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Cliczune Archives: May 2009


Microsoft officially announces the Zune HD, available beginning this Fall

Zunehd_logo_200 Microsoft has finally put an end to the Zune HD rumors and offered up an official confirmation in the form of a press release. So, aside from the good news that it is real, we now have a little while to wait until we can have one of our own because they will not be available until sometime this Fall.

Additionally, aside from having to wait, Microsoft has yet to announce any pricing. Otherwise we can tell you what to expect in terms of specs, or at least some of them.

The Zune HD will feature a 3.3-inch OLED touchscreen display with a resolution of 480 x 272, a built-in HD radio receiver, an HD compatible output as well as web browsing thanks to the multitouch "optimized" Internet browser.

Unfortunately, some items are still a mystery, such as storage. Hopefully we will see something decent. Of course, there was one good bit of info included in the press release that will be a benefit to those who are planning to use their Zune in areas where Wi-Fi is available. That benefit comes in the form of being able to stream "from the more than 5 million-track Zune music store."

Overall, this sounds like something to look forward to, of course that may all depend on storage and/or pricing. Hopefully Microsoft will let some more details slip soon, but in the meantime, head on over to ZuneHD.net to check out the full details.

[CNET via Twitter @brianseitz]

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Rumor: Microsoft to offer Zune upgrade pricing beginning in June

6a00d8341c505253ef01157087a39d970b-800wi
Another day, another Zune rumor and another one that would be nice if proven true. Anyway, the latest is offering a glimpse at what could make current Zune owners who are looking to upgrade very happy. According to ZuneScene, Microsoft is going to be offering current Zune owners the option to upgrade to new hardware at a discounted price.

Sounds interesting at that, personally I have been itching to upgrade my current red Zune 80, but for some reason I have been hesitant to go ahead. Maybe its a good thing that I was waiting, and at this point I think I will continue -- at least until we can pin down if this is truth or just a rumor.

Getting back to the pricing, as you can see from the chart below, those willing to upgrade will be able to save anywhere from $30 up to $70 in the case of the Zune 120.

As for why this is being offered, well the story suggests that it is a way to begin the phasing out of the Zune 30. Sounds logical. As to where the upgrade pricing will be available from, unfortunately not in any retail stores. Instead, anyone interested will have to call the Zune support line, that is when the offer is official available, and rest assured we will let you know.

Zune_pricing_for_upgrade_450  

Rumored, but not believable ZuneX images; what could be a portable Zune/Xbox combo

Zunex_250 Typically an endless stream of rumors would end up getting me a little upset, but in the case of the Zune, or in this case, the Zune (related) it almost seems refreshing because the player had seemed to drop off the Internet for a while. If nothing else it shows that people are still thinking about the Zune.

Of course, that said I am still hoping we see some real news soon.

Anyway, the latest rumor is highlighting some images of what is being referred to as the ZuneX. First things first, I am highly skeptical of these images. Honestly I am not really believing they are accurate mainly because the spec sheets reads more like a wish list. However time will tell if I am right or wrong. What we have is a handheld device that is a mixture of a Zune and a portable Xbox.

As for the features, here is the list, which is followed by a few grainy images. You can judge for yourself, but like I mentioned, I am not convinced.

  • 4-inch display at 640x363 resolution
  • Custom Intel LV Atom DualCore 733MHz processor
  • Custom Nvidia BLowFish chipset
  • 128MB RAM
  • 40 hour music, 14 hours of video, 9 hours of gaming and 6 hours of gaming with the wireless on
  • 4 analog buttons, 2 shoulder buttons, an analog stick attachment
  • 32GB flash storage
  • Support for Bluetooth headphones
  • SIM Card tray (it's a phone! Maybe!)
  • Xbox Live Arcade Games
  • ZuneX Originals
  • OnLive Ready game streaming (now we're just getting a little ridiculous)
  • WMV, H.264, MPEG-4 and DivX support

[Mimbee via Gizmodo]

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Zune HD reported to be a "digital entertainment handheld"

Zunehd2 The flurry of Zune related stories continues, which I must admit is rather refreshing. Anyway, today includes more details on what we can expect the Zune HD to be. According to teamxbox, these details are going back to August 2008 because they wanted to "verify the rumors with other sources and get the green light from the insiders." Let hope that means they are accurate because this sounds like it will be a cool device.

