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Zune Set to Make First Appearance

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Slimy    13
Microsoft's highly-anticipated "Zune" portable media device is set to make its first official appearance at an invite-only press event Thursday. The unveiling will follow the introduction of a completely revamped iPod lineup by Apple just two days earlier.

Although Microsoft itself has remained tight-lipped regarding the iPod competitor, little is not already known about Zune, which is being manufactured by Toshiba. The device will feature a 30GB hard drive, three-inch TFT LCD, an FM tuner, wireless 802.11 b/g, and USB 2.0 support. Zune will connect up with a new music service specially designed for the player.

Zune will additionally feature social networking capabilities, with a focus on sharing music and music-related content. Users will be able to link up with "friends" and stream music and playlist data between devices. Content, says Microsoft's J. Allard, who is largely responsible for the player's development and also managed the Xbox 360, is central to the Zune effort.

In a Seattle Weekly profile, Allard calls Apple's iPod "the Pong of digital music," and notes a variety of advanced functionality Zune will bring to the table. But the launch won't be without contention, as it will likely draw the ire of a number of Microsoft PlaysForSure partners.

Microsoft previously remained hands-off when it came to portable device development, simply providing the Windows Media Player software for third parties to build upon. WMP 11 in Windows Vista will feature the URGE music store developed by MTV, along with a number of other legal download options for consumers.

The PlaysForSure strategy has largely failed to catch on, however, and Microsoft is taking a page from Apple's playbook by developing a complete ecosystem: device, software and infrastructure to sell digital content. But the question remains whether Microsoft can bring back the "cool" factor that Apple has exuded since the iPod debuted five years ago.

Zune is expected to go on sale for the holiday season, and Microsoft will likely announce specifics -- including pricing -- at Thursday's event.

Source

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Chanser    0

The potential iPod killer? :p

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dagamer34    2

The potential iPod killer? :p

I don't want to see the words "iPod" and "killer" in the same sentence for the rest of my life.

The only thing that ever happens to these so called "iPod killers" is that they are soon forgotten by the public and killed themselves.

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Randolph    17

For some reason I am siked about this. I mean I used iPod's for years. But it's just something about that screen and the way the players styled that really makes me want it.

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Andrew Lyle    336

i need an MP3 player for working out at the gym... i wonder if i should wait, or just get a creative zen :/

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Pc_Madness    3

For some reason I am siked about this. I mean I used iPod's for years. But it's just something about that screen and the way the players styled that really makes me want it.

I think I'm just interested in it because it *isn't* the iPod. Not that I don't love my Nano, but I'm kinda bored of iPods now days..

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hotdog666al    31

Nah, I don't think it will kill it.

All the geeks will get it, yeah. But I don't see friends or family getting a Microsoft MP3 Player, since Apple iPods are the cool things nowadays. Also, all their music is in iTunes and they use the syncing feature.

It's not going to take off to great I don't think.

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.Ark    6

Man.. i really hope they dont have syncing **** like iTunes. iTunes + iPod is the worst combination ever. I HAVE to be hooked up to my default computer to update stuff easily.. I wish there was a way where it can just link to any library and update the songs on the ipod from the library.. ofcourse if its not the default computer, it would ask if an update is wanted and stuff.. but yeah.. I really honestly hate the fact that I have to have my iPod hooked up to my iTunes library to get music on there AND i have to use a 3rd party software to get music off my ipod.. there are many downsides to the ipod and if Zune fixes them.. I can see it getting famous eventually..

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+Elliot B.    1,544

Nah, I don't think it will kill it.

All the geeks will get it, yeah. But I don't see friends or family getting a Microsoft MP3 Player, since Apple iPods are the cool things nowadays. Also, all their music is in iTunes and they use the syncing feature.

It's not going to take off to great I don't think.

Microsoft will offer you all the songs on your iTunes account for free.

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Dotdot    322

The sooner folk realise that Apple arent the only Mp3 player making company out there the better in my books. To this day Apple in the UK has an abissmal product replacement service.

Remember the US lawsuit after alll those Ipod users were told to f-off if there screen had even a crack or the battery had started to go after only 2 months. Yeh they won the suit but it dont apply to EU!!

Plus I swear the poser factor on ipods is just pathetic. Something apple could be acused of playing into.

I say shop about dont just go for a product just because its way cool and M&M has one. use your own initiative.

Rant over im skeptical of MS success rate with this. Purely as the ipod is now a cultural f-ing icon like the walkman was and your gonna have to go a long way to persuade folk your not cashing in purely as your being seen to be left behind or because of apples own success and your apparent failure so far.

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Mike Mayer    0

Only if it has a dock connector will I consider it. My car has ipod control. Would hate to lose that functionality.

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a_witko    0

ipod looks cool and all, but the hype is over... itunes is what kept the sales going... itunes7 is crap, ipod hype is over...

this 'zune' would become a decent contestant, if WMP 11 DIDN'T SUCK BALLS!

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