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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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September 2, 2008 12:06 PM

Reports: Microsoft readying 120 gigabyte Zune as Apple announces 'Let's rock' event

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

The portable music player war -- such as it is -- looks to be heating up. Microsoft is working on a 120 gigabyte Zune, according Zunerama, an enthusiast site. (Hat tip to Matt Rosoff, of Directions on Microsoft, writing at CNET.)

Meanwhile, Apple has scheduled an event for Sept. 9 that has all the markings of a new iPod launch.

From Bloomberg's coverage:

"An invitation for the Sept. 9 event in San Francisco, sent today, is entitled 'Let's Rock" and shows a silhouetted dancer holding an iPod below a "playing soon" banner.

"Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs has held events each September for the past four years to introduce new iPods ..."

Here's Rosoff's take on the forthcoming Zune and the battle with Apple.

"As iPod fans will no doubt note, 120GB is still short of the 160GB offered by the top-capacity iPod Classic. I can't say much, but I've seen what Microsoft's planning, and befitting its status as a software plus services company, the real advances aren't going to be in the Zune hardware, but in the Zune software and associated services. ... Microsoft has a huge challenge taking on the iJuggernaut, but they are far from giving up. That's good news for us -- competition means better products from all sides."

Update, 5 p.m.: A Microsoft spokesman had this comment: "There is an update coming, we are pretty excited about it, details about new capacities and color are part of the channel getting ready for a great Fall selling season. Stay tuned for more details."

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