Microsoft announces Zune upgrades

Comes day prior to Apple's new iPod unveiling

DENVER -- Microsoft confirmed several major upgrades to its Zune device in a surprise announcement Monday, one day before Apple is set to unveil new iPod devices.

That the new Zune would be a 120 GB device is no shocker. Raising eyebrows, however, are two newer features -- one that allows Zune users to buy and download music from any WiFi hotspot and another that lets users tag songs heard on participating FM radio stations for subsequent purchase.

The "Device to Cloud" feature simply lets Zune owners browse and buy from the Zune Marketplace directly. Previous devices used the on-board WiFi feature only to share songs between other Zune owners.

"Buy from FM," meanwhile, lets customers tag and buy songs from the Zune's FM receiver. When in WiFi range, the song can be downloaded immediately. If not, then the device will download the song when in range, or when docked to the home computer.
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