Last week, a reader noticed that a new 120GB Microsoft Zune had simply been added to the shelf at his local Fry's Electronics without fanfare.
Now the Fry's Electronics online store, Frys.com, has added a slim blue 8GB version of the Zune for $149.99 with a notably new set of features. The slim Zune, which also comes in silver or black, will come with free games and the ability to create your own personalized soundtracks to your games.
Most intriguing is a feature called "Device to Cloud."
"Access thousands of wireless hot spots around the country to automatically update your collection, browse Zune Marketplace, refresh Channels, exchange favorites with friends, or buy songs you've tagged from your FM radio," according to the description on Frys.com.
The "Channels" are programmable music stations that select songs at random from a range of playlists, radio stations, and other sources you preselect. We're thinking that it bares similarity to how you might program Pandora stations.
The slim Zune also includes an FM tuner and the ability to tag songs you hear on the radio to download when you're back at your PC.
The thing is, we're still waiting for the official press announcement, or something to pop up on the official Zune Web site. Is this a new nonmarketing tactic from Microsoft?
Kudos to Zunerama and the Zune fans there who have been on top of this.