updated 06:40 pm EDT, Tue April 20, 2010
Director may have seen new Zune early
Director James Gunn may have seen the next-generation Zune, based on an account of a visit to a Microsoft Experience event. In addition to seeing pre-release hardware like Project Natal and the HP slate, he also claimed to have seen the "new Zune." He wasn't specific about details other than to say he didn't think he could switch due to iTunes and the apps he uses for the iPhone.
The possibility exists that Gunn may have been referring simply to the existing Zune HD, although at about seven months old the media player isn't considered new even in its 64GB capacity. It was also roughly in spring last year that the first murmurs appeared from the company for what was eventually confirmed to be the Zune HD.
A new version of the touchscreen device has already been rumored and for now would focus primarily on software, switching from the custom Zune HD firmware to a version of Windows Phone 7. The transition would drop support for the Zune HD as a platform, but it would allow for a much wider app base that can work on more than one device and get a proper mobile app store closer in behavior to the iPhone's App Store. More capacity and NVIDIA's dual-core Tegra are also strong contenders for seasonal updates.
Neither Gunn nor Microsoft has elaborate on what was at the gathering. [via Zunited]