Microsoft has officially announced the Zune today, its response to Apple’s ubiquitous iPod. Essentially a redesigned Toshiba’s Gigabeat, the Zune features 30GB of storage, 802.11 WiFi connectivity, built-in FM tuner, a 3-inch widescreen display, and will be available in black, white and brown. The WiFi connectivity should be an interesting feature, allowing you to share music with fellow Zune users who can preview the track, and then mark it for later purchase if they like what they hear. Speaking of purchase, Microsoft has also announced the Zune Marketplace, where you can purchase content for your Zune player. They will be offering a per-song purchase plan ala iTunes, or a Zune Pass subscription where you can download as many songs as you like for one flat fee, ala Napster. The Zune comes pre-loaded with music from several smaller record labels, as well as a few music videos. Accessory packages include the Car Pack, with an FM-tuner and Car Charger, the Home A/V pack, which connects your Zune to your TV or home stereo, and the Travel Pack, with headphones, a remote, a bag, a sync cable and an AC adapter. Unfortunately, no pricing or release date was given, but expect it to be available by the holiday season, for a price competitive with its iPod competition. What I like: The large widescreen display that can be viewed vertically or horizontally (hear that Apple, big displays = good), and the connectivity feature. What I don’t like: Only 30 gigs? I’ve got more podcasts than that (ok, not really, but you get the point).