By Andy Patrizio
August 25, 2006
An FCC certification application has opened the curtain on Microsoft’s forthcoming Zune player, providing details on what the player will offer.
All devices have to go through a certification process with the Federal Communications Commission to prove they don’t interfere with other systems. Toshiba had submitted a request for a “HDD portable audio player” to be certified in July.
According to the gadget site CrunchGear, the device approved by the FCC is called the Toshiba 1089, and comes with 3.0-inch TFT LCD display, FM tuner, a USB 2.0 port, a 30GB hard drive, and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi.
A report by Reuters confirmed Toshiba as Zune’s manufacturer.
Toshiba and Microsoft are already joined at the hip on several technology deals. The two teamed up to support HD-DVD, the next-generation high definition DVD format. Plus, Toshiba has a handheld device called Gigabeat, which supports connectivity with the Windows Media Center PC.
In fact, some gadget fan sites theorized that the Zune was just a revamped Gigabeat, since the time for development was so short there wasn’t enough time to design a new system from the ground up. Plus, the prototype photos of the Zune circulating on those sites looked very similar to the Gigabeat.
The Zune will definitely come with video playback support, because Microsoft staffer Cesar Menendez said in a blog posting videos from the bands Hot Chip and 30 Seconds to Mars would be pre-loaded onto the player.
A spokesperson for Microsoft confirmed the FCC filing but declined to comment further when contacted by internetnews.com.
Analyst Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies said he was expecting something more, “something that could trump iPod. Mostly it seems like a knock off.” However, he said he’s waiting until all the details are out before passing judgment on the player.