Hoping to make a dent in the success of the iPod, Microsoft has released their Zune music player in the US. Currently, the iPod dominates the MP3 world (they have a 75% share of the digital music player market in the US and more than half of the world market.)... but when Microsoft sees a competitor dominating a market, they often try to move in with something new. But is the Zune new enough, or just a rehash of what has come before?
The Zune (which is currently only available in the US) is available in just one model (with 30GB storage) but is offered in three colours. It is priced at $250 (£131).
Be aware that songs bought from Napster, Rhapsody, AOL or Urge will not work with the player. Additionally, even songs bought from Microsoft's own MSN music store (which is shortly to be shut down) will not work. Zune users will instead have to buy and download music from a dedicated Zune music store, or they can rip their own CDs and copy them on to the player.
"We're moving from just a device that you use on your own to what we call connected entertainment," Microsoft chairman Bill Gates told the crowd in downtown Seattle, before demonstrating the Zune's wireless song-swapping feature. "We'll be able to upgrade the software here, connect you up to the capability you'll have in your car, your PC, your phone."