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Fact: Zune In your Hands for $249.99, Songs a Buck, November 14th

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

Microsoft dropped the news today, officially. The price for the WiFi, 30-gig Zune player is $249.99, the same price as a 30-gig ipod, but with a sightly larger screen (3-inches vs 2.5-inches). We'll be able to hold 'em in our hands on November 14th.


Also, the music subscription service, called Zune Pass, will be available for $14.99. Single tracks will go for 79 microsoft points, the same currency used to buy Xbox games, which turns out to be about a buck.
Press Release [Microsoft]
All our Zune posts [Giz]

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I'm pretty sure of Zune's failure because it doesn't offer much more than the entrenched choices (iPod, Creative Zen, SanDisk) and isn't much cheaper. It's not a great value.

One striking thing is how weak the "additional features" argument is in this G1 Zune; some of its features are liabilities:

1. larger screen

2. Wi-Fi

Both of these features require more power and hence make the Zune bulkier than competitors and have less battery life than its competitors

3. FM Tuner - OK feature, but useless in subways and redundant in cars.

Also, while Zune's Wi-Fi capabilities are intriguing, it's not (yet) a killer app because of the dearth of other Zune's to share with. This holiday season, Zune's Wi-Fi feature is infinitely useless. Ironically, this feature would be infinitely more useful in an iPod since there are 40 million of them out there to link-up with.

Don't get me wrong. I think with MS's backing, Zune is going to be a big-time player with...err...big time players in the PMP market. It's just not gonna happen Christmas '06 with this G1 Zune.