The fact that you all voted the Zune "Worst Gadget of the Year" in the recent Engadget Awards doesn't seem to be causing any hand-wringing in Redmond, as Microsoft confirmed today that they're building a dedicated Zune factory in China with an unnamed partner to crank out the oft-rumored next-gen Zune. It looks like Toshiba's not going to be involved this time around, as Zune marketing director Jason Reindorp has been quoted as saying that the rush to get the original Zune to market "forced us to take a look around at what was on the shelf...and get it out there," while this time they're interested in "the flexibility and control we have in creating a device from scratch." Ouch. Sorry, Tosh. Reindorp mentioned that the new manufacturing partner is someone MS is "very familiar with," and the new plant is located in the same city as the Flextronics plant that builds the Xbox 360 for Bill and Co., although nothing's been confirmed. For what it's worth, Reindorp also said that building a dedicated plant isn't going to bring "changes for the sake of changes" to the Zune (which is pretty funny given how many promo Zunes keep popping up) but here's hoping that it brings changes for the sake of actually making the thing better.

[Thanks, Mike]

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Microsoft building a Zune factory