The next generation of Microsoft’s Zune music player, planned for release into the market in the last quarter of this year, will have a touch screen, Web browser and an HD Radio receiver.
The new device, called the Zune HD, will also carry a high-definition video output that will let people play files through a docking station on HD televisions. Zune’s screen will use organic light-emitting diodes, a technology that helps improve battery life and image quality.
The new Zune will be the first with a receiver for HD Radio, which lets radio stations transmit extra channels alongside their regular broadcasts.
Zune music service will have a link with the Xbox video game console. The latest Zune HD will be unveiled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo next week.
Microsoft has been trying to promote Zune as an alternative to the dominant portable music player, Apple Inc.’s iPod.