Zune to be priced at $229.99?

Recent rumors claim Apple's recent iPod price cut, which saw the 30GB iPod go down from $299 to $249, took Microsoft by surprise and forced it to stay mum on the launch price of its upcoming Zune portable media player. Wal-Mart listed the Zune for $284 earlier this week, but this listing was quickly taken down, and Microsoft moles later told BetaNews that undercutting the iPod was an absolute priority for Redmond.

Today, Gizmodo received word from a Microsoft insider that company staff recently got out of a meeting to determine the Zune's price, and that the device is now set to launch at $229.99. The original plan was reportedly to undercut the iPod by $9 with a $289.99 launch price—hence the $284 Wal-Mart listing—but Apple's surprise price cut forced Microsoft to reconsider. To achieve the drop to $229.99, Gizmodo says Microsoft will be dropping some of the Zune's bundled music and/or video content.

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