Microsoft Zune

I suppose it was only a matter of time before Microsoft got on the MP3 train. Only days ago Microsoft announced the launch of Zune, it's very own 30 gig MP3 player.

Microsoft's attempt to break into the music market brings with it some interesting features. Zune comes with an FM tuner, and will be available in black, brown and white. A significant advancement compared to the iPod, Zune has a 3-inch screen that allows you to show off music, pictures and videos, and even let you customise your Zune "desktop".

Zune also offers some interesting social networking features with Wi-Fi connectivity between other Zune devices. This wireless Zune-to-Zune sharing lets you instantly share songs, play lists and even photos with your friends.

And of course Zune can't be a trendy MP3 player without a long list of accessories. The Zune Car Pack is said to include a built-in FM tuner and a car charger, while the Zune Home A/V Pack integrates the device with the TV and music speakers.

As for how much Zune will cost, it's a subject that's up for debate. American discount retailer Wal-Mart originally listed Zune on its website for US$284, before taking the listing down. Speculation continues that Zune will start off around US$300. By comparison, a 30 gig iPod costs about US$250.

The device will make its debut in the United States around the holiday season. Still no word when Zune will be available in Australia.

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