Microsoft Zune HD to Release 9/15, Aggressive Pricing

Last Updated Aug 13, 2009 7:25 AM EDT

Microsoft has announced that its would-be iTouch killer is now available for order, and the expected retail prices are aggressive.

The units are going to be available for early ordering from Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon.com, and direct from Microsoft. Pricing is pretty aggressive. The 16GB model will roll in at about $220 and the 32GB model will be about $290. That compares to $299 and $399 for the comparative models of Apple's iTouch. The Zune has some interesting features, as well:

  • built-in HD radio (I'm guessing that is to appeal to an older crowd.)
  • HD video output, so you can store HD video and send it to a big screen in 720p format (There are rumors that Apple will add HD video output to the iPod.)
  • an OLED touch-screen with 480x272 resolution and multi-touch interface
  • built-in WiFi
Clearly, between the features, price point, and the new Microsoft retail stores, the company is gunning for Apple.

Image courtesy of Microsoft.

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    Erik Sherman is a widely published writer and editor who also does select ghosting and corporate work. The views expressed in this column belong to Sherman and do not represent the views of CBS Interactive. Follow him on Twitter at @ErikSherman or on Facebook.