Microsoft to slash the Zune’s price to $199

As the rumor mill grinds away without respite about new iPods supposedly coming later today, a Microsoft blogger has revealed that the price of the Zune is about to go down by $50. The Microsoft portable media player currently has an official price tag of $249.99, but Richard Menendez—a member of the Zune team—says that will drop to $199 today.

Rather than explicitly mention Apple’s forthcoming announcement as the motivation behind the price cut, Menendez briefly states, "It’s part of the normal product lifecycle, something we’ve had on the books for months." According to Menendez, customer satisfaction with the 30GB Zune is around 94%, and Microsoft believes "even more consumers will now want to discover the Zune experience at the new lower price."

Of course, with new iPods expected to bring goodies like touch screens, wide-screen displays, and Wi-Fi support, it’s no wonder Microsoft is making the Zune more affordable. Second-generation Zunes do seem to be in the works, but Microsoft has yet to officially announce them. (Thanks to Engadget for the link.)

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