More on the unraveling mystery of the Zune 2 launch that is rumored to be tonight @ Gizmodo …
The next-generation Zune has just been announced, coming at you with a price tag (which we already saw) of $249 for the 80GB hard drive model and $149/$199 for the 4GB and 8GB flash-based models respectively. The new features in all models, which were leaked early, are wireless syncing with your computer automatically when you’re in Wi-Fi range-something users have been clamoring for since even before the first Zune-as well as videos in the Zune Marketplace and new music, some of which are DRM-free. The Zune Pad is actually touch sensitive, much like the iPod’s Click Wheel.
In addition, it looks like Cnet has this as an official announement now… Read on for more from Cnet.
Published tonight at 9:15pm CST, that seems a bit ahead of the embargo info that I saw earlier on a link from Engadget, but hey… It’s Cnet, they don’t have to play by the rules do they. They don’t link sources, they jump earlier… Where do I sign up?
Microsoft unveils second generation of Zunes
Microsoft has unveiled the second generation of Zune digital music players and will offer consumers 1 million unprotected songs on its online music store.
Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it will offer three new models of the Zune in November including two equipped with flash memory. The 4GB and 8GB versions are iPod Nano look-alikes that will sell for a suggested retail price of $149 and $199 respectively. An 80GB player equipped with a hard drive will sell for $249. The pricing scheme for the devices exactly mirrors Apple’s iPods.
Some of the other changes include a complete overhaul of the device’s software and a redesign of Marketplace, Zune’s music store. Other interesting features include wireless syncing and the new Zune Pad, a touch-sensitive technology that enables users to slide their finger across the main navigation button instead of always having to click.
The 4GB and 8GB models represent Zune’s first foray into flash-based players and they will be offered in a palette of red, pink, black and green. The 80GB features a 3.2-inch screen and will be smaller and thinner than the original Zune 30GB player. The software upgrades will also replace the software in the 30GB models.
Zune devices will automatically sync when connected over home wireless networks. The feature is designed to ensure that owners always leave home with the latest content, such as podcasts.
The move to provide unprotected MP3 music on the Zune music store is unprecedented for Microsoft but does not come as a surprise. Not only is the company one of the major providers of digital rights management software, but executives there slammed Apple and its CEO Steve Jobs last February when he called on the music industry to abandon DRM.
Ok, maybe the embargo wasn’t **EMBARGOED UNTIL 12:01 A.M. EDT, Oct. 3, 2007**, the New York Times has also run a story already. (although the time of my post here is after this “embargo time”, the NYT and Cnet articles were published earlier.