Microsoft will design Next Gen Zunes

Microsoft is slowly developing a second generation HDD-based Zune and the long-rumoured flash-based Zune. The latter will be Microsoft's attempt to take on the iPod Nano, seeing as it is Apple's most successful mp3 player. It is expected to have maximum storage capacities of at least 8GB, although a 16GB model is quite possible with fast-dropping NAND flash prices. The second generation HDD-based Zune will be both smaller and lighter than the Toshiba-sourced first generation model. It will be built from-the-ground-up with Microsoft playing a major role in the design. "There are definitely some cost efficiencies, but the more important thing from our perspective is the flexibility and control we have in creating a device from scratch and making it down to the last component what we want it to be," said Jason Reindorp, marketing director for the Zune.

News source: DailyTech

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Zune is so awesome but it did so badly hopefully the newer version will do better, it's hard to compete with 70% markertshare (for MP3 players, not computers ;)) holder Apple. rofl Id love it if MS made "Hi im a Zune and im an iPod" commercials :P

black_death said,
Zune is so awesome but it did so badly hopefully the newer version will do better, it's hard to compete with 70% markertshare (for MP3 players, not computers ;)) holder Apple. rofl Id love it if MS made "Hi im a Zune and im an iPod" commercials :P

Yup, and Microsoft understands this and is commited to short term loss for a long term gain... it helps that they have the financial background to help too.

The biggest problem with the Zune for me was the total lack of compatibility, by design, with WMP. Big mistake. I could have lived with a one-way DRM bridge from WMP to the Zune; it's just that I use WMP for organizing a ton of music, and I didn't want to have to reintroduce everything from scratch to make it work.

The Gline said,
The biggest problem with the Zune for me was the total lack of compatibility, by design, with WMP. Big mistake. I could have lived with a one-way DRM bridge from WMP to the Zune; it's just that I use WMP for organizing a ton of music, and I didn't want to have to reintroduce everything from scratch to make it work.

I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the Zune software and WMP share a library, or atleast the same information from it. When I apply changes in either, the other detects them.

I hope it looks a lot better than the mark I Zune, I had absolutely no desire to swap from my Zen Vision M to one of those. Microsoft do make some really nice looking hardware (Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000 for example), so they could make somthing really nice, I think Toshiba screwed them over designing it!!

i agree, MS products generally are very pleasing to the eye...except for the zune is the ugly duckling while the interface is nice.....

Lots of folks have pointed to this Marketwatch article about the Zune factory. Just to clarify: we are building our own products, but we are not building our own factory.

This will allow us to apply our expertise producing our own hardware: Xbox, mice, keyboard to build the next generation from the ground up.

Source: Zune Insider