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Microsoft introduces new Zune lineup

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Microsoft has unveiled its latest revisions to the Zune digital media player, including a revamped hard drive-based model as well as a new flash-based Zune, which will compete with the iPod nano. The new hard drive-based Zune will offer 80GB of storage, Wi-Fi wireless sync, and a 3.2-inch screen; it will sell for $250, matching the price of the 80GB iPod classic. The new flash-based Zune will be offered in 4GB and 8GB capacities, will feature a 1.8-inch screen, the same Wi-Fi functionality as the larger model, and will sell for $150 and $200 respectively, matching the price points of the 4GB and 8GB iPod nano (with video). The new players also sport touch-sensitive navigation via the new “Zune Pad”, a rounded rectangle-shaped control apparatus that takes the place of the original Zune’s round navigation pad. No battery life statistics have yet been disclosed by Microsoft. All three new Zune models are slated for a November release.

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Comments

21

Does Universal Music Group still get a cut of every Zune 2.0 in addition to Zune 1.0 units?

Posted by JYoung on October 4, 2007 at 2:55 AM (CDT)

22

Comparing Apple and MS in travel terms:


Apple has made intergalactic space travel a reality while MS is all excited about cross country travel with a horse-drawn carriage. Well, I must say, at least in their own eyes, this is an advancement of sorts. Last year MS offered shoes for all your travel needs.

Posted by Mike on October 4, 2007 at 5:52 AM (CDT)

23

The Zune 80 is what I was expecting from Apple in terms of the “iPod Classic”. A large screen with a smaller click wheel. The new Zune is a huge improvement over the previous one. Microsoft did its homework. The only thing keeping me tied to Apple is iTunes. If Microsoft can get me to give up iTunes, I’ll gladly convert. I’d much rather have this Zune 80 then the iPod Classic. It has a bigger screen and is more customizable. It looks cooler as well :P.

Posted by ddsd on October 4, 2007 at 7:06 AM (CDT)

24

@WildmanCAL:
I’d have to agree, I was pleasantly surprised at the reasonable comments - and then Mike jumped in :).
Really Mike, Apple has done a better job of marketing and having the complete solution between hardware and software - but the players themselves, until the touch, are good, but hardly “intergalactic”.  I applaud Microsoft for their efforts.  They don’t have the better solution as a whole, but they are moving in the right direction and pushing improvements back to older systems is a classy move.  Having said that, it would really be fun to watch them truly try to shake things up and just go for it - like Flippy commented.  The time is ripe with Apple arrogance running at an all time high, but MS still has to do more than offer a couple of distinguishing features and come in at the same price point. They need to find something that makes peope say wow - and then make the price irresistable.

Posted by WhoCares on October 4, 2007 at 9:23 AM (CDT)

25

“I have to say I am impressed with the thought out, intelligent responses to this news article.  Typically, it would have been MS bashing but folks who have commented have kept it to a bare minimum.”

I think this is because a lot of us, myself included, are fed-up with Apple’s new-found arrogance and disdain towards it’s loyal customers. M$ has done the right thing by showing that they still recognize and support the old customers along with the new, as opposed to Apple who wants to squeeze as much money out of their customers as possible.

Posted by ahMEmon in Canada on October 4, 2007 at 9:45 AM (CDT)

26

While on the subject of corporate arrogance, let’s not forget that bravado is part of the game of one-upsmanship played by the Microsofts, Apples, Sonys, etc. of the world. They’re all guilty of claiming to introduce the world’s greatest [fill in product] at any given time. And keep in mind that Apple’s recent arrogance is probably due, more than anything else, to the fact that they have actually delivered on some of their audacious promises. The iPod is ubiquitous and the iPhone has the potential of reaching the same strata, though both have their detractors.

As a video game enthusiast, I assure you that arrogance and overblown promises are so commonplace that they’ve become passe. Microsoft has sold millions of XBox 360s but they’ve failed in Japan and they’ve had to fork over $1 billion for repairs and warranty extensions on defective consoles. Sony delayed the PS3 repeatedly and still put out an undercooked console. Nintendo has made waves by going back to the so-called roots with the Wii, but its long-term success is probably limited by its very modest technological features. Yet to listen to all three, each is dominating the market and giving gamers what they want.

Microsoft can’t simply let Apple own the media player market for an entire decade. The Zune reminds me of the original XBox, in that it came along at a time where another monolith had already gobbled up so much market share that making a dent would be virtually impossible. But Microsoft built on the original XBox concept and learned something, getting the 360 out well ahead of the PS3 and forcing Sony to go on the offensive for once. Maybe they’ll do the same with the Zune 2 or the Zune 3 or 4, and eventually Apple will have to take notice and stop resting on its proverbial laurels.

Posted by Flippy Hambone on October 4, 2007 at 10:18 AM (CDT)

27

Uh this sucks!


THERES NO BROWN? NO ANUS? cause ZUNE upside down looks like ANUS

Posted by Eric Lewis on October 4, 2007 at 11:21 AM (CDT)

28

I’ll repeat the question I heard:  Has anyone actually seen one of these in use?  I’ve seen them in the store (and they are god awful ugly). 

