The company confirmed today that the Zune brand music player and service will be available later this year. Here’s the official comment, from the group that produces the Xbox:
“Today we confirmed a new music and entertainment project called Zune,” Chris Stephenson, general manager of marketing in the Entertainment and Devices group, said in a statement. “Under the Zune brand, we will deliver a family of hardware and software products, the first of which will be available this year. We see a great opportunity to bring together technology and community to allow consumers to explore and discover music together.”
Microsoft aimed the announcement at the music industry, announcing it in the new issue of Billboard magazine.