Zune 2 image confirmed; Microsoft aiming for October 16th launch

Oh Zune, how I wish I could summon up a little enthusiasm for you and your potential offspring.  Further information regarding the Zune 2 leaks disappointingly from Microsoft, and while they're obviously gunning for a holiday frenzy with a planned October 16th launch, the confirmed specs - and the photo everyone said "meh" about - don't look to offer up too much of a challenge to the refreshed iPod range.

 

Microsoft to release blue Zune?

Microsoft to release blue Zune?

Is Microsoft about to launch the Zune in a new color? If a tree falls in the woods and kills a mime, does anyone care? A recent Target ad will shed light one one of these burning questions.

Zune price-cut spurs Amazon sales

Zune price-cut spurs Amazon sales

Update: As ever, our intrepid SlashGear commentors come to the rescue.  It looks like Amazon incorrectly tagged several iPod models, causing them to be left off the hard-drive based sales list.  As of update, they've still not corrected the issue; however in the full portable audio chart the iPod Touch pre-order is sitting happily at the top (complete with prescient user reviews).

Cynical we techies may be about Microsoft's Zune and its appeal as a PMP, but the general public once again demonstrates that at the end of the day price plays one of the biggest factors.  Since the cost of the white 1st-gen 30GB player dropped to a mere $169.99 on Amazon US - thirty bucks more than the $50 reduction Microsoft announced - it's hit the number one spot on the retailer's hard-drive based PMP sales list.

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9