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Report: Zune sequel to break cover as early as Tuesday

post #1 of 60
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Sometimes the target of jokes for its initial in-house attempt at a digital media player, Microsoft is poised to announce its first update to the line as soon as this week, if a new report holds true.

Citing insiders "close" to the event, BetaNews stirred anticipation on Monday by claiming that Microsoft would overhaul and expand its Zune player lineup as soon as Tuesday in an event to be attended by none other than company co-founder Bill Gates.

While sparing on some details, the tipster alleged that the Redmond, Wash.-based firm will release its first media player to employ flash memory for storage rather than a spinning hard disk. The device would be just 3 inches tall and 1.25 inches wide and would therefore be smaller than the first- or second-generation iPod nano in almost every respect -- but it would still have video playback, WiFi, and the other features from its larger sibling.

The hard drive model would be upgraded with a slimmer chassis but would otherwise be much the same as the original, the purported source said. A beta "community site" was also said to be launching along with a new set of accessories from Microsoft itself.

These specifications appear to line up with information first obtained by Gizmodo in August and later corroborated by secondary reports. A rendering of the new players showed two devices fundamentally similar to the present-day 30GB Zune but with a square-like control pad and a narrower, thinner profile. At the time, the image pointed to 4GB and 8GB flash-based Zunes shipping in four colors and a lone 80GB hard drive model in black.

However accurate the initial drawings, the current news would have Microsoft place much more faith in its portable player strategy. In its description of production plans, the report noted that Microsoft would manufacture 2.4 million flash and hard drive Zunes over the course of the holiday shopping season -- double what the company managed in the eight months between the Zune's November 2006 launch and the end of June. Most of these new sales would reportedly be flash models, which have typically sold for less in exchange for their reduced capacity.

Rumored Zune 2.0 Product Line | Image from Gizmodo

The Windows developer and now Zune maker has been modestly successful with its first effort, beating its initial target of one million players sold by the end of June but struggling to gain share from either Apple's iPods or other, smaller competitors such as SanDisk. Although keen to tout its ten percent of the hard drive-based media player market, the company has yet to pass the 3 percent threshold in the market as a whole. The flash Zune would be key to this strategy, according to the new claims.

If proven accurate, however, the information would also require this strategy to gather its momentum very quickly: the new Zunes would be ready by November, giving Microsoft just a few weeks to sell the brunt of its supply by Christmas.
post #2 of 60
The Zune Nano. Big whoop... everyone's known that it's coming for a year now.

Doesn't look that bad, but doesn't look that sexy either. Unfortunately for Microsoft, if it isn't a home-run, it ends up being an also-ran against the iPod juggernaut.

No doubt they'll price it aggressively in an attempt to compete, but still, it won't do much vs Apple. \

On the plus side, they are pretty slim.

.
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post #3 of 60
yes, but will it come in brown?
post #4 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by acslater017 View Post

yes, but will it come in brown?

one can only hope.

one can only hope.....
post #5 of 60
...and the touchscreen Zune? No? Awww...

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post #6 of 60
The touchscreen Zune will use Surface technology.

And they will call it the Zune Maximus - the largest MP3 player in history!
post #7 of 60
I know a guy who works for Zune. They don't communicate freely with the rest of Microsoft, their cards are plastered with Zune logos and barely mention Microsoft, and they all own iPods.

yeah. . .
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post #8 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

The Zune Nano. Big whoop... everyone's known that it's coming for a year now.

Doesn't look that bad, but doesn't look that sexy either. Unfortunately for Microsoft, if it isn't a home-run, it ends up being an also-ran against the iPod juggernaut.

No doubt they'll price it aggressively in an attempt to compete, but still, it won't do much vs Apple. \

On the plus side, they are pretty slim.

.

How do you know they're pretty slim? THe report never mentioned how slim they were, just how wide and tall. I'm curious to know how slim they ARE.
post #9 of 60
That's a MUCH better effort than Zune 1.0.
post #10 of 60
How's the Zune marketplace? It was lagging itunes pretty badly the last I checked.

Oh, and how about the Zune software? Is it any better?
post #11 of 60
Oh, squirt me Bill baby, You're such a stud
post #12 of 60
On the other hand, I'm sure it supports 3rd party apps and Microsoft treats 3rd party developers like kings, and that it'll just blow the iPod away because it supports 3rd party apps, and Microsoft would NEVER EVER release an update that stomps on 3rd party apps (let alone fix buffer overflows.)

