Microsoft's Zune to hit retail on 14 November for $250

Posted by Mark Raby

Redmond (WA) - Microsoft today announced the official launch its Zune media player. The device will go head-to-head with Apple's video Ipod starting on 14 November and will sell for a lower than expected retail price of $250.

See the Microsoft Zune in detail here ...

The third and fourth week of November are getting pretty busy for gadget lovers in the U.S. Add to the launch of the Playstation 3 and the HD DVD drive for the Xbox 360 on the 17th as well as the introduction of the Nintendo Wii on the 19th, the rollout of Microsoft's Ipod beater: The company today announced that it will begin selling the music and video player beginning on 14 November.

While the launch just in time for the Christmas season isn't much of a surprise, Microsoft will be selling the player for less money than what has been speculated so far. Zune will retail for $250 - instead of the rumored $300. A comparable video Ipod currently sells for for $250 as well, but does not include a Wi-Fi feature.

The Zune media player is manufactured by Toshiba and comes with a 30 GB hard drive and a 3"" color LCD screen that can display pictures, videos, and song information. It comes equipped with wireless functionality, which enables two or more Zune owners to share music with each other for a limited time. A handful of preloaded audio, video and image content also comes with the Zune, with a selection of songs, music videos, and video clips readily available.

Microsoft also unveiled more details about the Zune Marketplace, Microsoft's answer to Itunes. Songs will be purchased using ""Microsoft Points"", which made their first large-scale appearance on the Xbox Live Marketplace. 79 points ($0.99) will buy a song track. The Zune Marketplace will also allow users to get a subscription pass, known as the ""Zune Pass,"" which gives them unlimited access to the entire song library for a monthly fee of $15. Accessories for the player are available for prices ranging from $20 to $100.

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