It appears that the cat is out of the bag with regards to the new Blue Zune 8 GB model. Fry’s Electronics has the new Zune item posted on their web site as “available for shipping” with the following features:
Key Features & Benefits
Buy from FM
- Listen to your favorite FM radio stations and click to tag the songs you like for later purchase when you sync your device with your PC.
- Download millions of tracks, whole albums or playlists with Zune® Pass subscription service. Explore new music or rediscover old favorites—then sync them all to your Zune Extend your subscription online or by purchasing a Zune Pass card.
- Connect to your home wireless network and remotely sync your Zune® device with your PC collection from your dock, AC adapter, or speaker dock accessory.
Device to Cloud
- Access thousands of wireless hotspots around the country to automatically update your collection, browse Zune Marketplace, refresh Channels, exchange favorites with friends, or buy songs you’ve tagged from your FM radio.
- Send your favorite songs, albums, playlists, pictures and even audio podcasts freely between any Zune® devices.
- Zune® Channels are custom programming stations that deliver personalized playlists to your Zune® from a variety of sources you select, such as music experts, celebrities, or top radio stations.
- Games rock on your Zune®. Zune® Players now come with a selection of fun free games to choose from. Play the popular poker game Texas Hold’em or challenge yourself to a game of Hexic, and make sure you play your favorite song from your collection to create your own personal game soundtrack.
- Choose from a growing selection of TV shows now available on the Zune® Marketplace video store. Recorded TV shows or movies from Windows Media Center in Windows Vista can be imported and synced to your Zune.
So the real question is: Will this OS update be available for download and installation on the current Zune models? Let’s hope so!
[Update]: This announcement on Microsoft’s site indicates that the Zune firmware update described above will be free to existing users, and it will be released on Sept 16th! That’s good news to hear.