Now, on with the details. It turns out that the Zune HD will be a lot more than just a music and a video player, it will be a "digital entertainment handheld" that combines Xbox gaming features with what we have already come to love about the Zune as well as Internet-related services. As of now, it is going by the codename of "xYz."

It was described by one source as a "mashup" of the Sony Mylo, Sony PSP and iPod Touch. Some functionality that was mentioned was the the user will be able to purchase media (TV show, movie or music) on the Xbox and be able to later play it on the Zune HD, or vice versa. Additionally, you will be able to user your Gamertag to play an Xbox Live Arcade game on either the Xbox or Zune HD.

Finally, with just one more teaser, it was also noted as having a "large WVGA touchscreen display" with hardware features not found on any handheld on the market.”

Call me skeptical, but I have always gone by the rule that if it sounds to good to be true, then it may not be real. All of this sounds nice, actually a little to nice. That said, I for one am hoping these sources were accurate.

[teamxbox via wmpoweruser]

Latest Zune rumor calls for Zune HD to be released in September

6a00d8341c505253ef0115708455a4970b-800wi The Zune related news had all but dried up for quite a while, then poof, all of a sudden we have seen numerous rumors begin to circulate, sadly some of which have already proven to be untrue.

Anyway, these latest rumors are calling for the Zune HD to be available this September. I have found this coming from two sources so far, which of course does not make it true, just a little more believable.

The first being neowin.net, who are reporting that the "Zune HD will be released in September" and have it coming from "a source close to Microsoft, who wishes to remain anonymous."

The second came from Paul Thurrott who tweeted that "the June Zune rumors are *not* about the Zune HD. Which is coming out in September."

Additionally, it was also noted that the Zune HD will see an international release. As far as the specs, it looks like the Zune HD is going to have a 3.6-inch touchscreen OLED display, HDMI connectivity, an HD radio, Wi-Fi, a web browser and either 8, 16 or 32GB of memory.




Rumored specs for the Microsoft "Pink" phone emerge

6a00d8341c505253ef01157020a3c8970b-800wi According to a recent posting over at ZDNet, it would appear as if the specs for the "Pink" phone have been leaked. The specs are listed as being for Windows Mobile 7 Chassis 1, which has been rumored and linked to the "Pink" phone in the past.

Unfortunately these cannot be verified, however they were noted as coming from a "trustworthy source." Anyway, here is a listing of what we may see:

WM7 Chassis 1 Specification
  • Core requirements:
  • Processor: ARM v6+, L2 Cache, VFP, Open GL ES 2.0 graphics HW (QCOM 8k, Nvidia AP15/16* and TI 3430 all meet spec)
  • Memory: 256MB+ DRAM, 1G+ Flash (at least 512MB fast flash – 5MB/s unbuffered read @4K block size)
  • Display: WVGA (800×480) or FWVGA (854×480) 3.5” or greater diagonal
  • Touch: Multi-touch required
  • Battery: Sufficient to meet Days of Use LTK requirements.
  • Controls: Start, Back, Send and End are required (soft controls allowed as long as they are always present).
Peripherals:
  • Camera: 3MP+, flash optional, 2nd camera optional (VGA resolution sufficient)
  • GPS: aGPS required
  • Sensors required: Light Sensor, Compass (3 axis, 5 degrees, 100 Hz sample rate), Accelerometer (3 axis, 2mg resolution, 100 Hz sample rate)
  • USB: High speed required, 20 MB/s transfer rate.
  • BlueTooth: BT2.1 required, must run MSFT BT stack, CSR BlueCore6 or later recommended.
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11B/G required, must run MSFT Native Wi-Fi stack, Atheros 6002 or Broadcomm 4325 recommended.
  • Connectors: Micro USB and 3.5mm Audio required.
Options:
  • FM tuner: If tuner HW is present it will be detected and supported by the Media application.
  • Haptics
  • SD Card (Micro SD recommended)
  • DPAD, qwerty or 12/20 key keyboards all optional

Latest Zune ad highlights the potential cost of iPod ownership

Wes_moss_200 I would imagine that many of the cliczune readers are well aware of the benefit of the Zune Pass, however it would appear as if Microsoft is making sure that iPod owners are also made aware. Their latest commercial has taken aim at the fact that it would (or could) cost quite a bit more money to fill up an iPod with music purchased from the iTunes Store.

