Microsoft Zune iPod Rival to be Built by Toshiba

Microsoft has selected Japan’s Toshiba to manufacture its upcoming Zune digital music player, which the software giant hopes will give Apple Computer and its mega-popular iPod a run for its money in the digital media and download space.

The news comes from a document filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) by Toshiba and made publicly available on Thursday.

Microsoft Zune Logo
Microsoft Zune Logo

The filing includes photos of the device as well as the various mechanisms inside of it, and it also confirms previous reports that Zune will feature wireless capabilities, an FM radio tuner and the ability to stream music to other Zune users. Individuals using Zune will be able to share music with as many as four “nearby” users, according to the filing. It is unclear whether the device will be able to interact with the Redmond, Wash.-based firm’s Xbox gaming consoles, as was previously reported by various news outlets. The model featured in the FCC filing has 30GB of storage, and it’s available in black, white and brown color schemes. 

According to The Wall Street Journal, Microsoft has confirmed the validity of the information within the filing.

Zune also will feature a 3-inch LCD display, according to the filing, and Microsoft is expected to launch an associated Web download service to compete with Apple’s iTunes Music Store.

In a surprising late July move, Microsoft broke its usual code of silence on upcoming products and confirmed that it was developing a music player to rival Apple’s iPod. Microsoft also said it plans to sink ‘hundreds of millions’ of dollars into the project.

Just last week, photos of the device pictured within the filing surfaced on the Web.

In related news, EMI recently said it would provide music videos to be preinstalled on Zune.

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