Print 6 comment(s) - last by headbox.. on Sep 21 at 3:41 PM

Microsoft Zune HD  (Source: Microsoft)
Zune content will play on windows Phone 7, Zune, PC, and Xbox 360

Microsoft has been working with its Zune media player and accompanying Zune software to win ground against Apple and its wildly popular iPod and iTunes music service. Apple still has the vast majority of the market and continues to dominate while Microsoft is a distant competitor in terms of popularity and market share.

Microsoft's Zune has some features that Apple lacks, however, like a subscription music service. Microsoft it's talking up a new expansion of Zune content to multiple screens and into international markets. The Zune and the Zune software will be expanding to other countries along with the subscription music service. The service will now be offered in more than 20 countries including the UK, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain.

More interesting than the Zune expansion into other countries is the new multiple screen service for Zune. The way the service will work is that the buyer of content for the Zune will be able to view the content and listen to music on the Zune portable device, the Windows PC, and on the Xbox 360 via Xbox Live in the living room on the big screen.

"The integration between Zune, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox LIVE is an exciting expansion in our entertainment offerings," said Craig Eisler, corporate vice president, Interactive Entertainment Business Group at Microsoft. "Zune enables users to access the entertainment they want, wherever they want it — and now, more people than ever will be able to enjoy the freedom and flexibility that the Zune service offers."

The new upgraded Zune software is now at version 4.7, will be a free download, and will serve as the synchronization software for Windows Phone 7 devices that are set to launch in October. The Zune Pass service will cost users in the UK, France, Italy, and Spain 9.99 euros or 8.99 pounds per month.

The expanded services also bring movie rentals to the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Mexico, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

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By TheMan876 on 9/21/2010 11:41:21 AM , Rating: 2
This multiscreen service has been around forever on the Zune service. It's always been available on the PC and the Zune Player. It's been available for months on the Xbox. What's new in that regard?

RE: New?
By Reclaimer77 on 9/21/2010 12:45:56 PM , Rating: 4
Well a lot of people are honestly ignorant about all the great things the Zune can do, so they need to keep hammering away on the features until it sinks in.

RE: New?
By Mitch101 on 9/21/2010 1:45:23 PM , Rating: 2
From what I've seen everyone who tries my Zune likes it. iPod owners especially comment on how nice the Zune screen is.

Where Microsoft failed is getting it into consumers hands and letting them try one.

Their second fail was not following through with Apps. Something they appear to have learned before Mobile 7's launch.

RE: New?
By headbox on 9/21/2010 3:41:23 PM , Rating: 2
Much like Apple trying to make a comeback in the computer market after it's already saturated with PCs, Microsoft can't make a dent in the portable music player market. At some point, marketshare itself is the driving force, and not the quality of the product.

RE: New?
By smackababy on 9/21/2010 1:31:49 PM , Rating: 2
News is that it is available worldwide finally. I know a lot of people in Europe were interested in the Zune players as alternatives to iPods, but couldn't get them.

RE: New?
By Mitch101 on 9/21/2010 1:47:05 PM , Rating: 3
Might want to hold out a little longer the rumor mill is very strong now about a Zune HD2 more in line with the Mobile 7 devices.

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