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Monday, November 12, 2007
Microsoft Announces New Zune Players

Tomorrow, consumers will have the opportunity to get their hands on new Zune players, redesigned Zune software, and new online services including the Zune Marketplace and Zune Social, an online music community.

Microsoft announced today that the new players will be available at retailers across the United States, while the new Zune software will be available for free download at http://www.zune.net.

For the first time, consumers will have the option to customize their Zune player with laser-engraved designs and personal text through a new Web store called Zune Originals. Customers will be able to purchase a Zune player directly from Microsoft at http://www.zuneoriginals.net and choose from a collection of laser-engraved artwork designed exclusively for Zune by 18 artists.

Zune Originals Gives Consumers a New Canvas

The new Zune Originals online store will let people customize their Zune with laser-engraved art or personal text. Zune worked with 18 accomplished artists from all over the world to create a collection of 27 different designs, called the Artist Series, which will be available exclusively through Zune Originals. In addition to the Artist Series, a separate Tattoo Series will feature 20 graphics that consumers can have laser-engraved on their Zune with up to three lines of text.

Alternatively, people can choose to engrave up to five lines of text in place of a design. On the Zune Originals Web site, customers can choose their Zune (Zune 80GB, Zune 8GB or Zune 4GB), pick a color and then select a design and their desired text.

Three new Zune models will be on store shelves tomorrow: the black Zune 80GB, which has a 3.2-inch screen and comes with premium in-ear headphones (ERP $249.99), and the slim, ultra-portable Zune 4GB (ERP $149.99) and the Zune 8GB (ERP $199.99), both available in pink, green, black and red. The new Zune models also feature the new Zune Pad, a touch-sensitive navigation button that lets people fly through menus or lists with the flick of their thumb, or click to change songs or adjust the volume. Every Zune player includes wireless sync and wireless sharing, a built-in FM tuner, and a color screen to display music, pictures, videos and podcasts. Existing Zune owners will receive all new software features via an upgrade, available Nov 13.

In addition, a new software with a new look and feel for Zune Marketplace will be available tomorrow. The new Zune software allows consumers to connect to Zune Marketplace and the new Zune Social online music community.

Zune Social online music community allows consumers to find music they like by seeing what other like-minded individuals are listening to. People can create customizable Zune Cards, which update automatically based on the music they listen to on their Zune and via the Zune software on their PC.

The updated Zune Marketplace offers over 3 million songs and a collection of albums, music videos, podcasts, and digital rights management (DRM)-free MP3s to download and sync to a Zune.

More information on Zune is available at http://www.zune.net/press.

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