The last time Microsoft updated their Zune hardware, it was like "this is it?" Onxo had always to watch out for Redmond. They were not going to go down without a fight and give Apple the whole market.
On that basis, we said look for a potential surprise from Microsoft. Engadget appeared to have scooped new marketing market for an unreleased Zune. Zune HD. Currently, there is no details beyond the screen capture but the timing, if time means the next couple of months, for a release could be excellent.
All eyes have been on Apple, iPhone, its 1 billionth app download, and Palm Pre. New iPhone from Apple won't happen until June at the earliest and Pre is nowhere to be seen. So, the next couple of months, April and May, give Microsoft the perfect time to bring out new Zune hardware.
It will not have to go up against the iPhone or the Pre and it will have an iPod Touch that's 5 months old already. Zune HD, or Zune phone will look fresh during this period and it'll have the media all to itself.
Need to say, it'll have to offer something spectacular. Zune to iPod, iPod Touch still wins hands down if a touch-screen Zune is all that Microsoft brings to the market. There's no mention of apps, games, or something that Microsoft can offer beyond what Zune can do now.
Time will tell but most folks still believe that Zune functionality will be incorporated into Window Mobile 7. If Microsoft does release new hardware to compete with the iPhone and Touch, that belief may need some rethinking. It is a danger after all for Microsoft to merge two flagship products, no matter how successful (or lack of), into one and fail to gain acceptance in the market.
For the sake of all mobile warriors, I hope Microsoft do continue to compete in the MP3 and touch market. Basically, it comes down to competition, competition, and competition. That translate into innovation, pricing, and continued push for mobility.
Via Engadget, MacNN
Update: Appleinsider has provided a pro-Apple analysis of this potential touch-based Zune. It's their belief that Zune will sit on top of WM. I maintain that is a route Microsoft has certain entertained. And while only time will tell, it is something that analysts and tech watchers may need to reevaluate. Mcirosoft is certain capable (and cash rich enough) to try to advance Zune without using WM. Keep in mind that Microsoft has demonstrated technological breakthrough with its tabletop Surface. Boy, this getting exciting.