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The first information about Microsoft’s music player, which may be named Zune, tells that the world’s largest maker of software has no plans to compete against Apple when it comes to pricing, instead, it plans to offer some features, not available on the iPod, including music sharing, Internet radio and so on.

Microsoft Zune player will be available in three colours with a duotone approach on each. Microsoft Zune 30GB will cost as much as $399, according to Digital Music News web-site. For the same amount of money Apple sells iPod 60GB, whereas iPod 30GB costs $299. Microsoft, however, believes that customers will be eager to pay more for its Zune player just because it has some kind of broader feature-set, including ad-hoc music sharing between a group of people in the range of the device as well as digital radio, thanks for wireless connectivity.

The menu options of the player will include “Music”, “Video”, “Pictures”, “Community”, “Extras” and “Settings”. It is unknown, whether the device will be able to play games, as there is no such option in the menu, but it is known that the initial target group for the Zune will be the existing Xbox customers.

The new online music store by Microsoft will be compatible only with Zune players, which means that the ecosystem will be fairly proprietary. However, the web-site further claims that the store will offer “bundling, variable pricing, and subscription” upon launch. It is uncertain, whether “bundling” means purchasing popular tracks along with several merely heard to and whether “variable pricing” means that users will have to pay more to get trendy music.

The upcoming launch is reportedly scheduled for November in the United States. A global launch will begin next year, starting with Great Britain and Canada, according to the reports.

Microsoft did not comment on the news-story.


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