Sept. 18, 2006 — -- In what appears to be a serious mistake by retail giant Wal-Mart, the company posted a price for Microsoft's recently announced 30-gigabyte media player, Zune, at $284.00 on its Web site.
If that price holds up, the player would fall in line with similar products from Apple and Creative. Apple's 30-gigabyte iPod, for example, retails for around $300.
As reports began surfacing on the Web, the company quickly moved to take the item down.
"This price was incorrectly and inadvertently listed at Walmart.com," said Amy Colella, a spokesperson for Wal-Mart. "However, once this item is available, we'll offer it at the lowest available price that our customers expect from Wal-Mart.
Zune is Microsoft's answer to the iPod. It features a larger screen than current Apple offerings and through built-in wireless technology, will allow owners to trade and share media with other Zune owners.
But some have speculated that the device isn't much of an answer to Apple's popular product.
While Apple has moved on from just offering music to offering television shows and now full-length feature films, Zune will focus on music and so-called "viral" videos like the ones popularized on the Internet.
Many think that could leave Microsoft with a product that can't even compete with iPod, let alone steal market share.
When Microsoft first unveiled the details on Zune to the public, Michael Gartenberg, vice president and research director wrote on his blog that although he didn't get much time to play with the device, it didn't appear to be enough to topple the iPod juggernaut.
"It's also a step backward. Unlike PMC [Portable Media Center], there's no integration to recorded TV shows, no downloaded movie or video offerings," he wrote. "At a time that the market is moving beyond music to video, lack of a good video story seems to be a big minus."