Of interest today as I’m home sick (cough-sneeze)… King 5 news reports (from the AP) on the new, redesigned Zunes… a family still with FM radio and wireless sharing, but with a larger hard disc and (finally) with flash-memory…
“Microsoft Corp. took the wraps off its second-generation digital music players Tuesday, showing three new Zunes that bring the software maker’s offering more in line with Apple’s market-leading iPod.”
… and this report on betanews…
“Although the news won’t officially hit until midnight tonight, further details of the Zune players have leaked ahead of Microsoft’s secret Tuesday night event for press and bloggers.
“Sources have confirmed to BetaNews, as well as additional information from Zune news site Zunerama indicates that there will be two new Zunes, including a new 80GB HDD-based model along with 4GB and 8GB flash based versions.”
“The sketch published indicates that the new player will be substantially more compact than the hard drive-based Zune, but it will keep the general layout of the device consisting of a main navigation area in the shape of a scroll-wheel as well as dedicated play, pause and back buttons.”
“As with Searchification, Microsoft has invited reporters and bloggers to an event which they aren’t allowed to write publicly about until after midnight (EST) on October 3, sources say. At the October 2 invitation-only Zune launch, Chairman Bill Gates and Corporate Vice President of Design and Development J Allard are slated to take the wraps off the Version 2 Zune devices, according to sources claiming familiarity with Microsoft’s plans.
“Besides the new Zunes (“Scorpio” hard-drive and “Draco” flash-based units), Microsoft is expected to unveil a new beta community site for Zunes, an enhanced method of discovering new music and a line of Microsoft-developed accessories (perhaps an FM transmitter and dock?). A new online Zune store, which is more tightly integrated with the Xbox Live Marketplace, also might be part of this evening’s rollout, sources said.”
Update: Gizmodo reports that “Microsoft’s just confirmed with us the November 13 release date of the new Zunes—previously stated by Amazon. Whether or not the firmware for the old Zune is coming on 11/13 is still unconfirmed.”