Software giant, and wannabe iPod competitor, Microsoft announced today that it will release new versions of its Zune media player on Tuesday. The Redmond, Washington-base firm's move comes at the company attempts to broaden its appeal and presence in a market currently dominated by Apple's iPod. The new Zune players will be accompanied by revamped software and an online music store, according to a Microsoft press release.

Following a sharp rally higher in the last week of October, MSFT shares are threatening to fill in the earnings-driven gap higher. However, the stock appears to have found key support at the 33 level - though this level is below former support at MSFT's 20-day moving average, which the equity has broken below today.

Sentiment in the options pits is hopeful for MSFT, as the security's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.71 ranks above all but 1% of those taken during the past year. This preference for puts is unusual for MSFT, which is a perennial favorite on Wall Street. However, an unwinding of these contracts could help fuel a potential rebound in the shares.