New Zunes to take on Apple's iPod

Microsoft has launched three new models of its Zune digital media player in an effort to compete with Apple's iPod.

The players - which come in 4GB, 8GB and 80GB models - have wi-fi so users can automatically download music, photos, and video from their computer.

Microsoft is also launching a social networking site dubbed Zune Social to allow users to display and share music.

Last year Microsoft sold 1.2 million Zunes compared to 100 million iPods shifted since its launch in 2001.

The new players go on sale in the US in mid-November. There are no details yet as to when they will be released in Europe.

They will be priced at $149 (£73), for the 4GB player, $199 (£97) for the 8GB player and $249 (£122) for the 80GB player.

It comes with a familiar circular touch-sensitive navigation button.

View: BBC News

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Ya know... I understand that way of thinking. Put everything, including the kitchen sink in there, and be happy. Well, one thing I've learned, being an avid lover of technology... is this: The more separate the components, the better.

Look at it like this, would you rather have:

1.all-in-one sound system
2.sepetate speakers, amp, cross overs, receiver and sub

1. All in one TV/DVD/VCR
2.TV, DVD player, HD player

When one part of the system fails, you're screwed. So on-board VGA? NO! Separate card. Better performance! We keep jamming crap into everything we use. It's always best to keep things separated.

YOu gotta be kidding me, why dont the damn iPod fanboys go away for one, dude dont be Jealous, go give ol Steve a Bj.

To me, this is pretty fricken sweet, the screen looks way cool. im more impressed with this than i was with the iPOd classic release. and im a Zen fanboy, not a Zune fanboy
and yay! Mpeg-4 and .h264 support (60% of my video content is Mpeg-4) ....
i could care less if they added mac support. there arent as many Mac users as there are Windows Users, which may be why MS didnt add support for Macs.

Nice one.. will buy once it is released in india (its where i live)..and i am planning to buy XBOX 360 (Elite) with Halo3 & some car games.. :-)

yea, good luck again...

i mean it will certainly sell good... but its not an ipod killer... its a competitor, good thing, really, the device looks good but ... man...

I'll be honest, this new Zune makes me question my want for a new iPod. However, I think I'll still go with the pod. My current iPod last nearly five years, and you know what? That's a long time for a portable. Not only that, but I have other things that work with my iPod that I would have to re-buy for a Zune.

Also, I feel the Zune still needs a deal of work. Mostly on its image. It needs to compete with the iPod without having to say so.

make it cheaper, thats the only thing that would make people get the zune, i say that if microsoft still sale the zune with the same price of an ipod people rather go and buy an ipod... and still required to use the zune sync crappy software which its worse than itunes do not inspire anyone to get this..

This was actually answered earlier, but basically the 8GB model is flash based and the 80gb model runs off a standard low form factor hard drive.

Flash is infinitely more expensive to work with.

i thought it had something to do with that... using the tiny hard drives that the ipod currently uses for there 60gb models and above

or maybe i thought the bulk of the price could of just been the player...

80 gigs at 250$ sounds like a sweet deal to me. I held back the first generation Zune but now it seems i will be in the market for one of these come december.

One thing people completely bypassed. The new zunes allow you to copy over your recoreded programs from media center onto them.

Thats HUGE for me. That means with little effort I can record something at home and copy it to my zune and then bring it with me.

I would still rather get this though

http://www.archos.com/store_us/product.htm...0435&m_id=2

allows tv recording and web page viewing. It also reads pdf files.

majortom1981 said,
One thing people completely bypassed. The new zunes allow you to copy over your recoreded programs from media center onto them.

Thats HUGE for me. That means with little effort I can record something at home and copy it to my zune and then bring it with me.

I would still rather get this though

http://www.archos.com/store_us/product.htm...0435&m_id=2

allows tv recording and web page viewing. It also reads pdf files.

For that price why not buy a PDA or a PDA/Phone? You'd get more functionality out of it.

Also by the way, it's not only the new zunes getting this support. The original Zune30's are getting all of these updates as well.

Microsoft is committed to providing support for even the old generation Zune to keep it current.
How often has anyone seen Apple doing that with the iPods in all honesty.

I'm putting my money on MS. They work with the community on every product they make.

If they already have the built in WiFi, why doesn't Microsoft throw in a Web Browser so that the zune can compete with the iPod Touch?

Last year Microsoft sold 1.2 million Zunes compared to 100 million iPods shifted since its launch in 2001.

God damn Journalist sometimes suck! Wouldn't a better comparison be between last year Zune sells vs last year iPod sells?

