Microsoft's Zune to rival Apple's iPod

by admin July 22, 2006 at 5:49 am

After trying for years to compete with the iPod through an array of partners, Microsoft confirmed Friday that it plans to directly go after Apple Computer with its own rival, Zune.

Confirming weeks of rumors, Microsoft said it will launch music software and players under the Zune brand, though the software maker left plenty unsaid in its confirmation.

“Today we confirmed a new music and entertainment project called Zune,” Chris Stephenson, a general manager of marketing for the software maker, said in a statement. “Under the Zune brand, we will deliver a family of hardware and software products, the first of which will be available this year.”

The initial device will have Wi-Fi and use a hard drive to store music, Microsoft said. Stephenson’s statement also lent some credence to speculation that the company’s player will use wireless connectivity to share music with other Zune devices.

“We see a great opportunity to bring together technology and community to allow consumers to explore and discover music together,” Stephenson said. A Microsoft representative declined to offer further details, although Stephenson told Billboard magazine that other Zune devices, including a video player, are in the works.

The software maker has posted a teaser Web site, set to the song “Us” by Regina Spektor. Microsoft also noted its move on a blog, Zune Insider, whose author is part of the company’s effort.

Full story: ZDNet News