Microsoft Replaces Zune with Xbox Music, Releases "SmartGlass" App
June 4, 2012 8:16 PM
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The service will be available for PC, Windows 8 tablets, Windows Phone and Xbox 360
Microsoft unveiled a new service today called
at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, California.
The new service, as you might’ve guessed, is a music offering that has replaced Microsoft’s Zune services.
Microsoft Zune players
were axed back in October 2011.
Xbox Music will have over 30 million songs available on Microsoft devices like PCs, Xbox 360s, Windows Phone and
Windows 8 tablets
In addition to Xbox Music, Microsoft introduced a “SmartGlass” application, which links the Xbox 360 console to mobile devices. SmartGlass doesn’t just connect to mobile Windows devices though – Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS devices can get in on the action too.
SmartGlass aims to make a unified digital experience for desktop, TV and mobile users alike. Marc Whitten, head of Microsoft’s Xbox Live Group, demonstrated SmartGlass at E3 today by using a smartphone and tablet to control a browser on the television. He noted that Microsoft plans to bring Internet Explorer 10 to televisions through Xbox Live.
In the demonstration, a tablet was used to launch Internet Explorer 10 on a large monitor where he showed off the website for the new film “Prometheus.” He also watched “Game of Thrones” on the monitor while using a tablet to map out character locations.
“Your devices aren’t smart devices because they don’t work together,” said Whitten. “That’s all about to change. I can now take my phone and use it as the world’s best remote control.”
“Xbox is on a mission to make the entertainment that you love even more amazing,” said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “With Xbox SmartGlass, we are lighting up entertainment across your phone, tablet, PC and TV in a completely new way. If you love to play games, watch TV and movies, surf the Web, or listen to music, there has never been a better time to be on Xbox.”
SmartGlass, like Xbox Music, will also work with Apple devices, but it’s primarily supported on Windows 8 devices.
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6/5/2012 11:17:01 AM
The Zune had several features that made it better than the iPod. I didn't buy one, but was given one, and things like wifi music sync and the fact that the screen was actually readable in direct sunlight were 2 very strong points over the iPod. While the Zune itself got discontinued, the music player market is in rapid decline and it didn't make much sense to keep pushing in a dying market. The smart phone has all but replaced the portable music player, and MS has some strong offerings there. Plus the Zune was not a total failure, much of the good in the UI design was the basis for Metro and Windows 8.
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