The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) is the bane of every secretive hardware manufacturer across the globe and heaven sent for nosey geeks everywhere. Latest catch: Microsoft’s Zune.
Dissected in almost every conceivable way here, the most noteworthy revelation about Gates’ impending iPod challenger is its manufacturer. It turns out that Toshiba is the company charged with such a mammoth task and has codenamed it the ‘1089’.
Specs, leaked photography and even the logo are all inline with what we had seen before so it seems a nailed down certainty that a player with 3in screen, 30GB hard drive, FM tuner and inbuilt wireless is what we’re going to get. Outside of the Zune itself, the FCC proposal document also bandies about two code names we’ve heard mentioned in hushed voices for some time now: ‘Pyxis’ and ‘Argo’.
Quite what they are based on the scraps “Pyxis allows you to stream music to up to 4 other Pyxis devices" and "You can invite other Argo members that you meet to be your friends wirelessly" is unclear but an educated guess suggests the former will be the Zune’s support network while the latter could be a digital subscription programme. Either way, the Zune itself is clearly just step one in an ongoing strategy.
Black, white and brown Zunes will be available from launch but quite when that launch will be still isn’t firmed up. Tosh did request FCC certification back in July though which certainly suggests Microsoft is a considerable way through the development cycle. Steve Jobs is unlikely to be losing any sleep just yet but he may be quaffing a second mug of Ovaltine before snuggling down…