Zune HD – First Take

Last week I wrote about some of the things Microsoft needed to do with Zune to succeed. This week, they’ve taken some of the first steps and announced the new Zune HD today.

The specs are pretty impressive with a 3.3-inch, 480 x 272 OLED capacitive touchscreen display, built-in HD Radio receiver and HD output. Microsoft’s also talking about much better Xbox integration with Zune marketplace replacing the Xbox branded content. We’re told there’s more to come at E3. I’ll have more to say once Microsoft tells the full story to the public but there’s a lot here that MSFT is doing well, especially when it comes to the hardware.

One ongoing challenge will be for MSFT to finally get all the pieces together and tell a proper, holistic story that showcases the things that the Zune eco-system brings to the market. We’ll see how well they do next week in LA.
Bottom line? Microsoft is not giving up on Zune’s hardware story just yet. More to come next week… and more to say at that time.

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