Microsoft Year-End Report Card: B-

Well, Redmond, it's been a funny year, hasn't it? Even if you ignore those Apple commercials, it's hard to ignore the fact that Vista was probably one of the main reasons people switched to the Mac OS, or to third-party Linux-based systems. We'll get to the big V—and that other mighty stain Windows Mobile—in a bit,… » 12/21/07 2:00pm 12/21/07 2:00pm

Pink 8GB Zune for $165 from Amazon

Amazon's got the pink 8GB Zune on sale for $157, which translates into $165 w/ shipping. The sorta catch is that it's from a third-party retailer, but since they're selling through Amazon, you shouldn't have to worry about anything shady going down. If pink's not your party, the other colors are from Amazon itself… » 12/13/07 1:55pm 12/13/07 1:55pm

Limited Edition Zune 2 in Gold

Only 10 of these gold-colored Zune 2s will be sold, in both 80 and 8GB sizes. Microsoft teamed up with the Goods to make these screen printed designs. I like the cross pattern. They're available next Saturday, in Seattle, if you feel the need to splurge. (No price listed but "Gold" plus "Limited Edition" plus "one of… » 12/04/07 12:52am 12/04/07 12:52am

Mossberg on Zune 2: 'Still No iPod'

Walt Mossberg, the Wall Street Journal's tech gnome, got a chance to play with Microsoft's new line of Zunes, and he was pretty ambivalent about them. While he thinks they're a noticeable improvement over the first generation, that's not really saying much seeing how unimpressed he was with those. And he hates the… » 11/14/07 12:25pm 11/14/07 12:25pm

Is Zune 2 Worth a Damn?

Here's what Zune has for us this year: a 4/8GB flash-based Zune that's the same size as the 2nd Generation nano, a 30GB first-generation Zune that gets updated features and firmware, and a 80GB Zune with the improved Zune pad and larger storage. The question to both new customers and owners of the first-gen: is the … » 11/13/07 3:30pm 11/13/07 3:30pm

Complete Guide to Zune 2's Software and Firmware

Click to viewZune 2 and its batch of new features are finally upon us, bringing new players and an entirely new experience. On the device side, there's 4/8GB flash-based and 80GB hard drive-based Zune with fancy form factors and increased storage, as well as new firmware for your old first-gen 30GB players. On the… » 11/12/07 9:00pm 11/12/07 9:00pm

Flash Zune Hardware Gallery and Test: Tight Jeans, Sizemodo, and Zunepad

The new Zune firmware is bringing new functionality to even old Zunes (which we covered in detail here), but is the new hardware special enough to be worth your purchase? Here's a rundown of our tests on how easy it is to fit a Zune in your pocket (video above), the paint job, and the new touch sensitive directional … » 11/12/07 6:18pm 11/12/07 6:18pm

First Zune 2 Ad and Promo Site Launch

The Zune 2 ad campaign has begun. The slogan has changed from "Welcome to the Social" to "You Make It You"—are they saying Zune owners don't have friends?—and the visual appeal has become distinctly psychedelic, a combination of Alice in Wonderland, Yellow Submarine and Time Bandits. We notice that there's not a lot… » 11/02/07 7:57am 11/02/07 7:57am

Zune 2 Display In the Wild Again

We saw a couple leaked display shots of the Zune 2 before the thing was even announced, but a Wal-Mart in St. Louis seems to have them up on prominent display. The site claims that the sales person "confirmed they were for sale", but it seems to us that it's unlikely that retail stores even have… » 11/01/07 11:35am 11/01/07 11:35am

More Details on Zune Social Networking Features

This is not text messaging and it's not even on the Zune itself. This is just a document illustrating how the Zune Social networking features will work in the software on your PC. You're sending messages—pointers to songs or albums—with your own notes to your friends, which are shown in the inbox portion of the… » 10/20/07 6:00pm 10/20/07 6:00pm

Zune Almost Matches iPod Battery Specs

The battery life specs are in on the new Zunes, and they match up pretty well to the latest iPods. The Zune 80 will get 30 hours on audio and 4 hours on video, and the 4 and 8GB flash Zunes will get 24 hours audio and 4 hours video. In comparison, the 80GB iPod classic has 30/5 (equal in audio, one more hour in… » 10/15/07 2:12pm 10/15/07 2:12pm

For some reason, the new version of the Zune music manager suite got pushed out to some people through Windows Update. Unfortunately, all it does right now is list your entire music library. [Zunerama] » 10/12/07 2:30pm 10/12/07 2:30pm

The Gadget Wars, Who Won/Lost Last Week?

Every week is a battle. There's seldom any bloodshed, and generally no tears. But every week is a battle for the consumer mind and the consumer heart. Here's the way we saw things this week: one winner, one loser and one company that's sort of treaded water despite big announcements. » 10/06/07 5:05pm 10/06/07 5:05pm

Zune Release Date Confirmed: 11/13

Microsoft's just confirmed with us the November 13 release date of the new Zunes—previously stated by Amazon. Whether or not the firmware for the old Zune is coming on 11/13 is still unconfirmed. » 10/03/07 5:31pm 10/03/07 5:31pm

J Allard Finally Photographed In Public With Zune

We're not sure why this was a policy, but J Allard famously avoided being photographed with a Zune starting from the launch last year up until this week. Seriously, go try and find a picture of him with a Zune. It's impossible! Apparently his shame for the generation 1 product is over, since he proudly held up a Zune… » 10/03/07 4:00pm 10/03/07 4:00pm

Microsoft Aims Zune at #2 Spot

Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Devision President Robbie Bach suffers no delusions about unseating the iPod this year. He says that the new Zune Updates can put the company into the solid #2 spot for the overall portable music player market by the end of the next fiscal year (which ends June 2008) now that the… » 10/03/07 3:00pm 10/03/07 3:00pm

Zune 2 Roundup

Asleep when all the Zune news was announced last night? Here's your chance to catch up. From Zune details to UI videos, it's all here:
More Zune 2 Details: Lossless Support, Glass Screens, Green is the New Brown
Gates Talks Zune 2
First Video of Zune 2 and Flash Zune
First-Gen Zune Getting All The New… » 10/03/07 2:10pm 10/03/07 2:10pm

More Zune 2 Details: Lossless Support, Glass Screens, Green is the New…

Click to viewGoing beyond the Zune 2 and Flash Zune launch details, we just got off a conference call with Microsoft and got new details on the Zune and Zune platform. » 10/03/07 1:13pm 10/03/07 1:13pm

Gates Talks Zune 2

So let's hear it from the main man himself, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, introducing his new Zune babies and ticking off the new features and interface in this Microsoft-produced video. Although Gates mentions a November ship date, he's not as specific as Amazon's precise November 13th rollout day. The MS chief… » 10/03/07 8:49am 10/03/07 8:49am