Microsoft to kill off non-HD Zunes

The second-generation Zunes that launched two years ago had a lot going for them: low prices, Wi-Fi syncing, built-in radio tuners, and the Zune Pad (a.k.a. squircle) that some preferred to the iPod's click wheel. Alas, the squircle isn't long for this world. Paul Thurrott says he's heard straight from the horse's mouth that the new Zune HD "will be the only device type going forward."

That means the end of not just the full-sized Zune 80 and 120, but also the candy-bar-sized Zune 8 and 16, which are still available for as little as $130. Thurrott says these models will "only be around while supplies last," so interested parties would do well to order now before it's too late.

The Zune HD is still scheduled to hit stores on September 15. That model will replace the squircle with a 3.3" OLED touch screen, and just as importantly, it will have a much higher price tag: $220 for the 16GB model and $290 for the 32GB one. Looks like many folks will be driven back to the iPod nano, which Apple continues to offer alongside the iPod touch for $150 and up.

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