Microsoft unveiled the first official details about its new Zune media player on Thursday, touting the device as a connected multi-media device.
The new product from the software giant will play many popular media formats, and will allow wireless connectivity between the personal computer, as well as other devices.
With Zune, we are not simply delivering a portable device, said J Allard, vice president, design and development, we are introducing a new platform that helps bring artists closer to their audiences and helps people find new music and develop new social connections.
The Redmond Wash.-based company said that 30gb version will be available this holiday season, sporting features such as an FM-tuner, and 3-inch screen. The device will be capable of playing music and video, as well as displaying pictures, the company said.
The Zune will also feature a built in wireless connection, allowing users to share media with other owners. The device will be preloaded with content from record labels such as Virgin Records, Ninja Tune, and will have an online community, dubbed the Zune Marketplace so users can download new music.
At the annual Microsoft analyst conference in July, Microsoft's president of Entertainment and Devices, Robbie Bach, said that it was planning on spending millions of dollars to push the new Zune, incurring losses well into 2008.
Currently, Apple dominates the music download industry with its iPod media player, controlling about 70 percent of the U.S market. Its iTunes download service has also garnered 70 percent of all music downloads over the last three years.
On Tuesday, Apple unveiled a new line of iPods, some with lower prices, and its own movie-download service