Yeah, I know what you mean, they've really missed the boat on this one. The screen is too small to be used as a decent web browser and there is no efficient way of inputting text. There's alway Zune 3 I guess :suspicious:

Not to mention there weren't as many (decent) media players when the iPod came out, which really allowed Apple to dominate the market.

Might have got one myself if there was a larger version... 80GB is not enough to last me with movies, music, photos and files while I travel for months at a time. I like the size of the new 160GB ipod... but I don't want an ipod. Does anyone know of any other MP3 device that is 100GB or more?

Try the Archos 605, I believe they have a 160Gb version. I use the Archos 604 and love it, best thing I've bought in years. Take a look at their website www.archos.com

"Bill Gates said the new players will take some years to bed in"

This guy is a genius, while everyone enjoying the success of now... (aka Apple), MS expands itself in every possible way: IPTV, Automobiles, home entertaiment, mobile market, music, office solution, designing the future home and countless other fields all in the same time.

I don't think anyone got the power to challenge them, not even google who have been talking about this and that for years but have stopped expanding and even losing market share to MS in the field of online searching and advertising.

Gates and Microsoft have been talking about the Home of Tomorrow for years and years. Still, nothing has changed. Computers and electronics have gotten smaller but that's about it. No one has come up with a good way to integrate electronics into appliances, etc. because what we have now works quite well already.

QuarterSwede said,
Gates and Microsoft have been talking about the Home of Tomorrow for years and years. Still, nothing has changed. Computers and electronics have gotten smaller but that's about it. No one has come up with a good way to integrate electronics into appliances, etc. because what we have now works quite well already.

that's bull****, if you compare the amount of electronics you find in home appliances (or that you carry around with you) with 10, 15 or 20 years ago you would be amazed.

Last year Microsoft sold 1.2 million Zunes compared to 100 million iPods shifted since its launch in 2001.


yes thats a good comperision....one year of zune sales to the lifetime of ipod sales

Here is more of an actual sales representation:

I work for a large retailer and while we sell around 5 iPods a week we have sold exactly 3 Zunes in 2 months. None of this has to do with my biases since I don't really care what they buy as long as they buy something.

no it doesn't, even Apple admitted that most people who buy an ipod don't use itunes they use their own music. the success is in the player itself.

macrosslover said,
no it doesn't, even Apple admitted that most people who buy an ipod don't use itunes they use their own music. the success is in the player itself.

No, I only have stayed w/ the iPod because most of my music is from iTunes. Same with my Brother. If i could just port the music into another player..I would.

Shinigami said,

No, I only have stayed w/ the iPod because most of my music is from iTunes. Same with my Brother. If i could just port the music into another player..I would.


Dont say "no" just because thats not your particular situation. macrosslover is quite correct in what he said for the majority of cases.

Think about it, why did you buy the music from a service you knew you were going to be locked to one player with?

TCLN Ryster said,

Dont say "no" just because thats not your particular situation. macrosslover is quite correct in what he said for the majority of cases.

Think about it, why did you buy the music from a service you knew you were going to be locked to one player with?

Another sign of Apple lock-in working it's magic. People should've known about this before they got into iTunes.

That aside, someone should make an app that would let you move your iTunes stuff over to any player. Sure it might not be legal, but still, where is the damn choice?

This is according to Microsoft logo - where do you want to go today? Which gadget are we going to copy today? Why innovate, just copy the most successful thing on the market, we have gazillions of dollars.

If you think MS doesn't innovate, you're clearly only letting yourself see what you want to see.

I mean, for crying out loud, it's a portable media player. What do they need to do to make it 'innovative'? These things are never innovative. They just incorporate other new technologies in one way or another. First it was removable media (walkman, CD players), and now it isn't (flash, HDD). As far as the current memory formats, neither Apple nor MS did any innovation at all. Nor did either of them offer the first product in those formats.

So what does that leave...interface? Buttons? Touch screens? Oh wow, a button was moved here, rotated here, push style or touch sensitive here...this is not innovating!

Ultimately it's a device that plays some compressed format of audio portably through another device that feeds the sound into our ears (ie., headphones), with controls that are ideally just as usable without looking at them (so please leave touch screens out of our music players, kthx). There's nothing to innovate there except what kind of hardware is used to perform those jobs, and how the software is programmed to present our media to us.

Gotta say, MS has Apple beat on hardware quality and GUI. Sorry.

Did anyone have that "circular touch-sensitive navigation button" before apple released the ipod? That's interface design, and it must be kind of innovative (in a "it's such a simple idea that I could have came with it myself" way) if it's a)new, b)easy to use and c)being copied all around.

