Just hours before their official release... (Update: we were right)
Continuing the IT industry’s long tradition of spoiling product launches – mere hours before their official unveiling – here are details on Microsoft’s 2G Zunes (claimed to be pictured below).
While non-Americans are set to sigh (nothing has been mentioned about global availability) – indeed some Americans too – the fact is we are expecting the player to split into two distinct lines tonight: moving parts and solid state.
The former is said to sport a 3.2in LCD, up to an 80GB HDD, wireless syncing and content sharing, an integrated FM tuner and support for a wider range of video content, including TV recorded via Media Center (though no codecs were specifically revealed).
As for the flash line these will be smaller 4GB and 8GB models to compete with the iPod nano and will match its bigger brother’s feature set. There is no word however on what size display will be fitted or whether any of the new Zunes will feature touch screen functionality (I doubt it).
Pricing is rumoured to be $150 for the 4GB baby, $200 for the 8GBer and $250 for the 80GB daddy.
In related news, MS is also expected to announce it is launching its own DRM-free music store meaning it will join the likes of, well, ”everyone” (except Virgin who decided it had had enough of the scene altogether and packed in).
How close will we be? I’ll update this once the official details are out later today so you can shake your heada or nod/nod-off in approval…
”’Update:”’ Yup, we’re spot on – here is the first official pic of the new (undistinguished) range.
No WiFi downloads, no touch screen (‘touch’ scroll pad but ”purrrleease”). The ‘Zune 80’ – to use its official name – will measure a chunky-ish 61.1 x 108.2 x 12.9mm while the ‘Zune 8’ and ‘Zune 4’ tax rulers at a proportionately fat 41.4 x 91.5 x 8.5mm (no thinner than an iPod touch).
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November is the launch month and 1m DRM-free songs will hit the Zune music store to coincide.
Microsoft said it would only release the Zune internationally once it had ‘got it right’. I don’t expect to see them in UK outlets anytime soon…