Toshiba Will Build Microsoft Zune Players

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Microsoft confirmed today that Toshiba will manufacture its Zune music player, a product intended by the company to take on Apple Computer's successful iPod.

The confirmation follows reports of a regulatory filing Toshiba made to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that mentions the device and its features. "Toshiba is manufacturing the device and the [FCC] report is legitimate," a spokesperson for Microsoft's public relations firm said.

She declined to say if other hardware makers also would be building Zune players, adding that Microsoft will reveal further details about Zune in the next few weeks.

More Details

In addition to the name "Zune," the device also is referred to as "Pyxis" in Toshiba's filing. A collaborative service for Zune users, something akin to Apple's iTunes software and service, is called "Argo."

The FCC filing contains photos of what Toshiba's Zune player will look like. Here is a PDF of a document that shows photos of the front and back of the device, which looks similar to Apple's original iPod, but bigger.

According to the Zune "user's manual" included in the filing, the Zune device will include 30 gigabytes of storage, wireless capabilities, and an FM radio tuner.

The wireless capabilities will allow users to search for other Zune devices within range and share music, photos, playlists, and other media content with those devices.

After months of speculation, Microsoft confirmed in July that it was developing a music player and service to rival Apple's iPod and iTunes. If other attempts to unseat the iPod are any indication, Microsoft will have a tough road ahead. Earlier this week, Dell stopped selling its DJ Ditty music player on its Web site and ended development of its own line of music players.

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