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Zune and Vista 'not compatible'

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Zune, the new digital music player from Microsoft, is not compatible with the software giant's new Vista operating system. Buried in the Zune website, Microsoft admits that the player is not compatible with Vista and gives no information as to when it will introduce a patch or update enabling the player to do so.

Instead, users are asked to "check back soon for updates".

Microsoft is set to launch Vista for business customers later this month, although a spokesman for Microsoft told ENN, however, that a new "Zune client" or patch to make Vista compatible with the MP3 player will be released at the end of January to coincide with the consumer launch of the Vista operating system.

This is embarrassing for Microsoft given it launched the new player in the US amid much fanfare on Wednesday in an attempt to take on the might of Apple's iPod. At the same time, Microsoft is touting its much-delayed new Vista version of Windows as "the most important new Microsoft release since Windows 95", according to company founder Bill Gates.

Zune is currently only available in the US and went on sale for USD249.99 at almost 30,000 shops across the United States on Wednesday. The digital music player comes in just one 30GB model and is available in three colours: black, white and brown.

A European launch is expected some time next year.

Zune is designed to be used with its co-branded online music store Marketplace, where songs can be purchased for download.

The big difference between the Zune player and the iPod is that the Zune is wireless. The player comes with a Wi-Fi connection which will allow users to share music with other Zune users. Tracks may be shared with up to three other Zune owners, although shared songs will delete themselves after three days. Unlike the iPod, the Zune also includes an FM radio.

Microsoft hopes these features will help it corner some of the digital music player market dominated by rival Apple.

However, in what is sure to be an unpopular move, songs bought from Microsoft's own MSN music store - which is being closed down - will not work on a Zune player.

Instead Zune users must buy and download music from the dedicated Zune music store, or rip their own CDs and copy them onto the player.

Copyright © 2006, ENN

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