updated 08:00 pm EDT, Fri April 10, 2009
Zune HD Leak
A marketing campaign has leaked tonight through Engadget that appears to confirm the existence of the first touchscreen Zune. Titled Zune HD, little is known about the device other than that it appears to embrace the same philosophy as the iPod touch, with just one button on the front. Its name implies at least high-resolution video playback, though true HD-resolution displays don't typically exist in handheld size.
If accurate, the slip may indirectly link back to a rumored Tegra-based device coming from Microsoft. The NVIDIA-made mobile chipsets are notable for having enough performance to fully accelerate at least 720p video as well as advanced 3D effects. Although Microsoft has repeatedly dismissed claims of its own smartphone in development, dashing part of the earlier rumor, its staff has publicly committed to new Zune hardware in 2009.
Zune HD is most likely to arrive in the Zune's historical fall update schedule and comes at an important time for the media player division. Its revenue fell by $100 million year-over-year from late 2007 to late 2008 as the company failed to produce more than a software update and continued to struggle for further market share. The specific absence of a touchscreen Zune is also considered a factor as Microsoft's players have had only limited access to the Internet as a result.