Microsoft officially unveiled the Zune a contender to potentially take on the iPod. Much information and images had been linked on the Zune device over the last few months. Key to the official release today, Microsoft described an aspect of its new Zune store for music downloads and how the WiFi wireless connectivity will play an important role in differentiating the product from the iPod.
Microsoft Zune

  1. The Zune can transfer music files from one Zune device to another
  2. Once a Zune device receives a music file from another device, the user can listen to that music file for a limited number of instances before the file is locked out. The receiving Zune can play the file a maximum of 3 times over a 3 day period.
  3. Then the receiving Zune owner can download and purchase that song title wirelessly from their device, unlocking the file for continued playback in the future.
  4. It comes with a 30GB hard drive (It would not be surprising for upgrades to larger drives to follow next seasons).
  5. The device will interact with the Xbox 360live supporting video playback.
  6. It even has an FM tuner.
  7. The best part about the Zune is that it will be available this Christmas and is reported to retail for around $300.

Microsoft had been rumored to be working on a plan where iTunes owned by consumers might be converted into Zune Tunes or Zunes. This deal has not yet materialized, but might be something to keep an eye out as the product rolls out, even if its a limited time Christmas season offer. The Zune will come in White, Black and brown.

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