Answers to a number of pertinent questions.
When Microsoft formally announced the Zune last week it left out a number of vital stats, here they are…
The obvious biggie is the price and after much deliberation following the new iPod cuts Microsoft has settled on $249.99. Rumour has it the company planned to be far closer to $300 but had to completely re-jig. It remains to be seen if any niceties are dropped from the bundle as a result, but it’s certainly competitive.
Next up is another hot topic: battery life and at just 12 hours for music playback, 3.5 hours for video and 4.5 hours in slide show it isn’t difficult to see why Microsoft kept this one quiet. The battery is also non-removable.
Given the size of the Zune screen dimensions were also on everyone’s lips and this is more encouraging. Despite horror stories and dodgy Photoshopped iPod comparisons the Zune will measure 111.8 x 61 x 14.7mm and weigh 158g. It’s no match for the new 30GB iPod (104 x 61 x 10.9mm and 136g) but then you are getting the larger display and WiFi.
Speaking of which wireless is of the 802.11b/g variety though photo support is limited to jpegs only. Each user will also get the ominous sounding ‘Zunetag’ which is basically an individual username and copies the similar concept employed with Xbox Live.
Finally, Zune packaging is surprisingly restrained. Microsoft has clearly been attending some Apple marketing seminars.
Consequently, the only major talking point still to be resolved in the release date. This is still vaguely described as ‘the holidays’ but since the entire audience of the Ellen DeGeneres show were yesterday given Zunes (I kid you not) they can’t be too far away.
One more big question: ”Will people care?”
First generation Zune’s also won’t work with Macs. Great shock there then, ”not”.