Microsoft is prepping itself to launch a second generation of its Zune MP3 players. After it announced that it has sold one million of the first 30GB Zune players, a Microsoft PR person confirmed that there is more to come this year.

"We have seen the rumors floating around, but we haven't announced specific dates or details for the next generation of the Zune devices or service. That said, Zune follows the cycle of the consumer electronics cycle so you can expect an update later this year prior to the holiday season," a Microsoft PR rep told Whizbyte .

Apparently Microsoft is working on bettering the original Zune product in three different ways. They are to add new sizes and styles with different price points. To equal the Apple iPod's wealth of features including support for more video formats, podcasting. And to start launching the Zune family into other markets. Whether or not that includes the UK and Europe is unclear - Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer dismissed rumours of a Christmas launch in Europe last month.

Microsoft is also working on improving the Zune's Wi-Fi features; the first had WiFi but as severely limited in what you could do with it. SanDisk's Sansa Connect MP3 player has launched in the US with Wi-Fi features which put the Zune's to shame.

Zune 2 headed for UK

The Microsoft PR person also said: "And one thing about Zune that's really great for consumers is that the device is future-proofed. Consumers can buy without fear of their device becoming obsolete. Zune's software (firmware) can be updated so their device gets automatically updated with new features when the new software is launched."