updated 01:40 pm EDT, Mon June 1, 2009
Zune HD due September 5th
The Zune HD portable audio player, recently unveiled late last week, is unofficially expected to be released on September 5th, according to a recent report by long-time observer Paul Thurrott. The device had already been rumored for fall but would now launch relatively early in the year, roughly in time with Apple's yearly iPod updates.
Microsoft group product marketing manager Brian Seitz talked briefly about the device and its multi-touch gesture recognizing user interface that has been optimized for finger instead of stylus inputs. The web browser will be loosely based on Internet Explorer 6 but users won't be able to tell, at least on the surface, according to Seitz.
Seitz went on to say the development work on the device is ongoing, and Microsoft will have more detailed specifications sometime this summer. The device will ship with a new version of Zune PC software and services.
At the same time, Microsoft is planning on releasing a full and official announcement regarding this will be made at E3 later this week, including new features, capabilities and services. This integration and branding of Zune into its Xbox Live service has been mentioned earlier, and will see Zune replacing the Video Marketplace link in the New Xbox Experience user interface.