Toshiba to Make Microsoft's Zune

Microsoft has confirmed that Japanese firm Toshiba will make its portable media player - "Zune" - to be released before the end of the year. Toshiba's filing with the Federal Communications Commission showed the Zune will have a 30-gigabyte hard-disk drive and wireless connection. Microsoft declined to provide any further product details. Analysts expect Microsoft's Zune to compete directly with Apple's iPod, which dominates the music media market.

Based on information from the filing, the wireless connection will permit users to exchange photos, songs and entire albums with other users in close range. Specialists have previously said the success of the Zune would depend on whether users would be able to download music and video through a wireless connection.

There has long been talk that a rival to Apple's highly popular music player could be an "iPod killer". However, industry specialists have said that Microsoft would be hard pushed to compete with Apple's iPod and its music store, iTunes. Within the digital media market, iPod holds over half the market. Meanwhile, within the digital music sales market, iTunes has more than 70% of market share.

Information about the price of the Zune has yet to be released.

News source: BBC Technology News

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