We don't know exactly when, or all of the exact specifications, but one thing we do know is that the Zune HD is for real and should be released sometime this fall!
According to the official Zune HD site, the new Zune HD will feature:
- a vivid OLED touch screen with multi-touch navigation.
- HD radio which features both information on the song being played and, of course, much better sound quality than your everyday radio station.
- HD video out, supporting 720p HD movies, TV shows and videos
- wireless features, allowing you to connect and update content via WiFi hotspots and allowing you to stream millions of songs
- and last, but not least, a dedicated web browser featuring multi-touch navigation.
This sleek new looking Zune is obviously Microsoft's attempt to steal the thunder from the iPod Touch, but does it? Can it? I doubt it, and it's not because I'm an Apple lover, or either a Microsoft hater either. It's because, as sleek as it is, and despite it possibly being the best Zune by far, and who knows - it maybe even be the best player anywhere, other than the iPod itself, but, in the end - it's still no iPod Touch.
The new Zune HD will, like everything Microsoft does, have a copy cat version of Apple's App Store, but in the end it will still be Microsoft's app store, not Apple's wildly successful App Store with it's 35 to 40,000 apps of every size and description. It's the App Store, more than any other single factor, that makes the iPod Touch (iPhone too) the most compelling player on the market. To best the iPod Touch, well Microsoft is going to need some luck to catch up, let alone to actually surpass it, and when I say luck - I mean a lot of it!
No doubt, Microsoft is a company that can't be counted out. After all, one of it's best attributes is that it rarely, if ever, gives up until it succeeds! However, I have to agree with Zune owner Dan Nosowitz, when he writes in Gizmodo the following:
"I'm a proud Zune owner myself (somebody had to take over as Angry Windows guy after Adam's defection, right?), and while I think Zunes are great, I'm not thrilled with what I've learned so far. It'll be a polished and great-sounding player, I'm sure, but I really want to see something that pushes boundaries, and to me, that doesn't mean HD radio. We'll update with the full press release and hopefully some more info as soon as possible."
Just as Microsoft is planning to bring out the updated and new Zune HD, so likewise, Apple planning to release several major new iPod's updates, including iPod's that may include built-in cameras that will transform them into some pretty decent photo devices, complete with built in photo enhancing software! Not only that, but the ground breaking iPod Touch, which the Zune HD is clearly aimed at, is expected to be morphed into a super iPod (media tablet) and should finally end up being Apple's answer to the netbook craze! This baby will come with a giant 9 to 10 inch multi-touch screen along with various other cool features, and yet again, it will go hand-in-hand with all of those ten's of thousands of apps from the App Store!
So, in conclusion, let me say that as cool and as interesting as I think the Zune HD appears to be, I still think it lags behind the current iPod Touch and, more importantly, I think it's about to be blown to smithereens when Apple, once again, ups the ante with it's expected iPod software and hardware updates - so stay tune to the Zune and on what Apple plans to do to keep ahead of it and the rest of the curve.
And that's my 2 cents 4 this Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Zune HD image via: the Zune HD site
Zune HD UPDATE via: Gizmodo