updated 02:35 pm EDT, Thu May 28, 2009
Ballmer Shows Zune HD
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer today surprised those at the D7 technology show with a brief demo of the just-confirmed Zune HD. The prototype shown to Engadget has the interface shown in early imagery and was found to have "gorgeous" video -- ironically demonstrated with pro-Apple firm Pixar's For the Birds -- on its OLED screen. Few unknown features were shown, though the video interface and the ability to use custom wallpapers remain intact.
OLED offers a distinct advantage over LCD in illuminating pixels from the display surface itself. The approach eliminates the need for a backlight and consequently produces true black colors where LCDs are often forced to show dark gray, as all their pixels normally must be lit. This also improves battery life. OLED also typically eliminates ghosting by updating much faster than an LCD.
The Zune HD is poised to launch in the fall and is Microsoft's first touchscreen media player. It will also be its first to support web browsing.