Microsoft Zune To Get Firmware Update - InformationWeek

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Microsoft Zune To Get Firmware Update

Among the updates are changes to the FM tuner that help prevent the battery from draining when in sleep mode.

Microsoft said it plans to release a firmware update for Zune in mid-March, fixing skipping problems the portable media player has had with music downloaded from the online Zune Marketplace.

In addition, update 1.3 would improve the device reliability in syncing with Zune's media downloading and organizing desktop software, according to the Zune Insider, a blog posted by a Zune employee. The upgrade also makes changes to the FM tuner, so it no longer drains the battery when in sleep mode.

Among the features that users have been calling for that won't be addressed in the update is support for podcasts. Users have also asked for the ability to wirelessly sync with a PC. Today, Zune devices can only trade files back and forth, but not with other devices.

The Zune Insider said the development team was aware of the requests, but has "no specifics yet." While the date isn't firm, the latest update is expected on March 20.

Microsoft launched Zune in November 2006 to go head-to-head against Apple's iPod, which accounts for more than three quarters of the market. While it's still early in the competition, Microsoft has yet to make a dent against Apple.

Apple in January reported record profit and sales for the quarter ended Dec. 30. The company shipped 21 million iPods during the quarter, a 50% jump over the same period the year before.

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