I think I'm going to sell all my Mac and iPod stuff and run down and get myself a Zune and a computer with VISTA!!! Maybe 2 or 3!!
post #13 of 60
I don't believe for a second that Microsoft sold 1 million Zunes by June. Sold into the channel, perhaps, but sold to consumers? No way, I don't believe.

I've also still never seen a Zune in the wild, much less two of the turkeys together (which is the whole point of its overblown wifi capabilities).
post #14 of 60
Microsoft is exactly like a real photocopier: the better the original looks, the worse the photocopy looks.

The main problem with the Zune is that they do everything the iPod does, but a full year (or more) after the iPod and doesn't do it as well.
post #15 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by k2director View Post

I don't believe for a second that Microsoft sold 1 million Zunes by June. Sold into the channel, perhaps, but sold to consumers? No way, I don't believe.

I've also still never seen a Zune in the wild, much less two of the turkeys together (which is the whole point of its overblown wifi capabilities).


I frequently ask my daughter (a 9th grader) if she knows of anyone at her school that has a Zune. nada. Most have iPods, a few have Sandisk or similar. None has a Zune. You'd think someone would have had the misfortune of receiving one.
post #16 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by k2director View Post

I don't believe for a second that Microsoft sold 1 million Zunes by June. Sold into the channel, perhaps, but sold to consumers? No way, I don't believe.

I've also still never seen a Zune in the wild, much less two of the turkeys together (which is the whole point of its overblown wifi capabilities).

Hey, that's a good point. Every day at work I see people running by my office window and every single one of them has an iPod, not a single Zune. In fact, I don't think I've every seen anyone with a Zune, which makes sense, I mean come on, how embarrassing. I still see people walking around with portable CD players, but no Zunes. It ain't easy be'in a Zune, so so lonely.
post #17 of 60
I saw my first zune in the wild last week! I was AMAZED and PERPLEXED.I live in Canada where they havent been released yet and someone was sitting beside me in the cafeteria at lunch one day! I made such a big deal to my friend and we were both staring at him. He noticed after a while so we left

It was a brown one too and it wouldnt fit in his pocket....poor kid. (who just so happens to have the same first name as me)
post #18 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiyero View Post

I saw my first zune in the wild last week! I was AMAZED and PERPLEXED.I live in Canada where they havent been released yet and someone was sitting beside me in the cafeteria at lunch one day! I made such a big deal to my friend and we were both staring at him. He noticed after a while so we left

It was a brown one too and it wouldnt fit in his pocket....poor kid. (who just so happens to have the same first name as me)

Poor kid indeed, so got up and left huh. Must have that terrible disease embarasstobeseeninpublicwithzuneitis.

Don't worry, with iPod pre-innoculation, you can't catch it!

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post #19 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaPeaJay View Post

How do you know they're pretty slim? THe report never mentioned how slim they were, just how wide and tall. I'm curious to know how slim they ARE.






Also from the same site, and MUCH scarier:






...
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post #20 of 60
the zune is a pile of garbage. i touched one the other day and went, "This is dang inconvient and clunky."
post #21 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball View Post

Microsoft is exactly like a real photocopier: the better the original looks, the worse the photocopy looks.

The main problem with the Zune is that they do everything the iPod does, but a full year (or more) after the iPod and doesn't do it as well.


The main problem for Microsoft is that there just isn't any compelling reason to SWITCH. Apple's got the image, the design, the ease-of-use, competitive pricing AND now MultiTouch.

All MS can do in that environment is copy, make a few brave noises about how the Zune has been "meeting expectations" ( ), and pretend to not be totally embarrassed by being such an also-ran, even though everyone knows that Apple's foot is firmly wedged up Microsoft's pooper in the mp3 player and music store markets.

The Zune is like a joke that never needed to be told. \

Even worse, Microsoft competing, and getting consistently beaten by Apple here just improves Apple's image further. People see an Apple-branded product beating up on a Microsoft-branded product, and they start to go, "Hmm... maybe that applies to other things as well. Like computers, like software, like..."

All told, MS might've been better off just staying out this market to begin with. I don't buy that things are gonna turn around for them down the road... whenever that's happened, it's been because they were able to leverage their Windows monopoly in some way, or because the leader in a market totally screwed up. Neither one seems applicable here.

.
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post #22 of 60
As long as the new Zunes are priced about as low as iPods and have a pretty good web browser (maybe not touchscreen, but something almost as efficient) then that WiFi will be a VERY nice advantage over an iPod (not counting the Touch).

