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Microsoft Corp.’s first breed of Zune players will retail for a substantially lower price compared to what has been expected. The price-tag gives Microsoft an ability to more successfully compete with Apple’s iPod digital media players.

According to a news-report by TWICE web-site, Microsoft Zune player 30GB will retail for $299, not $399, as expected previously. $299 is the price of Apple iPod 30GB, which does not offer certain functionality Microsoft Zune is expected to feature, particularly, large display and Wi-Fi connectivity. The news-story claims that the retailers, which had been briefed by the software giant on the matter of the digital music player, were “pleased” with Microsoft’s “feature-per-price package”.

Even though resellers among retailers like Microsoft’s Zune already, the creator of the player has yet to win hearts of consumers, who get Apple’s iPod players due to their stylish design as well as rich environment, e.g., many add-on devices and third-party accessories.

Earlier it was reported that Microsoft’s Zune player will be available in three colours with a duotone approach on each. The device will have a 3.75” screen, contain a 30GB hard disk drive as well as some functionality, not currently available on competing products, such as Apple iPod or Creative Zen, including ad-hoc music sharing between a group of people in the range of the device, FM as well as digital radio, thanks to Wi-Fi connectivity. Along with the Zune device, Microsoft is expected to launch its new online music store.

According to previous news-stories, 13 accessories for the player will be available at launch, which is scheduled on the 14th of November, 2006.

Microsoft Corp. did not comment on the news-story.

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