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Microsoft Confirms New Music Player 415

Udo Schmitz writes "It's official now. Reuters confirms the rumors that Microsoft wants to take on Apple's iPod and iTunes. From the article: 'Microsoft Corp. said on Friday it plans to release a new music and entertainment player and accompanying software under the "Zune" brand this year, in a belated attempt to challenge the dominance of Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod player ... Microsoft sources said Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's entertainment and devices division, is working with J. Allard, vice president of its Xbox team, on the digital media player/software project.'"
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Microsoft Confirms New Music Player

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  • Re:Zune? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 21, 2006 @05:23PM (#15760111)
    "That sounds like an awfully cheesy attempt to play off of Creative's Zen brand."

    Well seeing how this is likely a cheesy attempt to copy off of the iPod,
    and how Vista is an awful, cheesy attempt to copy of OS X,
    that's pretty well par for the course.
  • Re:Tacospeak (Score:1, Informative)

    by Naomi_the_butterfly ( 707218 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @05:23PM (#15760116)
    actually, they confirmed that there WILL be wireless. RTFA.
  • by fuego451 ( 958976 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @05:32PM (#15760185) Journal

    From these [] guys.

    And from their developement tool page:

    Zune is an object-oriented GUI toolkit. It is nearly a clone (at both API and Look&Feel level) of MUI, a well-known Amiga shareware product by Stefan Stuntz. So MUI developers will feel at home here; others will discover the concepts and qualities that Zune shares with MUI.

    I wonder how feels about this?

  • by Daas ( 620469 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @05:40PM (#15760242)
    Microsoft have already done the software on the Toshiba Gigabeat S series... It can be syncronised with an Xbox 360, plays video, has FM support and sells for about the same price as an iPod. It uses a portable Media Center edition.

    See the CNET review : l []

    Ah, and has DRM (yeah !)

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @05:45PM (#15760272)
    My old ipod mini will turn two years old in March and my extended warranty will expire so I have a feeling I'll be looking for a replacement about a week later.

    My 1st gen iPod is still going strong, I'm not sure how many years later...

    Also, the rumor was one of the things it includes is Wi-Fi so I'd take a careful look at form factor and battery life before you become convinced this is the arrival of the iPod killer that has been foretold.
  • Re:Tacospeak (Score:4, Informative)

    by snarlydwarf ( 532865 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @05:55PM (#15760329) Homepage

    Actually, you should RTFA.

    Music industry sources told Reuters earlier this month that Microsoft disclosed plans to be in the market before Christmas with a media player that will allow users to download videos and music wirelessly.

    That is the only place discussion of Wirelss capabilities is mentioned: it apparently is not mentioned in the release, instead Reuters says, "well last month, someone told us that Microsoft told them it had wireless..."

    Hardly confirmed: it is reported as a rumor.

  • from (Score:2, Informative)

    by MS_Word ( 877966 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @06:50PM (#15760645)
    Interesting points to discuss from

    What we know (for sure)

            * Zune is the name of the project, the brand, and the device.
            * The first Zune device will be launched this year, with more devices to come in 2007.
            * The Zune brand encompasses not only the device, but the software that will drive it, as well as a music, movie, and media service the Zune device family will use for acquiring, sharing, and discovery of said media. Music will be the first angle of service that is launched, "connected entertainment" being the ultimate goal.
            * The Zune media service will heavily leverage community aspects and recommendation; emphasis is being placed on using Zune to discover new artists, media, etc.
            * The Zune media device will be drive-based, and have WiFi.
            * The Zune brand is intended to be an entirely vertically integrated end-to-end solution, not unlike the iPod / iTunes / iTunes Music Store triumvirate.
            * The service and device will not be PlaysForSure compliant, meaning you will not be able to use your Zune player with Napster or Vongo, for example. This will be an entirely new system. Microsoft will continue to support and develop for their PlaysForSure initiative, but all things PlaysForSure are handled by two entirely separate division that will not have any crossover.
            * Zune is under Microsoft's new Entertainment & Devices Division, and is headed by, among others, Robbie Bach, J Allard (Corporate Vice President and Chief XNA Architect), and Bryan Lee (Corporate Vice President and CFO, Entertainment and Devices Division), which accounts for the division of this project from the rest of Microsoft, similar to how the Xbox project was also strictly separated.
            * The logo we had is, of course, real.
            * Microsoft's launched the Zune's viral marketing site. [Thanks, bv]

    What we think we know (and are pretty sure of)

            * They'll be showing off the device by the end of next month, and will aim for a November release.
            * Microsoft will buy your way out of iTunes in order to convert you to a Zune user.
            * The Zune will come in multiple colors.
            * Pyxis is the codename for their nano competitor which would also include video capabilities; Alexandria is the codename for the software that powers the Zune experience.
            * A Microsoft portable gaming system is in the works, and will be a part of the Zune family. This device should have Xbox Live Anywhere integration. This may or may not be an Xbox co-branded portable, but is probably going to be the portable gaming / media device we've been hearing about for years.
            * Microsoft's ad campaign will include a Super Bowl commercial.
            * The Zune will have a bevy of accessories at launch; it'll probably be cheaper for accessory makers to develop for the Zune port than pay the Made For iPod tax.

    What we don't yet know

            * Whether the Zune media service will offer the same kind of all-you-can-eat subscription media services as PlaysForSure media services like Napster and Vongo. Supposedly subscription will be offered, but downplayed in favor of song purchase (which is the opposite of most PlaysForSure services).
            * Whether you'll actually only be limited to sharing with up to 10 people nearby, as rumored, and that they won't get the protected files, but will "bookmark" them for later purchase.
            * Exact device specifications for the first Zune device, as well as its price (though we hear it could be as much as $399).
            * Whether it'll include XM and/or Sirius service as rumored (we doubt it).
  • by Elder Entropist ( 788485 ) on Friday July 21, 2006 @06:59PM (#15760692)
    "Microsoft can't use Windows as leverage in this proposition "

    Don't be silly. The next release or patch of Windows will just "accidently" break iTunes.

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong