Microsoft to debut Zune HD--apps forthcoming?

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Microsoft announced a Sept. 15 retail release date for the Zune HD, the next-generation touchscreen edition of the portable media player first introduced by the software giant in late 2006. According to Microsoft, the Zune HD will arrive in both 16GB and 32GB capacities (priced at $219.99 and $289.99, respectively), and will combine with PC software and online services like Zune Pass to offer consumers access to music, videos, podcasts and related digital content. Features include a built-in HD Radio receiver, HD video output capabilities, a 3.3-inch OLED touchscreen, built-in WiFi and web browsing.

If the Zune HD sounds somewhat similar to Apple's iPod touch, that's the point--of course, the Zune HD doesn't offer access to the myriad third-party applications and games available in the App Store, but that could soon change. Daring Fireball reports Microsoft is wooing at least some independent iPhone/iPod touch developers, noting that the programmer behind an iPhone Twitter client was offered "a bucket of money" to port his app to the Zune HD platform. The developer declined the offer, but it seems like a safe bet that Microsoft is making the same overtures to other software firms.

For more on the Zune HD:
- read this release

Related articles:
Microsoft says Zune software coming to Windows Mobile
Microsoft denies plans for Zune content filter

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