Zune Goes HD and Grows Ties to Xbox

Posted by at 5:22 pm on May 26, 2009

Well the Zune is far from dead, afterall.   Micosoft has confimred plans for a touch screen Zune today. The company readily acknowledges that the player is meant to compete against the iPod touch and will have a 3.3-inch, 480×272 organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen with a multi-touch interface.  Microsoft did not announce pricing or capacity, though it said the device will use flash memory.

The Zune HD, which will be available in the U.S. only starting this fall, features an HD Radio tuner, a first for MP3 player.   HD video playback will be through a special dock.    It is based on Windows CE and will use a version of Internet Explorer customized for its touch screen, Microsoft said.

MS plans to replace the Xbox Video Marketplace with a Zune based video service that will also be shared with the Zune HD itself.   We will need to wait until E3 trade show  early next month  for full  details on  the new Zune branded video service to see if  sharing videos between the machines or will there be syncing between the new Zune and the 360 when comes to watch moives and TV shows.  

Microsoft plans to offer the new Zune video service in a number of European markets, in addition to North America.    

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