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News

Microsoft to Take on iPod touch with Zune HD

After attempting to steal iPod market share with the Zune media player, Microsoft confirmed on Tuesday that it is now ready to go after the iPod touch with the Zune HD. Like the iPod touch, Zune HD will sport a multi-touch display and Wi-Fi Web browsing -- a feature that's missing from the original Zune models.

Microsoft's Zune HD

The Zune HD, which is expected to ship this fall, will include a 3.3-inch OLED display with 420x272 resolution, an HD radio receiver, 720p HD video playback via a custom dock, and a built-in touch-based Web browser (presumably a modified version of Internet Explorer). Microsoft will be extending its Zune content to Xbox users, too, when it begins offering Zune store video content via the Xbox LIVE Video Marketplace this fall.

Microsoft's Zune HD announcement comes only two weeks before Apple's World Wide Developer Conference that kicks off on June 8. Apple is expected to announced new iPhone models at the event, and Microsoft could be trying to steal some of the iPod maker's thunder.

Apple will likely ship the next generation iPhone, and will likely ship update iPod touch models, before Microsoft gets its Zune HD out the door. Unless Apple introduces surprisingly lackluster feature updates to its handheld devices, Microsoft may have trouble overcoming the iPhone and iPod touch momentum -- even with its early product announcement.

10 comments from the community.

You can post your own below.

mrmwebmax said:

+

Jeff, so far you seem to be the only one in the media who gets it: the Zune HD is not just competing against the iPod Touch, but the iPhone as well. Let’s face it: the iPod Touch is an iPhone without the iPhone (and camera at this point, likely to change). That means the Touch/iPhone platform covers both the high-end MP3 player market and the smart phone market. I know I lot of people who won’t leave Verizon, yet who have iPod Touches. I was nearly unwilling to leave Verizon myself, but a hands-on at an AT&T store (plus a great sister who splurged on my Christmas gift) made me an iPhone user for life.

So Zune HD is going up against the #1 MP3 player, the #2 smartphone, and the #1 music/app/movie/media store.

Combined.

And they have to do this after whatever Apple has in store within the coming weeks. Good luck with that….

   Quote

Zarko said:

What? No app store at all?  This next zune will be DOA.

   Quote

Quark said:

Please CORRECT the story—too many sites are reporting “multi-touch” on the Zune HD.  The Official Press Release says NOTHING about “multi-touch”, nor does it imply “multi-touch”.

It is a Touch display; NOT multi-touch.

Please Correct your story.

   Quote

Jinno said:

Quark, you’re wrong. They do say multi-touch on the official page for the product.
http://www.zune.net:80/en-us/mp3players/zunehd/default.htm

   Quote

Jeff said:

The link goes to a blank page. The two press releases mention touch screen OLED but never say multi-touch

   Quote

ctopher said:

I wonder if it *used* to say multi-touch but Apple got touchy and Microsoft didn’t want to touch off a storm so they took it down.

The press release at Zune.net points to the same link Jinno posted, but it’s now a 404 error. (All you can see are two links, but select all the text and it’s a 404 page.)

touché!

   Quote

ctopher said:

And NOW it is up and in does indeed say
————————-
Touchscreen
Get quick and instant access to your content with multi-touch navigation. With a 3.3 inch screen and vivid 16:9 OLED display (480x272 resolution), premium entertainment is at your fingertips.*
————————-
So it does say “multi-touch”!

I wonder if Apple will put the touch on Microsoft?

   Quote

mrmwebmax said:

+

Apple better put the touch on microsoft. There is shameless copying, and then there is this. From an article in Ars Technica, Brian Seitz, the group marketing manager for Zune, says the following:
———————-
[regarding web browsing] A full Web browser will be included. It will use now-standard multitouch gestures like double-tap, pinch, and stretch. Seitz told us it would be a “cool browser for the finger.”
———————-
“Now-standard” features like pinch and stretch? Doesn’t he mean “yet more stuff that Apple developed and that we’re ripping off because we have not a single original thought in our brains? The guy actually goes on to say, in regard to the iPod Touch, that Microsoft is “not trying to play copycat.”

The company is shameless. Absolutely, utterly shameless.

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2009/05/inside-the-zune-hd-a-new-hope-for-microsoft.ars

   Quote

daemon said:

Apple didn’t develop the pinch, the reverse pinch, or the double tap, they implemented them beautifully tho.

   Quote

James said:

@daemon

Yes, and they patented that beautiful implementation. wink

   Quote

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