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  • Microsoft's Zune HD Rolls Out Today

    Image via Gadget Review


    Today is the moment of truth for Zune. This morning, Microsoft formally launches a "slimmer, revamped version" of its Zune handheld music and video player.

    In a solid attempted to take a bite out of the iPod market share, the touch-screen Zune HD - complete with a radio receiver and wi-fi - comes at a lower price than Apple's iPod Touch.

    From Reuters:

    The device has a claim of technical superiority over Apple's iPods, with a state-of-the-art organic light emitting diode screen and ability to relay high definition video to a television. But it will struggle to make an impact on the stylish iPod, which took the digital music player mainstream when launched in 2001 and now controls more than 70 percent of the market. The original Zune did not come onto the market until 2006.
    And that's the fact that most Zune advocates tend to overlook. Zune didn't make much of an impact the first time around. Why will its second stroll along a very competitive landscape make much of a difference?

    In this regard, Microsoft has image problems more than hardware issues with consumers. We tend to avoid Microsoft for such gadgets because... well, that's just not their thing. Of course, that doesn't mean Microsoft's Zune won't put up a fight, and possibly slightly chip away at Apple during a forthcoming holiday season that will transpire during a still ailing economy.

    Microsoft's player is backed by the Zune Marketplace, which rivals Apple's iTunes store, where users can stream, buy or rent music, videos and films. The device features only a handful of applications, such as MSN weather and some video games, but it is planning to add applications featuring social networking sites Twitter and Facebook in November. Unlike Apple, Microsoft does not have an open marketplace for application development, and is not charging for them.
    As a result of the launch, Microsoft is giving Zune Pass music subscribers the opportunity to log into their Zune.net account on any Mac or PC and begin sifting through the Zune Marketplace's expansive catalog and stream music at their pleasure. Indeed, Microsoft is coming on strong. But will it all pay off this time?

    Zune HD is available from major retailers with a black 16GB version for $219.99 and a platinum 32GB version for $289.99.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Microsoft's Zune HD Rolls Out Today started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 52 Comments
    1. reveritt90's Avatar
      reveritt90 -
      Microsoft has a decent product here, I'd never buy it I'm an Apple kinda guy but Microsoft simply waited far too long to rival the iPod end of story
    1. Chase817's Avatar
      Chase817 -
      It has a 800MHz Tegra i wish my iphone had one of those
    1. alek's Avatar
      alek -
      I actually like the whole industrial thing way more then the glossy iphone covering, but i think that microsoft focused it to much on music/video and not an all out everything device like the ipodtouch. If they like redesigned the menu system and added an appstore it would be pretty cool.
    1. Cory Gillmore's Avatar
      Cory Gillmore -
      I hope this thing does really well. The competition it inspires from Apple will only be good for all of us in the long run. Hell I might even pick one up after a while. If it turns out to be a great product, I would love nothing more than to stop giving Apple my money. As much as I love my iPhone, Apple sucks as a company. Ask Jay Freeman. He knows the business.
    1. bry2k2's Avatar
      bry2k2 -
      not sure how they plan to take a bite out of anything catering only to the US (microsoft has said that this will only be a us launch and there are no planned launches in other markets in the forseeable future, which is a dumbass move if you ask me, after all superior product with a tiny market isn't going to do anything to apple
    1. massimo23's Avatar
      massimo23 -
      Please read this article about what is the ZuneHD:
      AppleInsider | From OLED to Tegra: Five Myths of the Zune HD [Page 1]

      The technology in this baby is as good as the first ipod touch, nokia N95 or iphone.....
      Oled may be great but it also has it's own set of problems..
    1. Cory Gillmore's Avatar
      Cory Gillmore -
      Quote Originally Posted by bry2k2 View Post
      not sure how they plan to take a bite out of anything catering only to the US (microsoft has said that this will only be a us launch and there are no planned launches in other markets in the forseeable future, which is a dumbass move if you ask me, after all superior product with a tiny market isn't going to do anything to apple
      The iPhone or Touch didn't start out in a whole bunch of countries either did it? In fact it was a year until it appeared anywhere else when the 3G was released.
    1. Lolski's Avatar
      Lolski -
      Would anyone buy this over an iPod Touch?
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Lolski View Post
      Would anyone buy this over an iPod Touch?
      I won't. Althought it supports more music and video formats, it is hard to turn to a different device especially jailbreak for iPhone and iPod touch.
    1. kaaroFC's Avatar
      kaaroFC -
      Will this have apps too!?
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      Just saw it over at BestBuy, not impressed
    1. mdc929's Avatar
      mdc929 -
      i dont think i know ANYBODY that owns or will ever own a Zune.
      even people that are pro-everything PC have iPods, iTouches, iPhones, etc.