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Microsoft hints at a free-with-subscription flash Zune

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So, we've finally gotten over that heap-big firmware 1.3 update hump, and now that Zune users can finally do fancy things like sync with their computers, it's about time to start looking ahead at what Microsoft has planned for its Zune ecosystem down the road. Of course, everybody has a personal wishlist, but Zune marketing director Jason Reindorp is hinting at a welcome development on the subscription front: "The subscription service was a solid move on our part. We've seen 65% growth in our subscription base, although the number is still small. It could be better and it could become different -- we're looking at what other flavors of subscriptions there could be. We've been looking at the subscription model where you pay a certain amount and you essentially get the cell phone for free." That seems to imply a cheap-or-free Zune, most likely a less pricey flash player, like the ones Napster has been giving away for a while. It ain't no WiFi syncing, but it's a start.

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