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New Zune(s) in the works? Flash, larger screen may be on the way.

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When reports of a Microsoft-hosted Zune event seemed to fizzle out the other day, other Zune blogs lost heart. But not iLounge, which originated the rumors, and says the event indeed took place as a private -- and supposedly secret -- tech preview by Microsoft to developers. iLounge purports that Microsoft wasn't terribly happy to hear about the leak, and even more displeased when iLounge noted the meeting was underway. However, perhaps even more interesting than the drama surrounding the leak is the fact that Microsoft apparently has a flash-based Zune in the works, along with a larger-screened Zune with beefier storage options. The word is the flash Zune is nothing to write home about -- bigger than a nano, and best described as "not bad" by the sources familiar. A bit more surprising is the large-screen Zune, which Microsoft might be positioning to capture folks digging the iPhone's real estate, but looking for more movie storage. The leak seems to overlap and contradict prior rumors about a flash Zune, but a lot of this seems logical enough to be inevitable. No word on when these will be out, or how much they'll cost, but rough estimates point to a couple months from now, and prices will most likely be pretty much in line with comparable Apple offerings.

[Image from our Design-a-Zune contest]

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