Microsoft has released its much-awaited Zune HD player in the US only days after rival Apple unveiled new iPod Touch members amidst a string of price cuts.
The portable media player touts its ability to display high definition footage when connected to a HD ready television set via a separate and optional docking station.
Inside the device, you will get an Nvidia Tegra HD processor - based on a Cortex A8 processor - WiFi, a HD digital radio plus a Web browser. Adorning the Zune HD's front is a 3.3-inch OLED multitouch screen that can display 480x272 pixels.
The Zune HD is on sale in the US for $220 (16GB black version) or $290 (32GB platinum version). Apple is the only one to have a 64GB model (which costs $399) while the 32GB iPod Touch only costs $9 extra compared to the Zune HD model (compared to $129 a few weeks ago).
Users will be able to download content from the Zunepass website and the Zune marketplace; this include a choice of more than five million tracks, games and movies. Microsoft has also launched an updated version of its Zune software, version 4.0, adding features such as Quickplay and Smart DJ.
It has also been confirmed that applications for Twitter and Facebook will be launched in a few weeks time together with 3D Games. Furthermore, although Microsoft ruled out launching Zune outside US, a Zune-branded video service is set to be launched for Xbox Live users soon.
We still wonder why Microsoft hasn't released the Zune elsewhere. Can't have anything to do with compatibility issues or production capabilities. Microsoft is more than equipped for that and has enough bandwidth and partners as well. Truly we are baffled as to why Microsoft is reluctant at planning a worldwide Zune launch.
(The Media Blog)