Tired of waiting for the Microsoft Zune? Well, according to a Zune fan site, there are two new models to be added to the list of "if only it was available in Australia" this year.
Zune Scene's editor claims to have interviewed a Microsoft employee -- without identifying himself first, we must add -- and was able to "find out" that: the first device would be an update to the original with a larger hard drive and slimmer profile, and the second would be a flash Zune, which would include wi-fi and measure approximately 3 x 1.25 x 0.25 inches (76 x 32 x 6 mm).
According to Zune Scene, the flash Zune (or the "little one") would also work as a video player and would have a screen that covered 75 per cent of the player -- just like its big brother.
The article claims the Microsoft employee expected 2.4 million second-generation Zunes would be made before Christmas this year, with two-thirds being the flash-based devices.
"A new building is currently under construction in Dao Min China (sic), next to the one that makes the XBOX 360", the employee is quoted as saying.
While we can't vouch for the accuracy of the website's claims -- and they seem fishy at best -- it would make sense that Microsoft would introduce new players. The company has been rumoured to be working on a completely in-house follow-up since the original (itself an OEM Toshiba player) was announced. The existing Zune was released in November 2006, and so a yearly update -- ala the Apple iPod -- would make sense. Could Microsoft Australia be waiting on second-gen devices before it goes to market here?
Local Microsoft representatives refused to comment.