M$ would have to show me more than a few features before I plunk down more $.

Thank you no—I’ll keep my 5th gen IPOD.

Does anyone really think that the Zune will make a serious run at Apple?  Come on…this is M$ we’re talking about.  I’m surprised the Zune doesn’t need to be rebooted after 30 minutes of use.

Posted by BarbK on October 4, 2007 at 1:33 PM (CDT)

29

To be fair - gapless playback was added to the 5G ipods via a firmware update. Which isn’t to say that everything was added that was in the 5.5G, but gapless was the main thing I was interested in. I was super happy for that update.

Posted by sjonke in Maryland, US on October 4, 2007 at 1:47 PM (CDT)

30

“I think this is because a lot of us, myself included, are fed-up with Apple’s new-found arrogance and disdain towards it’s loyal customers. M$ has done the right thing by showing that they still recognize and support the old customers along with the new, as opposed to Apple who wants to squeeze as much money out of their customers as possible.”

That might have a lot to do with it. Apple has been making little mistakes left and right it seems. I’m proud of Microsoft :P. I just wish I could use a Zune with iTunes.

Posted by ddsd on October 4, 2007 at 3:26 PM (CDT)

31

sjonke:

That is true - though I was ticked that the 1G nano didn’t get the same treatment.  I ended up buying a refurbished 2G soon after the 3G was announced and gapless was part of the reason.  I’m passing on the current generation - I already have a 60GB 4G Photo to hold my whole music library - and I’m going to go with Archos 605 WiFi for video - to me an iPod just wouldn’t cut it for video.

Posted by WhoCares on October 4, 2007 at 11:30 PM (CDT)

32

microsoft…yuck.

i love the classic although i wish it had a bigger screen.
and if this zune doesn’t look half bad, i’d consider going for an 80. omg, a fanboy converts?!
haha but it all depends on its looks right now.
otherwise i’ll stick to a classic.

Posted by Daniel90 on October 5, 2007 at 4:16 AM (CDT)

33

I am sorry, but this new Zune is god awful ugly….Not trying to bash MS here, but I see no resolution to their overall design. The two small outer buttons just seem awkward and a distract from the screen. Again, as can be expected from an MS project, If one is good than more has to be better…Just not my aesthetic I guess. Then again, I find the bauhaus still ahead of the curve. In today’s dizzying array of shit, simplicty in both function and design is comforting.

Posted by wil mcdaniel on October 6, 2007 at 1:53 AM (CDT)

34

In my opinion, if this ZUNE has more video formats(compare to apple’s 2video format) and a better screen, there’s no reason to buy a classic unless your steve job’s son. Apple classic screen is just too small to watch anything.. ipod touch is very nice to look at and watch video that’s if you can put any video in it..

Posted by Esther on October 7, 2007 at 4:13 AM (CDT)

35

You know what? If Microsoft wanted to challenge Apple, they should have gone for an iPod touch effort. Honestly, right now it is the most shaky of the Apple line with complaints of a lack of features and memory, MS could have capitalized here instead of going after the Classic range where they probably have little hope of making a dent in Apple’s market share…

Posted by Hybrid on October 8, 2007 at 11:58 AM (CDT)

36

I really don’t think that microsoft should have gone touch. It seems pointless. plus no one wants a touch because its a watered down version of the iphone for the same amount of money. I also think they really made the new players look awsome. big improvement. Microsoft seems to try to make the music experince as enjoyable as possible. steve whats his face also said “whats the point of having wifi without a brouser?” well the thing is the zune is an mp3 player, not a pda. the wifi is supposed to let people share their music so people can discover different artists without borrowing other peoples ipods or what ever. having a browser in an mp3 player seems away from the point.  I also like the large screen and how the album art takes up 3/4 of the screen. its a cool feature. plus brown really isn’t that bad of a color either. if you’re poop has a acid green double shot, you should probably get that checked by a doctor or something. I think microsoft may just have something going for them. people just have to open up.

Posted by musicmonkey on October 11, 2007 at 7:59 PM (CDT)

37

I am trying to descide between the Zune 2, and Ipod for a music/video player.  I found your comments here VERY helpful but thought I’d add a few comments.

Does not MS own a large stake in Apple?

Plam once dominated the PDA market, now the world is Pocket PC based.

The IBM junior was a failure, and when it came our Apple had 95% of the market. 

Thank you all for your comments, and the help in making my descission.

Posted by donbmcd on November 9, 2007 at 6:51 PM (CST)

38

If my iPod 5G 60GB were to die, I would seriously consider the Zune as an alternative.  Between the av cable issue with the new iPods and the poorly functioning iTunes7.5 in combination with 1.2.2 updates, Apple has done a fair job of irritating me.
I use the iPod just as a music player, a vehicle for my portfolio and to download the occaissional podcast.  The ability to plug the unit into any tv or computer to show the portfolio has been very convenient and the move to requiring special(yet another purchase) cables for that purpose is insulting.
The Zune seems to have what I need for my use.  I really have not looked at what is out the on the market at the moment so there may be a better alternative than the Zune.

Posted by SouthernGothic on November 15, 2007 at 5:28 AM (CST)

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