Zune: Really A Toshiba Product

    August 25, 2006

In what comes as no surprise to anyone who looked closely, the much-hyped Microsoft Zune portable media device is pretty much a Toshiba Gigabeat S with added Wifi, a new OS, and different buttons.

FCC filings released today show off the details of the Zune, and reveal that it is indeed manufactured by Toshiba. The releases also show that the Zune:

* Has a 30 gigabyte hard drive

* Plays music, video, and pictures

* Has wifi (802.11 b/g)

* Comes in white, black and brown

* Has a 3-inch LCD

* Has an FM tuner

* Can be hooked up to a TV for better picture

* Can send “promotional copies” of DRM music to nearby users. These are presumably the rumored tracks that can be lent to anyone, but expire after a short period.

* Has a DL mode, which streams music to up to four nearby devices, including those of people you don’t even know (if you so choose).

The filing calls the device the device the Toshiba 1089. It would be interesting if Toshiba released their own version of the device they made for Microsoft, which would increase the number of players that can use the sharing features. The device-to-device capabilities are to devices called “Pyxis devices”, according to the manual.

The device prototype, which is disected in the FCC filing and pictured at Engadget, does not appear to have a removable battery, which would make it the rare non-iPod device to repeat Apple’s collosal design mistake. However, it also looks abnormally thick and with no side buttons or headphone jacks in this FCC PDF, so the unit pictured may not be representative of the final product.


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Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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