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@ MidemNet: Zune Exec: Q4 Plans Could Include Europe, Flash Model, Real Wireless

image[By Robert Andrews] Microsoft has suggested that new, Flash-based models of its Zune media player could be released later this year. The Redmond company launched the device in November in the US and it is still not available in other parts of the world. But, at Cannes today, Chris Stephenson, Zube GM-marketing for entertainment, suggested an extension of the line this year would incorporate a non-hard drive-based model. “We have new devices coming out later this year, think Q4,” he said. “Wireless will definitely be part of that roll-out, version two.”
Apple released its lightweight iPod mini player in January 2004, a little over two years after its bigger brother. Asked if a smaller device would be developed by Microsoft, Stephenson said: “The whole Flash area is a really important area. Definitely expect to see a broader range of devices in Q4.” Stephenson also said the Zune would be released in Europe by the same time.
He repeated Microsoft’s insistence that there are “no plans” to drop support for Plays4Sure.