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9/15/2006
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Creative Technology Unveils Zune Rival

Creative released the Zen Vision W video, photo, and music player the same day partner-turned-rival Microsoft unveiled details of Zune.

Creative Technology has launched a portable media player that will compete against former partner Microsoft's Zune.

Creative, based in Milpitas, Calif., released the Zen Vision W video, photo and music player on Thursday, the same day partner-turned-rival Microsoft unveiled details of Zune, which is expected to ship in time for the holiday season.

In announcing the new device, Creative played up its support for Amazon.com and the online retailer's Unbox movie and video store, which would compete with Microsoft's Zune online store. Amazon launched Unbox this week.

Creative's Zen line of portable players run on Microsoft Windows Media, and can play any tune sold with the operating system's copyright protection technology. Apple Computer uses its own digital rights management code in songs sold on the iTunes store. The tunes are not supported by Windows Media.

The Zen Vision W comes in two models, one with 30GBs of storage, which can carry up to 120 hours of video, and the other 60GBs. The devices cost $300 and $400, respectively. Microsoft has not released pricing for the Zune.

The Zen Vision W has a 4.3-inch color screen, which is a third large than the 3-inch screen planned for the Zune. The latter, however, lets users transfer music and pictures between Zune devices wirelessly, a feature not in the Vision W, or Apple's market-leading iPod player.

The Zen Vision W connects to a PC through a USB port for downloading content, and includes a built-in microphone for recording.

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