The commercial pits the potential $30,000 cost of filling the 120GB iPod as opposed to the $14.95 a month to fill your Zune.

Of course, even as a Zune fan and supporter I have to point out that many people are able to fill an iPod (without stealing) by using music they have ripped from their CD collection.

That said, I still really enjoy having my Zune Pass, I have about a half dozen albums downloading as I write this post. That combined with the half dozen or so that I downloaded last week just makes me smile, because I know I would not have been able to purchase roughly 12 albums having to pay about 10 bucks each. I figure I already saved myself around $100 bucks this month alone. Plus, Zune Pass owners also get to download those ten free tracks (to keep) each month.

Now if I could just convince the rest of my iPod/iTunes loving friends to make the switch. I have to hand to Microsoft, this commercial seems to get the point across.

[ZunePass]

<br/><a href="http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?vid=684af04d-ab7a-4eef-ac52-bfcb127036a5" target="_new" title="Zune-Capacity">Video: Zune-Capacity</a>

Microsoft using Twitter to hint at upcoming Zune? [UPDATED]

Twitter_officethemovie A new Twitter account has popped up in an effort to promote the launch of Office 2010 and it seems to have been doing a little more teasing about an upcoming Zune release. As of this posting, the officethemovie Twitter account has sent out a total of five updates -- two of which were Zune related. Based on the messages, it looks like June is going to be an exciting month for the Zune.

The first Zune related Tweet read;
"June 2009 will be an important month for Zune lovers."

After reading that I was initially thinking the ZuneHD, however about 11 hours later it was followed by another message that added quite a bit more speculation and hinted at a Zune phone.
"New product launch, that's all I'm allowed to say. Hold off from buying an iPhone/Pre. :)"

Personally, I am still not believing the we are going to see a Zune phone, I would think maybe we are to hold off buying (insert any popular tech item here) because we will want to use that money to buy the new Zune HD. Honestly I am hoping to see the Zune HD and not a Zune phone.

Of course, aside from a little speculation we really have no idea what we are all getting excited about -- except something in June, which thankfully is not that far away. Either way, you can be sure I am going to be following the Zune news a little closer looking for some hidden hints.

[Twitter via @officethemovie]

[UPDATE]  I am glad to say that I was skeptical on this report because it turns out that it was indeed false. It appears that Microsoft incorrectly linked to the @officethemovie Twitter account and a slightly shady individual picked up on that and took advantage. Just for reference, the correct Twitter account, and the one that Microsoft meant to link to was @office2010movie

This was also later confirmed by Zune Team Member Brian Seitz in a statement to Engadget.

"That account is bunk. Not run by Microsoft so I would not put much stock in what they say."

Bottom line, when it comes to the Internet and "breaking" news, we can never be to trusting.

Chevy Camaro and 27 other GM cars to offer built-in Zune support

Zune-camaro-250 What we have here is some VERY exciting Zune related news -- a car with built-in support for the Zune. And being a Chevy fan, or more specifically a Camaro fan, this news gets even better. Based on a recent test, it was found that the standard MP3 connectivity kit that is in the new Camaro "worked great" with a Zune player. Also, for those who may not be as stoked with the new Camaro as I am, this standard MP3 connectivity will also be including 28 other GM models that will be sold in the US, Europe, Asia and Australia. As if I needed another reason to buy a new Camaro, of course in reality that is just not in going to happen, but it is still nice to know that when I am ready, my Zune will be welcomed.

[Michael Gannotti via Zune Insider]

Zune Cartoon

Cc

A few months back, Microsoft announced that they were going to be providing some exclusive content for their Zune device.  In a time of poor brand loyalty, this is an attempt to revitalize the brand, and get people talking about it.  Apparently, we now know that this is going to take the form of a cartoon show- "City Council 3050 AD."

"City Council 3050 AD," an original comedy conceived by Worktank, is based on local government C-SPAN channels that broadcast the mundane proceedings of city business. The show, set in the future, uses this dry backdrop to offer humor and absurdity, taking modern local and national political issues and recasting them in the future.


It will be a whole series, and available at the Zune Marketplace later this month.  From the clip that I just saw, I'm looking forward to it.  I think that this will be an added value to the Zune line, and will be advertisement supported.  Should be intriguing to see if ad sponsored internet TV can find a home in the Zune Marketplace.  I'm just pleased to see the Zune team doing something original.