Zune 2: Thinner, WiFi-ier

Many of you were disappointed with the Zune, Microsoft’s WiFi-“enabled” not-an-iPod. The main let-down seems to be the ineffective utilization of the on-board wireless. There aren’t that many other Zune’s out there to share with, and even if there were, the wireless would most likely be off to conserve battery power. Even then, who wants a song for only three days?

All of these concerns seem to be addressed in what people are calling the Zune 2, due out as early as this spring. Rumors say it’ll be a Flash-RAM based player in a smaller form factor with a much richer WiFi feature set, including over-the-air downloads.

These rumors were stoked by none other than Chris Stephenson who, at the music expo in Cannes, confirmed that Redmond was working on a thinner, Flash-based Zune that could download music from sponsored retail hotspots. This means that while waiting for your latte at Starbuck’s, you could download the new Jay-Z (he’s coming out of retirement, friend). What are the other details of said mini-Zune? We’re not sure, but you just know we’re going to be the ones to find out, so keep it parked here for all your Zunage info.

PS: Now that we’ve got our iPhone, why don’t you nerds out there turn your Photoshoppery skills towards what this new Zune might indeed look like? The image above is a Toshiba Gigabeat, but we know you could do better. So could we, had we enough coffee.

Microsoft Wants WiFi “Filling Stations” for Zune II [The Register]