Microsoft to take on the iPod

It had to happen Zune-r or later: Microsoft has finally made an official announcement regarding its entry into the portable media player market.

The first player to be released under the Zune moniker is designed to revolutionise the industry and give the iPod a good licking. Sporting nifty features such as built-in WiFi, a three inch screen and support for most major video and audio formats, the Zune is off to a good start. Produced by Toshiba, the Zune also bears more than a passing resemblance to the gigabeat S, already hailed by many as an iPod-video killer. The Zune also comes in brown, which must be a first.

It's not only the hardware market that Microsoft are after though, as the company also launched the Zune Marketplace, an iTunes-style piece of software with a built in music store. In a move designed to appeal to download-hungry surfers, songs can be bought on a subscription basis with unlimited monthly downloads.

However, it's not all good news. A 30GB hard drive seems a little on the small size, and the wireless features aren't as good as we'd hoped for. Each Zune user can wirelessly connect to a friend's player, opening up the possibility for easy music sharing. Unfortunately, in a move presumably designed to appease the music industry, transferred songs can only be played for three times over the next three days. This is a big disappointment, as the ability to quickly swap a couple of hundred songs with a friend would be a big boost for the player.

There's no word from Microsoft of a launch date yet, nor pricing, beyond the fact that it will be "competitive". With Apple's recent cost cutting, we wouldn't expect to see the Zune retailing for much more than the 30GB iPod video's $380. And we reckon Apple ought to watch out. Many doubted Microsoft's ability to enter the saturated gaming market when it launched the Xbox, but Mr Gates' behemoth silenced most doubters. Whether he can pull off another coup remains to be seen.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Dickinson

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?