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Not giving up on its foray into portable media players despite the iPod's dominance, Microsoft is expanding and improving its stable of Zune devices and pairing their release with a new, music-oriented social networking site. Chairman Bill Gates and Corporate Vice President J. Allard announced three new Zune models, including two based on flash memory. The most expensive of the trio, a $250, black 80 GB model with a 3.2-inch screen, will store data on a hard drive, as does the existing 30 GB unit. New $200 8 GB and $140 4 GB versions will use shock-immune flash memory.
The only way Zune has a chance of making real headway is if they can make it automatically synch with iTunes. 98% of people couldn't possibly figure out how to get all the digital music they have been collecting in itunes for years over to a new player. If they can do that and make it as slick as Apple would, then they have a chance if they can offer either a significant better value or more features.