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Zune 3 coming in '09

Rumors from Microsoft France's Francois Ruault place the release date of the third-generation Zune MP3 player at the end of 2009.

Looks like the first and second generations of the Zune will have to wait until the end of 2009 for a new member of the family. Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

In an announcement that will surely test the patience of Zune fans, European newspaper GNT has quoted Microsoft France's Francois Ruault as saying the third generation of the Zune MP3 player will likely have a worldwide release during the holiday season of 2009. While folks in the European Union are probably happy to hear they'll be getting the Zune at all, the rest of us have just glimpsed a long wait for a Zune 3 hardware refresh.

The article goes on to hint that Microsoft's Zune Marketplace digital music download service will eventually be rolled into the Windows Mobile platform. While knee-jerk speculation points to the Zune's iPhone-like ascent into a mobile phone, more than likely this is just Microsoft adjusting to the partnerships companies like Rhapsodyand Napster have struck with mobile carriers over the past year.

(via AnythingButiPod)