The device will offer 30GB of storage, access to online communities and music stores, and a wireless networking feature allowing users to share media. It will feature a 3in screen and come in black, brown or white.
Rumours about the Zune started surfacing earlier this summer. Although Microsoft had released titbits of information, today's announcement is considered the official unveiling of the portable media player.
"Everybody is kind of interested in the product right now, and certainly it facilitates the comparison between the two devices," said Stephen Baker, vice president of analysis at NPD Techworld.
The Zune's ambitious list of features, as well as the time at which Microsoft has chosen to enter the market, is a common strategy for the company, Baker told vnunet.com.
"It is a typical Microsoft thing. It is trying to do an awful lot of things to start from a position that took the rest of the market a while to reach. Microsoft is really trying to jump over what took Apple a long time to do," he said.
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