As everyone and their mother probably knows, now, Microsoft is planning on releasing an iPod competitor in time for Christmas 2006. According to Engadget, Zune is actually the name of the brand and the device, and there are, supposedly, more Zune devices coming in 2007.

What Zune brings to the table is an ‘integrated experience,’ where Microsoft provides the backend software, the media service, and the hardware in order to give end-users a better experience than they’d receive with a mix-and-match configuration, of the type you usually get with the Windows/PlaysForSure paradigm today.

I hasten to point out that I know nothing more than I’ve read online, but I’m enough of a gadget junkie to put in a pre-order as soon as I know what I can actually order. Also, I’ve been dying to use some sort of bad pun as a headline and link to that damned tiny guy+bunny flash viral marketing video.

Update - A quote from Mark Pilgrim on Zune:

In tech news, Microsoft has announced a brilliant plan to kill the iPod. They won’t actually tell anybody what it is, and it won’t be compatible with anything else, and it has something to do with a creepy guy stroking a bunny. It’s like I don’t even need to be here. This stuff just writes itself.