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by Mike Zazaian September 28, 2006 - 9:36am, No Comments

Microsoft's Zune personal media player in three flavors

Microsoft has officially announced the price and release date for its upcoming Zune personal media player, and it’s sure not to disappoint.

Microsoft confirmed rumors that they wouldn’t be undercut by Apple’s 30GB iPod, annoucing the price for the its Zune at $249 US. The Zune personal media player, which includes a 3-inch screen and WiFi capabilities, will hit shelves on November 14th, right around the time holiday vultures shoppers will begin to scour the world’s shopping malls.

While initally the Zune was tailored to sell at $299, competing with the 30GB iPod of yesteryear, Steve Jobs announcement at his September 12th showtime event in San Francisco chopped the price of Apple’s 30GB model to $249, leaving Microsoft in hot water. Luckily for Microsoft, and consumers, the Zune’s premium features didn’t make the unit weren’t prohibitively expensive, and Microsoft was able cut $50 off the price to keep competitive in the holiday rush.

Consumers were worried initially by an accidentally-posted product listing on Wal-Mart’s website, which suggested the Zune would sell for $284. With a Wal-Mart price of $284, an everyone else price of $299 seemed likely, and Zune-seeking music junkies thought the Zune would be doomed at a $50 premium to the newly-updated 30GB iPod. Fears of the scenario were soon allayed, however, as a report from David Caulton, a remember of the Zune development team, suggested that Microsoft would by no means be outdone by Apple. Many are that thankful today that that Caulton turned out to be a reliable source.

[via engadget]