Following earlier news
regarding the rumored Zune line of portable entertainment devices, Microsoft has officially confirmed the initially music-related device, as well as possible video game applications for the forthcoming product line.
"Today we confirmed a new music and entertainment project called Zune," commented Microsoft's GM of marketing, Chris Stephenson in an official statement. "Under the Zune brand, we will deliver a family of hardware and software products, the first of which will be available this year. We see a great opportunity to bring together technology and community to allow consumers to explore and discover music together."
According to remarks relayed on by
technology site Engadget from an interview with Billboard Magazine, Microsoft has confirmed that "additional Zune-branded devices will follow, including a portable video player and, potentially, a portable game device," as well as including elements of WiFi connectivity for file storage, though at this time no further details have been released.
Also worth noting is that rather than being aimed at moving files between other devices, Microsoft envisions "seven or eight" other uses for the upcoming WiFi device, which is reportedly being designed to provide "ubiquitous access to digital media from a wide range of Windows-powered devices in what ultimately aspires to be one part MySpace, one part iTunes and one part Xbox Live."
In addition, several Zune-based weblog posts have also been launched by individuals working on the project, including from Richard Winn
and from Cesar Menendez
, who notes that Zune is "Microsoft's new, holistic approach to music and entertainment."
Menendez also confirms that Microsoft plans to release the Zune device this year as the first part of the larger Zune project. "Under the Zune brand, we're looking to build a community for connecting with folks, all to discover new music and entertainment," he adds.