Neowin Exclusive: Lets talk some Zune HD specs

Over the last week there has been a ton of buzz around Microsoft's upcoming device update which we have confirmed will be labeled as the Zune HD. We've teamed up with Ryan Rea (aka volvoshine) from LiveSide.net and are going to let the world know what we do and do not know about the Zune HD. We've got the green light to go ahead and share the specs that our sources within Microsoft have confirmed to us.

An overview of the Zune HD specs:

Unconfirmed rumors (A Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment or confirm):
  • Camera?
  • Company insiders tipped us off with the possibility of a limited edition dock accessory in various colors.
  • 3D Xbox Game Support?
  • Windows Mobile 7 preview bits included? (Maybe these reports mean an early WinMo 7 beta?)
There has been a tremendous amount of buzz created throughout the past week regarding the Zune HD, with a ton of speculation regarding the device. We were asked by some members of the Zune team to remember, the device is still months away. The specs, UI, and the device form factor itself can change before the launch later this year. We're excited, just as many of our international viewers are excited.

The entire Zune platform is being completely overhauled, just as Steve Ballmer mentioned back at CES earlier this year. You've got the software division and the hardware division. There have been reports and speculation that this could possibly be the last Zune release, however I'm very confident that Microsoft is going to be competitive this time around with the Zune.

As we reported earlier this year, the Zune is here to stay. As soon as more information is available regarding the Zune HD, we'll pass it on. Remember, take the speculation and rumors with a grain of salt before getting too excited. Keep your eyes open on May 14, your Zune software might just be updating.

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ok i joined this forum just for this post........ whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatttttttttttttt there is no 120 gb noooooooo how do you guys know this?!?!?!?

if only microsoft would make a phone/zune hybrid to compete with the iphone. i just can't justify carrying around two devices (phone and music player) all the time. especially when i already own an iphone - one device which offers the functionality of both and more. but i don't like being forced to be part of the apple brotherhood just because there's not really any true/quality competition.

I wouldn't worry about the price, there not going to out compete the ipod (a well established product) by costing more will they?
This has to be cheaper than the ipod touch and microsoft has the funds to take a hit (as with the original xbox) but if it gets them their foot in the door then thats all they want.
This scenario reminds me xbox vs ps2, ps2 was the undoubted king but xbox got just enough marketshare then we all saw what happened with 360 and ps3.
This zune version is NOT goign to outsell the Ipod any time soon, but it will get the foot in the door and next round i belive we will see a similar situation as with the consoles.

Im so glad its international this time, im in australia and have set aside about 400$.

Hitman2000 said,
This zune version is NOT goign to outsell the Ipod any time soon, but it will get the foot in the door and next round i belive we will see a similar situation as with the consoles.


People said the same sort of thing when the Zune was first released. Microsoft doesn't have the first clue about how to market the Zune. Ask the majority of consumers if they have heard of the Zune. Most of them have never even heard of it, or who makes it. Microsoft simply does not advertize them anywhere that I've ever seen. Even if they did, I doubt they could get anywhere near the brand recognition of the iPod. They are simply too far behind to ever catch up in the forseeable future.

**** that bull ****, no 120gb?
****, no thanks zune, 32gb or less will not cut it for me and the lack of an EQ, you just lost another zune customer.

Ah, again, I was excited to see 120GB confirmed and then crossed out again. I really hope it does come, it wound be a great contender to the iPod space wise.

does going international mean it finally supports full (or a lot) unicode range?

my playlists have a mix of chinese, japanese, russian, thai and a couple of english songs...

For those of you disappointed about the 120gb model, we're getting mixed reports from various sources. Not sure if Microsoft is trying to hush us up or what.

If this actually had a 120GB hard drive and a capacitive touchscreen, it would most likely be the most winner handheld yet. A phone would make it even better, but meh, I'd rather have a small phone.

PLEASE, if Neowin has any connections, someone please foward the OBVIOUS and tell someone that Zune needs FLAC.

If you're going to make an excess device (seriously who needs HD at those small screen sizes), go excess with audio quality. I mean that's what Zune's all about, MUSIC. Let alone, HDD's are getting cheaper and bigger, people are downloading more. Quality is on the rise with all this HD, why not the music!

Gurrchan said,
PLEASE, if Neowin has any connections, someone please foward the OBVIOUS and tell someone that Zune needs FLAC.

If you're going to make an excess device (seriously who needs HD at those small screen sizes), go excess with audio quality. I mean that's what Zune's all about, MUSIC. Let alone, HDD's are getting cheaper and bigger, people are downloading more. Quality is on the rise with all this HD, why not the music!


Because having FLAC support would just be a waste of time. Most people who own an MP3 player have never even heard of FLAC. Also, the only way you're gonna hear a difference between MP3 and FLAC is if you have very high-end equipment. You're not gonna hear any difference at all on an MP3 player, even if you use high-end headphones.

MightyJordan said,

Because having FLAC support would just be a waste of time. Most people who own an MP3 player have never even heard of FLAC. Also, the only way you're gonna hear a difference between MP3 and FLAC is if you have very high-end equipment. You're not gonna hear any difference at all on an MP3 player, even if you use high-end headphones.

Just because someone may not necessarily hear a difference on their handheld device between FLAC and mp3 doesn't mean he/she would want to take the time to reencode FLAC rips to another format just for listening on their device...

Anyway.. What I'd love to see for the Zune is Linux support. As much as I don't like the iPod, it's versatile in the sense that you can use it with Windows, OSX, or Linux.. With third party programs nonetheless. I've got a 120GB Zune currently, but I'd buy a new one in a heartbeat if it was open to use with cross-platform third party software.

Aside from that, the only other gripe I have with the Zune is that you can't use scrobbling services (ex. Last.fm) with it. I wish they'd implement that.

well let's see here. Microsoft has a reputation on a 50/50 success ration with all their products, minus the ones they bought which historically have been great products, ie Excel (was purchased) vs Word (which was developed). From this analogy Excel was great from day one which Microsoft improved steadily. Word on the other hand was a piece of garbage until version 2000 came out. And that was about 5 or more iterations. And this is historically their pattern. Windows was their baby and they didn't get windows right until XP came out. And that was iteration 5. So I am guessing anything Zune should be a usable product by iteration 5. But seeing what Windows Mobile went the way of old stodgy software by version 6, they are in a rut and figure they have to save themselves otherwise, Apple, RIM and Google will give Microsoft a run for their money.

Or their saviour...Linux will save their ass and they will convert their entire platform...windows, zune, windows mobile and so on all based on Linux since it is open source, essentially free and a more robust platform to begin with. So Micorosoft will have to make structural changes on a technological standpoint if they are serious about their Zune or any other platform for that matter.

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