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July 15, 2006

Microsoft iPod Killer update

Posted by David Hunter at 8:19 PM ET.

Since I last mentioned Microsoft’s putative portable media player, some more details have hit the wires. It’s still merely buzz, but I thought I would summarize the latest:

- The rumored codename earlier in the week was Argo, but Gizmodo says the final product name is Zune. They also said there would be no gaming, but modified their postion in a later post that also featured a less than scintillating prospective Zune logo:

The Zune is going to have some gaming, but it’s not going to be nearly as powerful as an “Xbox portable” would be.

There probably is going to be Xbox 360 integration though, as your “music subscription authorization” is held on the device itself. This means if you take your Zune to your friend’s place, plug it into his 360, the console will automatically have access to your Zune music.

There’s also going to be a next generation PlaysForSure starting with this player, with a better name than “PlaysForSure 2″. Oh, and that rumor about being able to import all your iTunes tracks automatically? That’s probably not true.

Lastly, there’s going to be an iPod Nano competitor called, tentatively and possibly, the Pixas. The tipster’s only around 20% sure about the name, but 100% sure of the player’s existence. Oh, and it will support video.

- Meanwhile, Engadget has a purported picture of the beast which unsurprisingly is somewhat yawn-inducing unless you are a real fanboy. Want something more exciting? How about a Microsoft Super Bowl commercial for the Zune?

- Then there are reports that Microsoft has been talking up the accessories manufacturers:

After offering confirmation of recent reports that Microsoft will release an iPod-competitive media player called Zune, representatives of iPod accessory manufacturers have disclosed to iLounge that the Redmond, Washington-based company has contacted them regarding potential accessory licensing and compatibility plans for the device, similar to Apple’s Made For iPod program. Like all current iPods except for the iPod shuffle, Zune will feature a proprietary expansion port that Microsoft will allow companies to accessorize at a lower rate than the Made For iPod program, and one which a source suggests will likely lead to widespread iPod industry third-party support for the new device.

Gosh! It wasn’t that long ago that Microsoft was supporting an open docking standard for portable media players.

Finally, as I write there are only 162 days until Christmas and you have to subtract about 30 to give shoppers a chance and probably at least another 30 for manufacturing ramp and retail distribution. So, Microsoft has got about 100 days at most to get ‘er done.

Filed under Apple, Argo, Coopetition, Microsoft, PlaysForSure, Technologies, Xbox, Zune

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One Response to “Microsoft iPod Killer update”

  1. Microsoft’s iPod Killer goes Live - Zune Live -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Brandon Hill at DailyTech points to a report at ZuneNation that the domain name was registered back in May by a private citizen who just so happens to have registered in the past on behalf of Microsoft. That’s just as well since the pixels on the rumor that Microsoft’s product name for their upcoming iPod killer was “Zune” were barely cold before new sites like popped up. Filed under Coopetition, Xbox, Apple, Microsoft, Argo   [Permalink] [...]

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