IMO apple proved that there's place for innovation on portable media players when it comes to interface, services and ways to screw your customers.

Nothing new. Nothing innovative.

When companies are moving into tough screen technology Microsoft reinvents the touch wheel, erm the Zune pad.

The wireless is still limited, they could have included web enabled widgets, or something similar.

It just doesnt instill confidence in Microsoft. The Zune and Vista both see like half arsed efforts to "Look" like they are still innovating but in reality they are just copying other products on the market. And with about 10% of the style. Remembering the Zune was designed by Toshiba.

Why dont they...

1. Hire a proper industrial design studio

2. Innovate rather then copy the competition

3. Actually throw their $$$ and weight behind a product, with world wide release and advertising.
(Apple is doing a better job with the iPhone in a slow world wird roll out)

4. Invent a proper brand. Lose the "Microsoft", a bit like the Xbox. And let the products stand on their own.

5. Fire whoever approved the Brown colour for the original zune.

Have you actually used a Zune?

The UI is spectacular, and they look great in person. The white one has this kind of translucent effect to it which is overally incredibly pleasing (Which can't be properly captured by photos of it.)

Nothing new? The new zunes and updated firmware for the old zunes allow you to transfer songs to your computer wirelessly. So far the ipods dont have that.

Also the zunes have an fm radio wich the ipods dont. Plus the 80gig zune comes with alot better headphones.

So I would bash them and say they arent innovative.

majortom1981 said,
Nothing new? The new zunes and updated firmware for the old zunes allow you to transfer songs to your computer wirelessly. So far the ipods dont have that.

Also the zunes have an fm radio wich the ipods dont. Plus the 80gig zune comes with alot better headphones.

So I would bash them and say they arent innovative.

I'll give you the point about the wireless transfer, that's a nice idea. But FM radio? That's hardly an excuse to buy a Zune over another MP3 player. And it's not incredibly innovative either... how long has FM been around?

simon360 said,

I'll give you the point about the wireless transfer, that's a nice idea. But FM radio? That's hardly an excuse to buy a Zune over another MP3 player. And it's not incredibly innovative either... how long has FM been around?

So the FM isn't a new idea, but having that in the original device isnted of having to buy another add-on just for FM is a pretty big difference.

GP007 said,
So the FM isn't a new idea, but having that in the original device isnted of having to buy another add-on just for FM is a pretty big difference.

There are plenty of players with FM included in the device already.

I've never EVER seen a Zune, anywhere, ever.
Can you even get the "Zune 1" in the UK?

Devices that have "2" at the end sound retarded.

Wow, that's an awful wide range there. 4GB and 8GB, ok, but then a huge jump to 80GB. I think it would have been better to have something like 16GB, 30GB, and then 80GB. IMO that would have been a smarter move.

The 4 & 8GB versions are flash, the 30 and 80GB versions use hard drives. If they made a 16GB version (as with the iPod) it would most likely be flash, and cost roughly the same as the 80GB hard drive version.

saxondale. said,
16GB flash is too expensive at the moment for mass production.

The 200usd Sandisk Sansa with 16gb of flash and wifi is not too expensive in my eyes

Beastage said,

The 200usd Sandisk Sansa with 16gb of flash and wifi is not too expensive in my eyes


That's sandisks main area of electronics, flash base. They can produce/manufacture this stuff themselves, hence the cheapness.

Why bother releasing in Europe? Microsoft should be concentrating on core products, rather than chasing after markets which are being well served by more reliable leaner companies. Microsoft, you must innovate, rather than pursuing money hemorrhaging lost causes. People will never want your idea of DRM, when there are open source alternatives.

Well Apple is the market leader in Europe, as it is in most other countries. What about their "idea of DRM"?. Also how does that tie in with your "open source" comment?

I'm a multiple iPod owner and love them, however I dislike this type of rhetoric. It's shallow. Read up on capitalism and and accept that it's the business model they've adopted. I don't believe it's a matter or right or wrong, winners or losers.

Apple doesn't have DRM?

Lastly, when the new Zune marketplace opens with the release of the new hardware over 1/3 of the 3 millions songs will be DRM FREE.

Typo:

£249 (£122) for the 80GB player

I think they will sell as well as the original. I have no intention of ever getting one. Happy with my iPods.

SaucE said,
Typo:


I think they will sell as well as the original. I have no intention of ever getting one. Happy with my iPods.

Then take it back under your bridge and listen to it.