Zuners old and new will be happy to learn that moving forward, getting your calories on is no longer a roadblock when it comes to hitting the Zune Marketplace on the go. While AT&T goes back and forth with free WiFi for iPhone users at Starbucks, Microsoft is moving full speed ahead by signing a three-year deal that will allow all Zune users to access WiFi at any WiFi-equipped McDonald’s absolutely free of charge. Hmm, we wonder which will kill you faster, Starbucks or McDonald’s? While the Zune doesn’t have a web browser, users will have speedy access to the Zune Marketplace in the event that the background music at McDonald’s just isn’t providing the right vibe as you devour your Big Mac. Patrons can now browse the Marketplace catalog, download new tracks and even use the sweet new Buy from FM feature with what will surely be a pretty wide open pipe. Everything is coming up Zune lately, huh? Free WiFi with your burgers, updated models and the 3.0 software is even available for download from the Zune site and now. Keep it coming, Microsoft.
Ahh, the good old FCC. It has been quite a resource lately, throwing previews of upcoming products at us left and right. Electronics manufacturers must absolutely adore this archaic government body. Regardless, behold the new Zune that will soon be making its way to the shelves. You might be thinking to yourself, “hey, this looks just like the old zune!” You’re right, it does. The only revision this model will get is a hefty 50% increase in storage capacity. From the looks of it, everything else is untouched including the firmware version. The new model maintains the same dimensions as the existing 80 GB model thanks to the inclusion of the slender 1.8-inch hard drive Samsung announced last year. This, along with some decent pricing, may help the new model compete with the iPod Classic which is already available with a 160 GB well. Of course there’s always Zune Pass, a great little all-you-can-eat subscription service we’re sure you’re familiar with. Apple has yet to come up with a competitive offering, presumably to avoid cannibalizing iTunes sales. Considering how well iTunes is doing these days we suppose it’s understandable that it would avoid such a service. The new meatier Zune model will almost surely be available in time for the holidays and an unconfirmed educated guess puts the price tag around $300.