Microsoft Zune 2.5 update adds TV, new social features & more

Microsoft have announced an update for their Zune PMP, version 2.5, which introduces new functionality to the device’s software and firmware, as well as the Zune Marketplace online media store.  Gapless playback and auto-playlists, together with the ability to synchronize multiple devices simultaneously (and queue up new tracks for loading when the PMP is next plugged in) have all been added to the Zune itself.  Meanwhile, more than 800 television shows – including South Park, Heroes, Battlestar Galactica and SpongeBob SquarePants – have been added to the Zune Marketplace, priced at 160 Microsoft Points per episode (approximately $1.99).


Microsoft announces XNA game development for the Zune

Microsoft is well known for being on the very bleeding edge of technology, paving paths that no one has ever thought to venture down. Take the Zune for example, who thought that digital music was the way of the future? What’s that? Apple beat them to it by half a decade? Oh. Well, Microsoft may have one-upped Apple this time, as they’re going to be opening up the Zune to game developers. Take that Apple!


Microsoft does have a heart, too bad they placed it on the back of a Zune

Just in time for St. Valentine’s Day you can now get a red Zune 80GB version. There is also apparently a new Zune Originals design as well which is reminiscent of fireworks, but with the centers and ends being hearts.


Zune 2 Unboxing

That’s right, Microsoft finally got around to sending us our Zune 2 for review. By now its so old news that everyone is already speculating on the next model. But, here is the unboxing, and we’ll do a review and let you know what we really think of the device if you are still on the fence about getting one, hopefully we’ll be able to help you one way or the other.


Microsoft and Goods pair up to make Gold Zune 2s

Microsoft commissioned Goods to make 20 gold Zunes. 10 are 80GB models, 10 are 8GB flash models. They look nice, and they are obviously made with gold. No word on price, and I am sure the line is short for a gold Zune, but its still probably longer than 20 people, so it will be interesting to hear what price was actually paid for each of these limited edition models.


Zune 80 now available for customization

Remember the Zune Originals program that MS was offering for customizing the backs of the flash models of the new Zunes? Well they finally got around to extending that to the once-sold-out 80GB model.


Happy Thanksgiving

Well folk’s it’s that time of year again, Thanksgiving is upon us. I am sure many of you have a lot to give thanks for, and even more so, I hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the time you spend with those near and dear to you.

I, and the rest of the staff would like to start by thanking all of you, our readers, tipsters, friendly PR people, and all the companies we work with on a regular basis, and we all also wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving. All of us writers are taking the day off tomorrow, and we will reconvene and begin writing again first thing Monday, so, no news from us today.


SlashGear week in review, issue 1

SlashGear week in review, issue 1

So, this week we decided to try something new, every week, at the end of the week, we are going to do a Week In Review where we take a quick glance back to all products we covered and any and all other especially interesting news. its kind of like a "what you might have missed" for the end of the week, a summary if you will. So, please, leave us a comment and let us know if you like it, or if there is something you think we should add or remove from it, thanks again for reading.

From Guitar Hero III to the LG Venus, we covered a lot of ground this past week. With the holidays fast approaching, the gadget news seems to be overflowing. We covered plenty of cool gifts for your Mom, Dad, Son or Daughter. Whether your looking to buy a modest stocking stuffer such as the Mood beams, or truly splurge on luxury. Lets not forget one of the biggest announcements of the week, with the launch of the Android SDK and platform, the potential future of the mobile world, don't forget to check out AndroidCommunity.com, you could be one of the lucky recipients of a portion of that $10 million in developer cash Google is ponying up.

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Microsoft bank emptied of new 80GB Zunes

Sure, you can find 4GB and 8GB flash models all over the place. Once again though, MS put their eggs in the wrong basket and focused production efforts on the flash models expecting them to be the ones selling out, but no, it’s the new 80GB versions that are sold out both online and in retail stores.

Apparently the retailers aren’t expecting any more stock of the 80GB players until after Christmas. So, Microsoft finally makes a player worthy of a sellout and then they run out of them well before the holiday season and won’t be restocked until well after. Genius.


Microsoft’s Zune Hacked for USB Storage

Looks like the new Zune has already been hacked. Nothing major, it just allows you to do something that you should be able to do without editing the registry. Change a few characters here and there and you have yourself a giant USB drive.


Microsoft ZenZui mobile UI now known as Zumobi

“What is a name?” well in today’s consumer oriented market it means a lot, but a change from ZenZui to Zumobi, I don’t think consumers are going to care much. It’s a zooming user interface, I have no clue what that means, but it sounds like something else MS ripped off of the iPhone.

It will be available for WinMo 5 and 6 devices as well as a BlackBerry and J2ME version to be released later, like Q2 next year. the Windows Mobile versions will have a public beta dropping on December 14th if you are interested.


Rumor: Microsoft looking to bring you OTA music purchases

Musiwave, a French company that offers AYCE (all you can eat) music services to cellular providers in Europe, might get purchased by Microsoft. If that were to happen, we might see that technology spread to Windows Live, WinMo, and maybe even the Zune.

God knows how long we’ve been waiting to see such a service available on the Windows Mobile platform, so that would be a blessing of its own. Then to see it spread to the Zune allowing you to connect to your favorite hotspot and download the tunes you just heard on the radio that would be awesome.


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