…the five of you that just clapped can sit down now. A Microsoft PR rep has revealed that an updated model of the company’s oft-maligned DAP will be coming by years end. “We have seen the rumors floating around, but we haven’t announced specific dates or details for the next generation of the Zune devices or service. That said, Zune follows the cycle of the consumer electronics cycle so you can expect an update later this year prior to the holiday season. There are three predictable paths along which we’ll expand Zune.” Three predictable paths, eh? Here they are, as per the rep’s prepared statement:

  • New sizes, styles, and price points
  • New features
  • New geographic markets

I guess this isn’t the rocket launcher-equipped Zune we’ve all been hoping for. Whatever the case, a new model can’t hurt the company’s attempts to make a dent in the market, but at the end of the day, they’re going to have to work very hard to make up the ground they’ve lost to Apple over the last month. Good luck, Redmond.