Zune HD coming - but is it the future of WinMo?

It's real, folks. The Zune HD. And it's coming this fall. And as we previously noted, it's one sexy device. About the only thing missing is, well, a phone.

It's said to have a 3.3-inch OLED capacitive touchscreen, at 272 pixels by 480 pixels. There will be a built-in HD Radio (as in FM) receiver and high-def output (by way of a dock). Not much is known about the software, which is where we're really interested, given all the rumors about how the Zune and Windows Mobile 7 will be sharing features in the future. (And damned if it doesn't still make us think of the Touch Diamond 2 every time we look at it.) We do, however, know that it connect the Zune Marketplace with the Xbox 360, which is very cool. Also on board is Internet Explorer.

So, yeah, still no Zune phone for now. But Microsoft's Chris Stephenson, general manager of global marketing for Microsoft Zune, tells CNET we likely will see plenty more of the Zune features, though not until next year.

"This is enough work for us this year," he said. "Going forward, Zune will start to surface on multiple platforms across the ecosystem. Expect to see it pop up in many different places."

No word on pricing or more details on the specs, and the official Zune HD site is scarce on info. But keep your eyes peeled, folks. This could well have pretty big ramifications for Windows Mobile in the months ahead.

Via Engadget and CNET


Reader comments

Zune HD coming - but is it the future of WinMo?


Gorgeous aesthetics. For Microsoft I think ZuneHD is a major milestone. Obviously its not a phone..keeping OEMs happy. Its not a PDA..but with browser support it will probably suffice for most consumers who see internet browsing as the main productivity software on a device of this size. Although we hear talk of Zune service coming to XBox and Windows Mobile, it will be interesting to see if Zune will have access to Windows MarketPlace for 3rd party applications. I don't see why not, if Zune is as most have reported is based on a subset of the Windows Mobile platform.

I think Windows Mobile users stand to benefit from Microsoft effort to move Zune to the Windows Mobile platform. Not just influenced by Zune's UI but from Microsoft acquiring first hand knowledge on how to manage the Zune end-to-end experience on Windows Mobile. I'm sure the Zune team has a laundry list of things they wish the Windows Mobile platform supported or did better. Lets hope these are things that not only the Zune team can take advantage of but also 3rd party developers.

A 3.3 inch OLED is nice, but 272x480?!?!
Is that really the best they could put in there when there's smaller screen with higher resolutions (Diamond, 480x640) and WVGA is becoming even more common??

Otherwise it seems very nice, but there's lots of missing specs... memory? wi-fi? external speakers? any buttons? color variations?

Really looking forward to this. I'm a huge fan of the Zune platform.

Thats cool and all but it just looks like a less visually appealing version of cowons S9... just my oppinion though.