Zune to Launch November 14 for $249.99

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

Microsoft has announced launch details for its forthcoming line of Zune personal media devices: the device will go on sale to consumer November 14, 2006, at an estimated retail price of $249.99.

“On Nov. 14 we’re delivering not only a device, but a shared, social experience that will be shaped by the collective imagination of consumers,” said Chris Stephenson, Zune’s general manager of global marketing. “We’re infusing the spirit of discovery and sharing into everything we do—from the experience we crafted around the device and service to pre-loading music and videos on every device to expose people to something new.”

Microsoft also revealed pricing information for its music subscription service for the Zune—$14.99 per month—and pricing for individual song purchases through the online Zune Market place: 79 Microsoft Points. Microsoft Points will operate in a way similar to pre-paid phone cards—users give Microsoft real money, and Microsoft gives them points which can be redeemed in either the Zune Marketplace or the Xbox Live Marketplace. Microsoft says Microsoft Points can also be redeemed at a “growing number of online stores.”

Contrary to some expectations, Microsoft’s initial pricing on the Zune and music offerings does not throw down the glove in a pricing war with Apple’s iPod and iTunes Music Store—the Zune’s initial pricing is essentially parallel to that of a 30 GB iPod, despite the Zune offering Wi-Fi sharing capabilities—and the per-track music purchase price is expected to be similar to Apple’s famous $.99-per-song pricing, although the Microsoft Points system does provide Microsoft the opportunity to offer sales incentives through discounts and special offers without altering its advertised prices.

The initial Zune devices will carry a 30 GB hard disk pre-loaded with music, images, and video content from Microsoft’s partners. The “Zune preload” set for the products launch includes the following items:

Audio Tracks

  • Band of Horses, “Wicked Gil” (Sub Pop Records)
  • Bitter:Sweet, “The Mating Game” (Quango Music Group)
  • CSS, “Alala (Microsoft edit)” (Sub Pop Records)
  • Darkel, “At The End of The Sky (edit)” (Astralwerks)
  • Every Move a Picture, “Signs of Life” (V2)
  • Small Sins, “Stay” (Astralwerks)
  • The Adored, “Tell Me Tell Me” (V2)
  • The Rakes, “Open Book” (V2)
  • The Thermals, “A Pillar of Salt” (Sub Pop Records)
  • Music Video

    • 30 Seconds to Mars, “The Kill” (Virgin Records)
    • BT, “1.618” (DTS Entertainment)
    • Chad VanGaalen, “Red Hot Drops” (Sub Pop Records)
    • Coldcut featuring Roots Manuva, “True Skool” (Ninja Tune)
    • CSS, “Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death From Above” (Sub Pop Records)
    • Fruit Bats, “Live: The Wind That Blew My Heart Away” (Sub Pop Records)
    • Grandaddy, “Elevate Myself” (V2)
    • Hot Chip, “Over and Over” (Astralwerks Records)
    • Kraak & Smaak featuring Dez., “Keep Me Home” (Quango Music Group)
    • Kinski, “Live: The Snowy Parts of Scandinavia” (Sub Pop Records)
    • Paul Oakenfold, “Faster Kill Pussycat (Featuring Brittany Murphy)” (Maverick Records)
    • Serena-Maneesh, “Drain Cosmetics” (Playlouderecordings) Film Shorts
    • 5 Boro: “A New York Skateboarding Minute” (Skateboarding)
    • Radical Films: “Kranked—Progression” (Mountain Biking)
    • TGRTV The North Face (Skiing/Snowboarding)
Computing

At $99, Nvidia’s Jetson Nano minicomputer seeks to bring robotics to the masses

Nvidia announced a new A.I. computer, the Jetson Nano. This computer comes with an 128-core GPU that Nvidia claims can handle pretty much any A.I. framework you could imagine. At $99, it's an affordable way for A.I. newbies to get involved.
Cars

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.
Gaming

From fatalities to new characters, here's what we know about Mortal Kombat 11

Mortal Kombat 11 releases April 23 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Here is everything we know about NetherRealm's latest fighting game, including its characters.
Gaming

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.
Deals

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…
Computing

Nvidia’s A.I. Playground lets you edit photos, experience deep learning research

Nvidia is making it easier to access information on deep learning research. It has launched an online space with three demos for image editing, styling, as well as photorealistic image synthesis. 
Emerging Tech

The U.S. Army is building a giant VR battlefield to train soldiers virtually

Imagine if the U.S. Army was able to rehearse battlezone scenarios dozens, or even hundreds, or times before settling foot on actual terrain. Thanks to virtual reality, that's now a possibility.
Business

British Airways’ new Club Suite for business class comes with a door

British Airways is going after a bigger slice of the business class market with the imminent launch of the Club Suite. The plush seating option offers a more private space as well as an easier route to the bathroom.
Smart Home

Sony’s Aibo robot dog can now patrol your home for persons of interest

Sony released the all-new Aibo in the U.S. around nine months ago, and since then the robot dog has (hopefully) been melting owners' hearts with its cute looks and clever tricks. Now it has a new one up its sleeve.
Emerging Tech

Inflating smart pills could be a painless alternative to injections

Could an inflating pill containing hidden microneedles replace painful injections? The creators of the RaniPill robotic capsule think so — and they have the human trials to prove it.
Emerging Tech

A silver bullet is being aimed at the drug-resistant superbugs on the ISS

A bacteria which is benign here on Earth can mutate into a drug-resistant superbug once it enters space. Now this problem is being tackled by a team of microbiologists who have found a way to inhibit the spread of bacteria in the ISS.
Emerging Tech

Tombot is the hyper-realistic dog robot that puts Spot to shame

Forget Boston Dynamics’ Spot! When it comes to robot dogs, the folks behind a new Kickstarter campaign have plans to stake their claim as makers of man’s (and woman’s) newest best friend.
Emerging Tech

Researchers gave alligators headphones and ketamine, and all for a good cause

Researchers in Germany and the United States recently gave ketamine and earphones to alligators to monitor how they process sounds. Here's what it reveals about alligator evolution.
Emerging Tech

Cheese tastes different when it listens to Led Zeppelin, Swiss study finds

A funky new study says that exposing cheese to music changes its aroma and flavor. What’s more, the genre of music matters. Researchers from the Bern University of Arts played music to nine, 22-pound wheels of Emmental cheese.