Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Zune to start selling from Nov. 14

The official pricing and release date for Microsoft's 30-gigabyte digital media player Zune are out.

Zune is to start selling from November 14 this year, and will carry a price tag of $249 (Rs 11,454), which is cheaper than what was projected unofficially.

Meanwhile, this is an indication that Microsoft does not want to rival Apple Computer's iPod 30GB with a larger amount of features at a higher price, but prefers to do so by offering more features at the same price point.

Microsoft's Zune, which will be available in three colors - with a duotone approach on each, will come pre-loaded with some content, including songs, music videos, and film shorts on its hard drive.

Zune will feature a 3-inch color display, and will include built-in wireless technology that allows users to swap files from one Zune to another, as also an FM radio tuner. Incidentally, these features are not available as built-in options on Apple's iPod. Zune s display will also be slightly larger than the iPod s 2 1/2-inch video screen.

Also beginning November 14, Zune accessories will be on the market. The accessories include: the Zune Home A/V Pack and Zune Travel Pack for $99.99 (Rs 4,554) each; the Zune FM Transmitter for $69.99 (Rs 3,174); Premium Earphones for $39.99 (Rs 1,794); Dock for $39.99 (Rs 1,794); Remote for $29.99 (Rs 1,334); Car Pack for $79.99 (Rs 3,634); and various interface cables between $19.99 and $29.999(Rs 874 and Rs 1,334).

Besides, Microsoft intends to launch the Zune Marketplace service that will allow users purchase media files individually, or through a monthly subscription.


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