The Microsoft Zune finally has some confirmed details, we are intrigued to report.
The price for the 30GB model - the only one so far on the cards - is $249.99. That's exactly the same price as Apple's 30GB iPod. The device will hit the streets on November 14 in the US.
The Zune Marketplace will offer a subscription download service for $14.99 a month, or individual music downloads for $0.99 a time, much as iTunes allows. The Marketplace will also take Microsoft Points, the currency used on the Xbox Live Marketplace.
The first photos of the model next to an iPod have appeared on the net, over here
. The Zune appears taller and rather thicker than an 80GB iPod, which itself is far thicker than the 30GB iPod - making the Zune pretty bulky compared to its equivalent Apple model. However, with an extra half inch on the diagonal, the screen appears quite a bit bigger.
Personally, I'm not so sure about the Zune. I always think that if you want to release a product that sells over an incumbent, dominant player, the new products needs to be cheaper and better. The Zune is no cheaper, offers only a couple of small improvements over the fundamental functionality and is bigger and chunkier. Doesn't seem like a winning combination to me.
Take a look at the photos and let us know your thoughts on the Zune over in the forums.