updated 03:05 pm EDT, Mon September 13, 2010
Microsoft may detail Zune's fate at WP7 launch
Microsoft may share some of its plans for the future of the Zune HD at the same time as its mid-October launch for Windows Phone 7, an insider claimed today. The contact didn't necessarily expect new players to arrive but hinted that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer might discuss the future of dedicated Zune devices at the same time. The most likely opportunity should be the October 11 open house event, where many of the company's latest offerings will be on show.
Not much else has been revealed, but the same source suggests that initial capacities won't change from today and would bring 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions. It's still unknown whether it would jump to WP7, only use portions or keep the original Zune code, although some use of WP7 would be probable. Zune software is still due to remain as it's being used to sync both the Zune and the media on WP7 devices.
Microsoft has been under pressure to address its MP3 player line since unveiling Windows Phone 7, as the strategy has risked leaving the existing model an orphan and behind rivals. Unlike both WP7 handsets and the iPod touch, the Zune HD doesn't have ties to a common app platform or a modern web browser. The Zune has remained at roughly two percent of US MP3 player share virtually since the start despite newer models, lower prices and unique features like on-demand music streaming.