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Summary:

Ars Technica shares additional details on Zune, the proported iPod-killer from Microsoft. Although some people celebrate Christmas in July, we’ll likely have to wait until the holiday season to see Zune; rumor has the price pegged around $399 for a device with a 30 GB drive. […]

ZuneArs Technica shares additional details on Zune, the proported iPod-killer from Microsoft. Although some people celebrate Christmas in July, we’ll likely have to wait until the holiday season to see Zune; rumor has the price pegged around $399 for a device with a 30 GB drive. While that sounds a little pricey, Microsoft might be doing something right here as Ars indicates the Zune will run Windows Mobile on a 400 MHz mobile processor. WinMobile-haters might balk at this, but us WinMobile playa’s know that the mobile OS is almost to the point of stability for a handheld device. Certainly it can handle digital media and synchronization, right? The impact of Windows Mobile in the Zune could be large provided Microsoft doesn’t try to make this device the Swiss Army knife of mobile handhelds. If they focus on the core functionality of connectivity, digital content purchase and playback while keeping the door open to some other advanced functions we could "Zune" see the end of iPod dominance.

-kct

  1. I saw somewhere today that Microsoft has registered ZuneLive.com. I hope basing this on WM doesn’t overly complicate this for the end-user. The strength of the iPod/ iTunes is in the simplicity. You just turn it on and it works. Just plug it in and it syncs. No fuss no muss.

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  2. Seems likely WM will be on it… as you note, it is “almost to the point of stability” after almost 10 years in development. Kinda late to start over! So then we need to ask, if it’s basically a WM device, in the same price range as the others, what’s the big deal? A different hardware interface? A slip-on software interface (a la the special UI provided with the UMPC)? Microsoft may end up competing with itself, not Apple.

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  3. Tablet PC User Monday, July 17, 2006

    I’m hoping that this Zune isn’t a lone device. If MS wants to do this right, they need to come up with about 8 – 12 different configurations for their “Zune” to really get everyone’s approval (different HD sizes, video & no video, simple interface and “swiss army knife” versions, flash based and non-flash based and phone capable and non-phone capable).

    In case anyone from MS is reading, here is my free advice…people only want 3 basic things: 1) Lots of space (160 GB would be a great top-end version) 2) great look and intuitive user interface (multiple colors and body styles) 3) reasonably priced and hassle free (replaceable batteries, scratch resistant, thin, good battery life, etc.)

    Right now, a WM device with a skin isn’t going to cut it so I’m hoping that something is missing from this story.

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  4. if this can be used as a phone with 3g connectivity then it would be the best gadget ever.

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  5. That’s an interesting idea that is will just be another Pocket PC (except with more storage space.) Here’s to hoping that it ships with a default shell that’s all about media, but there’s a way to turn on the stock Pocket PC interface.

    Now if only we can get one in a Jam sized device with a fair amount of space, and a GSM phone inside.

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  6. Windows Mobile based mp3 players means one great thing :)

    Bluetooth with A2DP and AVRC may be easily integrated and we can use Microsoft Voice Command to select songs. Sounds really awesome.

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  7. The price will need to be more like $299 to be competative with iPod.

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