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Microsoft Confirms Audio Player

Seattle — Following much speculation and rumor about a Microsoft rival to the Apple iPod, Microsoft confirmed today that it will offer a new digital audio product later this year under the Zune brand.

A spokesman said that through Zune, “Microsoft will build a community for connecting with others to discover new music and entertainment.”

GM of marketing for Microsoft , Chris Stephenson said, “Today we confirmed a new music and entertainment project called Zune. Under the Zune brand, we will deliver a family of hardware and software products, the first of which will be available this year. We see a great opportunity to bring together technology and community to allow consumers to explore and discover music together.”

Retailers told TWICE earlier this month that Microsoft will offer a portable digital audio device this November in time for the Christmas selling season.