Small Things From Microsoft

This week was the week to announce small things at Microsoft.

Yesterday Microsoft announced that the Zune player would be available on November 14th for the retail price of $249.99 in the US. For the price, this small player will have a 30GB hard drive, include Zune-to-Zune music sharing, and will have a 3 inch LCD screen that will work in both portrait and landscape mode. Also included is a built-in FM tuner and a variety of songs and videos. You even get your choice of color, albeit not very exciting colors, of black, white, or brown. In what seems to be a ploy to seem cheaper than the competition, you'll be able to buy individual songs for the player from the Zune Marketplace for 79 Microsoft Points. Of course, those 79 points will cost you about 99 cents to buy.

Another small announcement this week, was the release of the first broad beta for the Developer Kit for .NET Micro Framework. There .NET Framework comes in a variety of sizes to fit your development needs. Now there is an even smaller version that you can use for devices that are typically limited in memory or power. The .NET Micro Framework integrates into the Visual Studio IDE for development. It is targeted at devices like the Microsoft SPOT watches, which were based on the Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT). With the .NET Micro Framework, Microsoft is releasing a tool that lest you do embedded-type development using the same knowledge you already have.

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Bradley L. Jones


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