Windows Mobile relevant nor smartphone relevant, Microsoft's Chairman Bill Gates
and Corporate Vice President J Allard yesterday unveiled the next generation of
Zune portable media players.
The two new models of Zune portable media players feature the new Zune Pad, an
innovative touch-sensitive button for navigating on the device, as well as
wireless sync, a feature that allows Zune devices to automatically sync over the
device owner's home wireless network when it is connected to an AC adaptor, in a
dock or speaker dock accessory.
Existing Zune owners will automatically receive new software features, the
redesigned PC and device software and access to the new Zune Marketplace when
everything is released to the public in mid-November.
The two new models of Zune portable digital media players are a sleek, black
Zune 80 GB hard-drive model, which has a bright 3.2" screen and comes with
premium headphones (ERP US$ 249.99).
The ultraportable Zune which will be available in a 4 GB (ERP US$ 149.99) and
8 GB (ERP US$ 199.99) flash version. Both ultra portable Zunes will be available
in pink, green, black and glossy red.
The new Zune devices feature the Zune Pad navigation button, with its
touch-sensitive surface. Consumers can flick their thumbs over the pad to fly
through lists of songs or albums or to fast-forward through picture slide shows
or videos. For those who need to pause, advance or adjust the volume on the
device without looking, they can also navigate the Zune Pad using physical cues
by pressing on the four sides or the center of the button to adjust the volume
or choose the next track.
Every Zune device includes built-in wireless features and an FM tuner, and
they all have a bright color display that is perfect for showing off album art,
pictures, videos and podcasts. All devices have been given distinctive new
menus, and it is easy to customize the background screen with a personal
picture. Ensuring that existing Zune owners benefit from the advances in this
release, all Zune 30 GB devices will be automatically updated with all the new
features as well as the new device software design this fall.
New features for fall include the following:
- Wireless sync. Zune devices will automatically sync over
consumers' home wireless networks with this helpful new feature, aimed at
ensuring that Zune owners always have the latest podcasts and other content
ready to go when they're leaving home. Syncing with the collection on their
PC happens via a home wireless network and will start on its own when the
device is placed in its dock or plugged in to charge. Alternatively, the
sync can be started manually.
- Extended wireless sharing. Share select full-length songs,
albums, playlists, pictures and even audio podcasts from device to device.
Consumers can now listen to any song received up to three times with no time
restrictions, and they can now also pass along songs to other friends who
have a Zune.
- Recorded television content to go. The Zune software will finally
be able to automatically import broadcast content recorded on Microsoft
Windows Media Center for Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate, so
consumers can sync them onto their Zune media player and watch them on the
bus, in their car or wherever they want when they're out and about.
Unfortunately still no word about a European or Asia Pacific Zune launch so
it looks like the U.S. will get the new Zunes only.
Cheers ~ Arne