Microsoft Zune HD 64 dead in the water?

Microsoft released a 64GB version of their Zune HD, dropping the prices of the 16GB and 32GB models in the process. But the announcement came without much fanfare from the tech community. Is the Zune HD already dead in the water? And if so, does it deserve it?

Personally, I think the Zune HD is an underrated device. It’s 3.3-inch, multi-touch OLED display is more vibrant than that of the iPod Touch, offering a better video viewing experience of videos of up to 720p resolution. Its Smart DJ feature rivals the Genius option within iTunes. And for fifteen dollars a month, the Zune Pass offers an unlimited music subscription — you just don’t own the files.

I seriously doubt the Zune brand will ever have the popularity of the iPod family. Thanks to the App Store, there’s a wider variety of things to do with the iPod Touch. But Microsoft has crafted a well-designed device with a user interface that’s both stylish and functional. If you’re looking for a device mainly to play music and video, the Zune HD may fit your needs well.

Microsoft is currently selling the Zune HD 64GB model in their online Zune Store for $349 US.

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  • Jan

    I think that sales of the Zune are going to taper off as devices converge. I am a Zune owner, but I am waiting for the different WinMo 7 phones to emerge before investing in yet another device even though I’ve hit the capacity limits of my 32gb ZuneHD. But, any high storage, high priced device like this is likely going to sell very little versus the cheaper devices. In fact, my guess is that in the world of Zune HD’s, the 16gb is likely the best selling device due to price point.

    But you’re right – even though the ZuneHD 64gb came out, no one was freaking out. Then again, no one flipped out about the new iPod Touches either since they are a known quantity and nothing unexpected or new came out. It’s just more storage, not something innovative and game changing.

  • DC

    Indeed a first class product. Until it’s sold worldwide however, it will never get much attention. When it happens, combined with Windows mobile 7 release and a whole lot of marketing things should pick up. Remember, there was a time no one thought much of the Xbox…and now it’s a huge hit.

  • Peter

    Gotta agree – I’m holding out for the WP7 devices later this year. I think that the Zune HD’s are great devices, but reading the news about WP7 makes me think that it’s not worth buying an HD right now. The new devices will have more/better apps, be a phone as well, and sound like they’ll support upgrades. At this point, it doesn’t sound like the current Zune HD will run the same apps as WP7 – for whatever reason. That means that even if I didn’t need the phone, I couldn’t get the cool/new apps unless MS decides that it can upgrade.

    I’d actually love to get a Zune HD, but not if it sounds like the device will not go anywhere. I like my current (old) 30 GB device and it works for my main needs. I can stand to wait a little longer for the new ones. If the rumors pan out about a possible WP7 on the HTC device, I may try to get one of those a little cheaper and use it as a backup Zune. :) More storage and optional phone all in one.

  • joshua

    I’m not sure why I would want to watch movies on a tiny 3 inch screen. listen to music maybe. but the zune needs that output adapter anyway to get content to an HDTV. and how much HD can you get on 64GB anyway?

  • j

    20HRS of HD video can be stored. It’s a mere 50 bucks to get HD video output to your TV then you get a nice safe place to stand your player, where it won’t be scratched.

    Microsoft cannot beat Apples Marketing. But above-all, you will still (and arguably always) get a better product from Microsoft.

  • sweus

    If MS would market the Zune a minimum of 20% of what they do the Xbox more people would own this awesome device. Honestly any other description other than awesome doesn’t do the Zune HD justice. I really don’t know why MS doesn’t push this product more. I have never seen a Zune tv advert, it really boggles the mind why they wouldn’t give it the chance it deserves. It is a much better portable than anything out there including the ipod touch.

  • Tom

    I would have to agree with some of the guys that the Zune is an awesome device. The Zune pass is addictive. Since you can download whatever you like and keep it on 3 PCs and 3 Zunes as long as your subscription is valid, it makes owning musing secondary. BTW, you can keep 10 per month permantently. Regarding demand, try to get a black or platinum on the zuneoriginals site. Sold out the second day. There are a lot of people out there getting them. I have a 32GB one, loving it, and will get the 64GB the second it appears on Amazon. And there is always x-mas for a third one.
    My interest, however, is primarily listening to music. :)

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