Microsoft has announced the official release date of Zune. Microsoft's portable media player will drop on November 14, 2006 and the US software giant estimates that it will retail for $249.99.
Additionally, Microsoft has announced that concomitantly with the Zune launching, the afferent digital media content online service will also debut on November 14.
“For $249.99, consumers will get an incredible entertainment experience right out of the box. 30GB digital media player will come equipped with wireless functionality for Zune-to-Zune sharing of music, pictures and home recordings; a bright, three-inch LCD video screen that works in portrait or landscape mode to view pictures and videos; and a built-in FM transmitter. The device will be available in three colors: black, brown and white.
A selection of preloaded content including songs, music videos and film shorts are installed on the device’s hard drive to help consumers discover new artists and entertainment,” stated Microsoft. Via the Zune Marketplace service, the possessors of $14.99 per month subscription will be permitted access into a music database containing millions of songs, as Microsoft promises.
But the Microsoft also provides an alternative purchasing system that enables users to acquire individual items for 79 points per track, through the Microsoft Points stored value system. “On Nov. 14 we’re delivering not only a device, but a shared, social experience that will be shaped by the collective imagination of consumers,” said Chris Stephenson, general manager of global marketing for Zune.
“We’re infusing the spirit of discovery and sharing into everything we do — from the experience we crafted around the device and service to pre-loading music and videos on every device to expose people to something new.”
The best part is that Zune will be preloaded with image, music, films and video content. Audio Tracks like: Band of Horses, “Wicked Gil,” Every Move a Picture, “Signs of Life” and The Thermals, “A Pillar of Salt,” Music Videos: 30 Seconds to Mars, “The Kill” and Serena-Maneesh, “Drain Cosmetics,” and short films such as: Radical Films: “Kranked — Progression” are a selection of the titles automatically delivered by Microsoft with each Zune device.
“We’re offering a compelling experience right out of the box and providing customers with a solid base to customize and personalize their entertainment,” Stephenson said. “This is just the beginning.” Microsoft will also make available a plethora of Zune accessories, either sold as bundles the Zune Home A/V Pack, the Zune Travel Pack and the Zune Car Pack or retailed individually with price tags ranging from $19.99 to $99.99.
My earlier blog on Zune is available here - It has some sneak peek videos on Zune : http://jsbi.blogspot.com/2006/09/zune-multimedia-player-from-microsoft.html