September 09, 2008 by Arlen Schweiger
Maybe it didn’t have the fanfare of rival Apple’s event today, but Microsoft had some good news of its own on the portable music player device front.
The Redmond, WA, behemoth has increased the capacity of its Zune and added features to make it easy to download, stream, and buy music from the player.
New 16GB and 120GB models are added to the Zune lineup, priced at $199 and $249, respectively (both Microsoft and Apple really liked that 120GB-for-$249 figure).
For new music discovery, Microsoft says get thee to a Wi-Fi hotspot. That’s where you’ll be able to download music to your Zune after tagging it from the built-in FM radio. You can also access the Zune Marketplace store from there or your home wireless network and take advantage of a Zune Pass to download or stream tunes.
For aesthetics, Microsoft’s rolling out shiny blue-on-silver and all-black colors for the Zune lines, and the updated software and models will go into effect on September 16.
You can even have “Hexic” and “Texas Hold ‘Em” games free with the software update for when you’re on the go. Microsoft might still be the short stack at the table compared to Apple in the portable market, but we sure like the ###-for-tat news this week. Bring on the 500GB devices next, guys!
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.
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