If not, then the WiFi is a non-feature. There aren't enough Zune users out there to communicate with--if communicating with strangers is your thing. (I can't imagine Zune-style WiFi "squirting" catching on big-time even if every iPod in the world had it.)
post #23 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...3 inches tall and 1.25 inches wide and would therefore be smaller than the first- or second-generation iPod nano in almost every respect...

Judging by the various photos it looks to be about 1.5 times THICKER than the old Nano and about 2x as thick as the new Fatboy. The statement above, made without any thickness information whatsoever, is a ridiculous, stupid conclusion.
post #24 of 60
The headline for this article should have read:
Zune sequel to break wind as early as Tuesday
post #25 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by alansky View Post

The headline for this article should have read:
Zune sequel to break wind as early as Tuesday

Are you saying that the Zune is brown and smells funny? Hmmmm.


It's nice to see Microsoft is trying to copy Apples previous, previous generation iPod. Maybe by 2010 they will be caught up to this years iPods. Just think what the 2010 iPods will be like.

Bottom line, any Zune player will fail without the support of the iTunes software. Analysts just don't understand that the power of the iPod lies in the iTunes music management system, not the hardware (which is totally amazing in its own right).

Apple stock was upgraded today by the big boys (Deuche Bank!), based on stong Mac, iPod and iPhone sales. In other words everything that Apple sells is out selling anything else out there right now. Which explains why AAPL stock just sailed through $150/share on it way to $200 at least.

My IRA thanks you Mr. Jobs.
post #26 of 60
You know... as much as we talk about the iPod "Halo Effect", Apple could really be seeing an "MP3-player metaphorical effect" (this is a term destined to be forgotten, thank god!)

What I mean is that many people know Microsoft Windows. And they've heard of a Mac but they don't know much about it but assume Windows is better. As the Zune becomes more well known, people will see MS Zune vs Apple iPod... and notice the the iPod is better (for now anyway). When they then compare MS Windows vs Apple Mac, they may start to assume that the Mac is better.

ie: "Hey I'm SURE that the iPod is better than the Zune.
Therefore I guess the Mac is better than Windows."
post #27 of 60
i should probably buy an original brown zune and keep it in the box. Some day it might be a collectors item.

its not much good for anything else
post #28 of 60
I think we can see why Apple made the new nano the 'fatty'. They must have known that MS would have copied the nano as close as possible so were forced to change it completely to differentiate it. MicroSoft really is that dull and predictable...

Come on, someone tell me one really useful innovation that the worlds richest company, who calls itself an innovator, has given the world.
post #29 of 60
Just what I wanted for the Holidays. A new Social (disease).
post #30 of 60
What's a Zune?
post #31 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpinDrift View Post

What's a Zune?

I think it's a movie with Sting and a fat guy (maybe Steve Ballmer?) floating around in some sort of levitating wheelchair "squirting" people.
post #32 of 60
A second generation Zune?! Well, squirt me brown.
post #33 of 60
MS should name this Zune 95. It has a nice familiar ring to it and gives them three years to design Zune 98.
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post #34 of 60
Oh, poor brown, we hardly knew ye!

Quote:
. . . and would therefore be smaller than the first- or second-generation iPod nano in almost every respect

Especially in sales!
post #35 of 60
Honestly, the Zune is a perfectly acceptable mp3 player. It's only the software that really kills the experience. The hardware is just fine.
post #36 of 60
and Steve & Inc. are forced to drop the price of the iPod Touch by a couple hunnerd bucks before Christmas.
post #37 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by gloss View Post

Honestly, the Zune is a perfectly acceptable mp3 player. It's only the software that really kills the experience. The hardware is just fine.

Have they fixed it? Is the Zune store any better?
post #38 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Have they fixed it? Is the Zune store any better?

I dunno, I synced mine once and have been using iTunes otherwise. The software really is horrific. It's a shame, though, because the device itself, despite being pretty bulky, has a rather nice interface and feels really nice in the hand (the textured plastic they used feels great - very friendly).

Of course, now that I'm using an iPod Touch everything else seems old and busted by comparison.
post #39 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

Oh, poor brown, we hardly knew ye!



Especially in sales!

"What can brown do for you - today"

If they in fact are making it in brown - hell, they'll should have gone all the way, and made it yellow
post #40 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Poor kid indeed, so got up and left huh. Must have that terrible disease embarasstobeseeninpublicwithzuneitis.

Don't worry, with iPod pre-innoculation, you can't catch it!

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