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Microsoft Zune Will Hit Stores at $299

8/10/2006 09:36:00 AM Eastern

Redmond, Wash. - Microsoft is in the process of unveiling to select retailers the first of its line of Zune wearable digital audio players and informed retailers it will offer a single unit this fall, available in three colors at a suggested retail price of $299.

Retailers who have been briefed by Microsoft told TWICE the player will offer Wi-Fi capability, but will require that the portable be connected to a PC for the actual purchase of songs. Retailers, who claimed Microsoft remained “fuzzy” on the Zune’s wireless capability, said only that Zune will allow users to bookmark songs that may be shared via Wi-Fi, but that users cannot purchase songs on the go from the Microsoft Zune Web site.

Both retailers said the player would incorporate a 30GB hard drive. One said the unit’s display screen would be larger than Apple’s iPod models. The retailers were pleased with Microsoft’s feature-per-price package.

One retailer also said that Microsoft plans to continue to support its PlaysForSure licensees, even while it launches its own media Web site and sells its own digital media player, effectively competing with these same licensees.

Microsoft has not yet responded to TWICE inquiries to confirm the Zune details.

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