Microsoft unveiled today the first official details on what will be their first portable media player meant to compete with Apple's largely successful iPod. The software giant is late to the party of MP3 players as we all know, however the Zune player is being touted as an entertainment device.

"The digital music entertainment revolution is just beginning," said J Allard, vice president, design and development, at Microsoft, who is leading the charge for building the family of Zune products. "With Zune, we are not simply delivering a portable device, we are introducing a new platform that helps bring artists closer to their audiences and helps people find new music and develop new social connections."

The company expects to grab some of the iPod market later this year when it launches the Zune during the holidays. The first Zune device will offer a 30GB capacity, sporting a 3-inch screen and a FM tuner, but perhaps most important it will offer wireless connectivity with similar devices, which according to Microsoft will permit the sharing of songs and data on the fly. As is to be expected the Zune will be able to play music, and browse photos, however Microsoft won't have video playback capabilities ready for launch. Pricing is also to be announced, so expect to hear more about this device later this year.

On an additional note, Microsoft also announced today new desktop and notebook peripherals, many of which include Vista-specific features.