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Microsoft confirms Zune HD with multi-touch

updated 08:40 pm EDT, Tue May 26, 2009

MS Confirms Zune HD

Microsoft tonight confirmed the existence of the Zune HD, its first-ever touchscreen media player. The company readily acknowledges that the player is meant to compete against the iPod touch and will have a 3.3-inch, 480x272 OLED screen with a multi-touch interface. It earns its name through the first inclusion of a portable HD Radio tuner for digital broadcasts as well as HD video playback through a special dock. For the first time on a Zune, the HD will also use its Wi-Fi to browse the web and should come with a special version of Internet Explorer designed for touch.

Contrary to some rumors, it will be based on Windows CE rather than Windows Mobile and is heavily modified from the standard version.

To complement the player, Microsoft plans to replace the Xbox Video Marketplace with a Zune-based video service that will also be shared with the Zune HD itself. It's not certain if videos downloaded from one device will be playable on the other. The company didn't tell Electronista whether games would be involved but hinted at touchscreen-specific games and said next week's E3 event would highlight the link between Xbox Live and the Zune. One rumor has had cross-compatible
showing on the Live Marketplace that would be playable on both platforms.

The company plans an aggressive launch and will ship the Zune HD in the fall both to North America and, for the first time, Europe. It anticipates the new player at least initially taking over from current flash players while hard drive-based players co-exist.

Microsoft's confirmation sparks significant new life into its media player efforts, which have struggled in the past year as it failed to produce a significant revision to its second-generation player and shed $100 million in revenue through declining sales. It's one of the last major media player creators to have its own touchscreen player.

By Electronista Staff


  1. EternalGuest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2009




  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: Jan 2008


    Once again...

    ... a year late and nothing extraordinary. And once again, it simply aims to copy the iPod/iPhone. I mean look at even tries to look like a Touch or iPhone.

  1. Str1f3

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2009


    zune LOL

    I hope Apple sues Palm back to he'll from owhence they came for this multi-touch c***. Microsoft is only following suit because Palm opened the door.

    As for the Zune, microsoft has no idea what they're doing. Everytime they change where you get content from. They are throwing s*** at the wall and seeing what sticks. The only thing that is interesting is an OLED display.

  1. luckyday

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008



    Ya dude. You're right. It has a screen and its rectangular. What a knock-off.

    Actually, as far as rectangles with screens go, it looks nothing like an ipod touch.

    OLED is pretty sick, no?

  1. Zeeb

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Feb 2006


    Fanboys aplenty

    It sounds like it has potential. The OLED screen and HD radio already trump the current ipod touch. HD video playback also sounds interesting if it can play a 720 or 1080p video on a HDTV via HDMI. Then I would say I buy one of these over an ipod touch any day.

    That being said, its not going to be released until the fall--at which point Apple could easily trump this player with their own updates.

    I just don't get fanboys. Why not just pick the best product for you? Apple is not a country that requires your patriotism.

  1. G4_Kessel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2003



    MIcrosoft should just focus on making Windows a better OS and let the big boys handle the portable media player business. I mean... REALLY?!?

  1. c4rlob

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2009


    always playing catchup

    Took 'em 2 years but they've finally caught up - so how long before they figure out how to make it work on more than just Windows???

  1. malax

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2006


    CE versus mobile

    I thought Window Mobile was just a new name for Windows CE. How many different versions of "Windows" are there?

  1. Herod

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007



    i thought the Zune was dead.....oh wait this is a Zune HD. Duh.

  1. chas_m




    Give MS credit where it's due, there ARE some interesting aspects to this device, such as the OLED screen, HD (I'll bet they mean 720p) video playback (with the purchase of a special dock) and HD radio (which probably requires more $$ for a subscription).

    I haven't seen where the Zune is offering better VALUE than the iPod, but you know, this kind of thing helps keep Apple on their toes so it's not all bad. I wouldn't be caught dead with a Zune (at least based on what I've seen so far) but I try to keep an open mind.

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