first_imgREDMOND, Wash. – Microsoft Corp. took the wraps off its second-generation Zune digital media players late Tuesday, showing three models that bring the software maker’s offerings more in line with Apple’s market-leading iPod. One model – available in black – has an 80-gigabyte hard drive and a 3.2-inch screen. It’s slimmer than last year’s Zune, which had a 30 GB hard drive and a smaller screen. Microsoft also will sell a smaller, flash memory-based Zune, similar in shape and size to the original iPod Nano, in pink, green, black and red with either 4 GB or 8 GB of storage. Like the original Zune, the new models include an FM radio tuner and the ability to wirelessly share songs with other Zune owners. The latest generation sports a shiny glass screen and a new touch pad navigation button. The gadgets use Wi-Fi to sync music, movies and photos wirelessly and automatically with users’ PCs. The new Zunes are to go on sale in mid-November. The 4 GB Zune will cost $149, the 8 GB one will sell for $199 and the 80 GB model for $249. The prices match those of Apple Inc.’s comparable iPod models. Microsoft has yet to wow consumers or analysts the way Apple has done consistently. As of the end of the last fiscal quarter, Apple Inc. had sold more than 100 million iPods, while Microsoft had sold about 1.2 million Zunes. “There’s nothing earth-shattering there,” said Van Baker, an analyst at the research group Gartner, in an interview about the new Zunes. Baker said he expects the changes to help Microsoft keep its distant No. 2 spot in the digital media player market, but improving the software and adding a new model isn’t going to radically change Microsoft’s market share. “Maybe next year they can make an aggressive push against Apple,” he said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more