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IMPROVED: Microsoft announces two new Zune PMPs with new features
Posted by Arne Hess - on Wednesday, 03.10.07 - 12:26:36 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 11008x
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Neither 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

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