20 Stories

Zune's Spirit Helped Revive Microsoft

Farhad Manjoo: The often razzed device marked a shift toward innovation

(Newser) - If you only have hazy memories of the Zune, Microsoft's foray into the mp3 player market, you're not alone. The device was discontinued in 2011, and today it's mostly the butt of Apple fans' jokes. But Farhad Manjoo got his hands on one of the 2009-era touchscreen... More »

Microsoft Axing Zune Player

Company has given up on device, will focus on software: source

(Newser) - The music has died for Microsoft's Zune music and video player, a well-placed source tells Bloomberg . The company is going to stop producing new models of the player because of tepid demand and will instead focus on providing Zune software for smartphones, according to the source. When Zune was launched... More »

Melinda Gates: Apple Banned at Our House

She. Is. Not. Kidding.

(Newser) - You might think the world's second-richest guy's kids would be spoiled, and they might be: But they sure as hell don't have iPods. Melinda Gates revealed a household ban on all things Apple in an interview with the New York Times Magazine (via HuffPo): Of the kids, she says, "... More »

New Zune HD Scores, but Lags on Content

Microsoft player is best yet, but purchasing media is a drag

(Newser) - Microsoft's Zune music player has long been the iPod's dowdy stepsister, but the new, fourth-generation Zune HD is finally "a portable media player that you can be proud to carry around," says Katherine Boehret of the Wall Street Journal. The new device features a "stunningly vivid" touchscreen,... More »

Zune HD Rivals iPod Touch

(Newser) - Microsoft releases a new Zune every year, mostly to collective shrugs, but this year’s model “might be the Zune that you’ve been waiting for,” writes Mark McClusky of Wired. “You were waiting, right?” The slim, white-and-black Zune HD is “a lovely industrial design,”... More »

Zune HD Hits Stores This Fall

Microsoft confirms upcoming iPod Touch rival

(Newser) - The Zune HD will be out this fall, Microsoft has announced, ending months of speculation. The next-generation media player, designed as a direct rival to the iPod Touch, will feature an organic light-emitting diode touchscreen, an HD radio tuner, and a browser with a customized version of Internet Explorer, reports... More »

Zune Sales Plummeting

Is mp3 gizmo doomed?

(Newser) - Is the Zune on its last legs? Buried in Microsoft’s terrible earnings report yesterday was news that revenue from the MP3 player plummeted $100 million compared to last year, or 54%, “reflecting a decrease in device sales.” Microsoft can’t just blame the economy, either; sales of... More »

Leap-Year Bug Zapped Zunes

Microsoft advises Zune30 owners to drain batteries, then recharge

(Newser) - All 2006 model Zune30s froze up at midnight last night because of a problem handling the last day of leap years, according to Microsoft. The company advises owners to wait until 4pm PST today, drain the device's batteries, and then recharge, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Microsoft apologized for the inconvenience,... More »

All the World's Zune 30s Mysteriously Freeze Up

Bizarre bug struck mp3 players just after midnight last night

(Newser) - Microsoft’s Zune has a bizarre bug: Hundreds, if not thousands of the 30G models froze up simultaneously at 12am PST, CNET reports. The MP3 players all displayed a startup status bar frozen at 100%; the timing has prompted some Zune owners to call the problem “Z2K,” after... More »

Obama Denies He's ... Gasp! ... a Zune User

President-elect just needed tunes after misplacing iPod: staffer

(Newser) - Barack Obama’s staff went into major spin mode after the president-elect was spotted this week working out with (cover your ears, kids) a Zune, forcing millions to ask what happened to the cool iPod user they thought they’d elected. An spokesman assured the nation that Obama typically uses... More »

Put It Away: iPods Are So Yesterday

(Newser) - Soon iPods will seem as outdated as Walkmans—the only question is whether iTunes goes out the door with them, Kevin Maney writes in Portfolio. Consider how old-fashioned the iPod already is: You pay for downloads, fill up a hard drive with them, and cart them around, "like keeping... More »

Zune's Music Discovery System Tops iTunes

Apple, Microsoft take page from Pandora's book in broadening users' horizons

(Newser) - In test-driving new software from Apple and Microsoft designed to facilitate music discovery for users of their respective media players, Walter Mossberg gives the edge to Zune’s system over rival iTunes’ upgrades. “Though I didn't happen to have as much time to use Zune's software as I did... More »

GameStop Axes Zune; Microsoft Shrugs

Video game retailer will no longer sell Microsoft's feeble mp3 player

(Newser) - GameStop, a national chain of video game stores, has announced it will no longer carry Microsoft’s floundering Zune digital media player, TheStreet.com reports. "We have decided to exit the Zune category because it just did not have the appeal we had anticipated," a spokesman said of... More »

The Shins Are In Demand—and Competing Ads

Microsoft, Apple both hawk products with hipster band

(Newser) - You might not want it, but competing music-player advertisers are betting The Shins will change your mind, reports GigaOm blogger Chris Albrecht. The alt-rock band is currently featured in ads peddling both Apple's iPhone and Microsoft's Zune, leading the blogger to wonder which product the band actually uses. More »

Shoppers Swoon for Zunes

Thanksgiving shoppers on the hunt for 'iPod killers'

(Newser) - Microsoft's new Zune digital music players have been flying off the shelves, reports PC World. But big retailers have been running out, frustrating hordes of Thanksgiving shoppers attracted by big discounts and plenty of hype. Microsoft,  which seems to have seriously misjudged demand for the best-selling model, the Zune... More »

Microsoft Finally Makes a 'Pretty Good' Media Player

PC World 's qualified praise for the new Zunes

(Newser) - Microsoft released its latest Zune portable media players today, garnering approval from PC World. "This latest generation of Zunes should finally provide some real competition," declared the reviewer. The magazine praised the players for high sound quality and good extra features, but pointed to improvements to the Zune... More »

Xbox 'Gamerscore' Reels 'Em In

Popular feature boosts sales, inspires cheaters

(Newser) - “Gamerscore” could be Microsoft’s secret weapon in its bitter rivalry with Apple’s iPod, the Washington Post observes. The popular feature from the tech giant’s Xbox allows players to rack up points in the console’s social-networking world and flaunt their “achievements” for friends. The gamerscore... More »

Labels Team Up to Bruise iTunes

Universal leads effort against Apple's control of prices; new store part of plan

(Newser) - Universal Music is acting on industry-wide anger toward iTunes’ policies, teaming with Sony and potentially Warner on a new subscription service that could make music essentially free. Still a prototype, Total Music would charge makers of music players $5 a month, PC World reports; they would then offer unlimited downloads... More »

Meet the New Zunes

Microsoft rolls out its second generation of mp3 players

(Newser) - The Zune is getting three shiny new models in November, Microsoft announced yesterday, including nano-like flash-integrated 4GB and 8GB players, and an 80GB hard drive model, all priced just like corresponding iPods. They’ll sport new features like wireless syncing, touch-sensitive navigation pads and a redesigned, DRM-free marketplace. But they... More »

Apple Juiced About Big Surprise

Tech geeks believe Jobs will unveil new iPod this week

(Newser) - Apple this week invited tech geeks and reporters to a Wednesday event in San Francisco to unveil a secret something, and rumors are rampant about what it could be. The most popular theory is that Apple will revamp iTunes or launch a new version of its iPod—perhaps a video... More »

20 Stories