Flash Zune 16 and 8 are due for release Sept 16th. Pricing is $199 for the 16gb zune and $149 for the 8gb Zune. The new flash zunes share the same form factor as last year's models, yet have double the memory. Check out the Zune vs ipod chart for full specs and details.
Zune 2 and Flash Zune Details
The new Zunes are coming to finish the fight on Nov. 13 2007 at retailers across the United States. Flash based players join the Zune lineup this year along with a larger sized hard drive model. The flash Zune will come in two memory sizes, and be marketed as the Zune 4 and Zune 8. At launch the colors green, red, pink, and black are available for the flash zunes while the Zune 80 will only come in black. Microsoft will continue to sell the original Zune at a reduced price (currently $199) while the new Zune 80/8/4/ are priced at $249/$199/$149 respectively.
All versions of the Zune 2 are endowed with Wi-Fi and a radio receiver. New Wi-Fi features will include the ability to sync the Zune wirelessly with a PC, and the 3 day restriction on wirelessly transmitted songs has been removed (leaving a 3 play limitation). It's a great new way to share songs with friends at school, airport, or local hangout.
The Zune music store is growing. New podcast and video content will be ready for download. You can also expect a large selection of DRM free tracks. To take advantage of the video content the Zune 2 has a larger 3.2" screen and can be used as a TV output device for watching high resolution ripped DVD's.
Many of the Zune details revealed by a Microsoft press release on October 2nd were leaked by our informant back in April. We have included that article below for historical value. Another secret informant has shared a 47 page Zune support training manual with us. Before buying, also take a look at our zune vs ipod comparison chart and Zune photo gallery.
Zune 2 and Flash Zune Details Leaked
April 10 2007 - The chances of a Zune Scene editor running into a Microsoft Zune employee in the wild are pretty slim, but recently the stars were aligned and I got the inside scoop on the Zune 2.0 and also the flash based Zune coming out in 2007. I will attempt to preserve the identity of the Microsoft employee, he had no idea I write for Zune Scene, no idea at all. The whole conversation occurred on a business trip, you see, we Zune Scene editors have day jobs and are hard to spot in the wild also.
When I asked the guy where he worked he said Microsoft. That got my attention so I asked what he did, the answer was: "Zune". He gave his name and title which I will withhold. So I gave him a barrage of questions and here's what I found out:
Zune 2.0 and a smaller flash based Zune will be sold this year. He would not tell me the marketing names but referred to them as the big one and little one. The hard drive version looks like the generation 1 Zune, but is thinner. It has a larger hard drive and still uses the doubleshot. The flash based player he said is about "3 by 1 1/4 by 1/4 inches" in size. It is video capable and he said the screen covers about 75% of the front, similar to the hard drive Zune. The flash player has Wi-Fi and also uses a double shot. We discussed colors, he said there were several but did not disclose them. He had some interesting points about the clamshells saying that they can't be opened easily like the current Zune. Both devices have completed the design phase, although some last minute minor tweaks to the hardware will occur. When I asked about memory capacity he said "you have to beat the competition you know" he also said the flash memory fills the smaller device from top to bottom. Surprisingly he gave some hard numbers: 2.4 million next gen Zunes will be fabricated prior the 2007 holiday season. About 2/3 of them are the smaller flash units. " A new building is currently under construction in Dao Min China, next to the one that makes the XBOX 360" he said. In Zune Scene's opinion, based on that statement, it appears the Zune 2.0 will not be another Toshiba Gigabeat based device.
I also asked about the Zune Phone and he changed the subject and that pretty much ended the conversation unfortunately. So there you have it, the first details of the Zune 2.0 and flash device.
UPDATE2: Oct 6th 2007 - It looks like our tipster was right. Introducing the Zune. The Zune 2 release date is Novemer 13th 2007. We also have Zune version 2 accessory info. The age of the Zune Classic are over.