Rumors Swirl that Microsoft is Readying a New Zune for 2011

Paul Lilly

Things have been pretty quiet over a Microsoft regarding any upcoming Zune refreshes, but that hasn't stopped the rumor mill from bustling with activity . And why not, given that Apple just recently launched its newest iPod touch with a built-in camera and FaceTime support.

Rumors of an upcoming Zune player began earlier this month when ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley said that one of her sources "who has been a solid tipster on Microsoft-consumerish things in the past" told her that the Redmond giant plans to release at least one more Zune HD media player. The tipster claimed it would probably debut in 2011 and might come equipped with an ARM processor, along with a bunch of UI changes from the Windows Phone 7 team.

More recently, Microsoft put up a job posting looking for a Hardware Engineer to help with "next generation of portable entertainment and communication devices." The job is for a senior mechanical engineer in Microsoft's Portable Entertainment Group, the same team that designed last year's Zune HD.

Whether or not there's anything to these rumors, or whether Microsoft simply plans to let the Zune line fade away and instead focus on porting Zune features into its Windows Phone 7 devices remains to be seen.

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