Blog posts with news, reviews and tips on the Microsoft Zune MP3 music video player. The new portable media device from the worlds largest software company is making noise in the industry with it’s wireless music sharing capabilities and large 3 inch screen.

Microsoft sets October release for Windows 8

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Jul 152012
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SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Microsoft’s next-generation operating system will be available in October as the software giant strives to stay relevant in a blossoming mobile era centered on tablets and smartphones.

‘This will be the biggest product and services launch year in our company’s history,’ Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said at an annual gathering of gadget makers and other partners in the Canada city of Toronto.

The new Windows 8 operating system will be available in August for computer, tablet or smartphone makers to build into hardware, according to Microsoft.

Windows software designed to power the range of Internet-connected devices popular in modern lifestyles will be available to consumers as an update beginning in late October, the technology firm announced. Read more here.

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Zune to Expand Multiscreen Entertainment Services Into International Markets

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Jul 102012
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Zune to Expand Multiscreen Entertainment Services Into International Markets
Sept. 20, 2010
Major entertainment companies provide music and movie catalog to the U.K., France, Italy, Germany and Spain.

REDMOND, Wash. — Sep. 20, 2010 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the further international expansion of Zune, its digital entertainment service. This fall, Zune will expand its music and video footprint and bring the free Zune software, Zune Marketplace online store, Zune Pass1 music subscription service and enhanced features on Zune.net to new markets, providing a comprehensive entertainment experience on Windows-based PCs, on the go with Windows Phone 7 and in your living room through Xbox LIVE.2

“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.”

Zune software has been upgraded with new features and functionality and will serve as the Windows Phone 7 synchronization client. The new software (version 4.7) will be available to download for free in more than 20 countries, including the U.K., France, Italy, Germany and Spain, to easily manage your personal collection of movies, music, podcasts and pictures. Zune software continues to set the standard for entertainment software, providing best-in-class experiences to organize, discover and enjoy digital media with a variety of exclusive features. For example, the Quickplay menu enables immediate access to recently played content and personal favorites, and Smart DJ 3 automatically creates playlists from your personal music collection and takes the extra step of mixing in suggested music from the Zune Marketplace. The updated Zune software will also enable instant streaming of high-definition movies, allowing you to watch some Zune Marketplace movies in HD, with no download time, directly on a Windows PC.

Zune Marketplace online store is accessible from within the Zune software and offers the ability to purchase millions of individual songs or albums from its catalog, all in MP3 format. Here, consumers can also subscribe to Zune Pass,4 which provides unlimited downloads and music streaming capabilities from the Zune music library, including content from major music labels such as Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music and Warner Music Group, as well as thousands of independent labels. Zune Marketplace also has a large library of videos from major studios such as Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution for purchase or rental. Video purchases will be accessible through Xbox LIVE and Windows-based PCs, and can also be added to a Windows Phone 7. Simply buy your favorite video from Zune Marketplace and watch it on the screen of your choice.9

Zune.net is the perfect resource for consumers as it allows them to download the software and set up a Zune account with a new or existing Windows Live ID.5 Zune.net will also provide Web access to Zune Marketplace so you can purchase music or use a Zune Pass to stream music directly through an Internet browser,6 as well as purchase video content.7

Zune Expansion to New Markets

As Zune expands internationally, its music and video service will be tailored for each market. Genre experts will custom program Zune Marketplace and feature the top songs, videos, movies and unique promotions for each country.

The fall 2010 international expansion of the Zune music and video service includes the following:

Zune Marketplace will extend services to several markets in Europe and beyond.

  • Zune Pass (U.K., France, Italy and Spain). The monthly music subscription service will be available for 9.99 euros /8.99 pounds per month for unlimited download and streaming access to the Zune music catalog and will be accessible on Windows-based PCs, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox LIVE. The offer in the U.S. will remain at $14.99 per month for unlimited downloads and streaming access, with the ability to keep 10 MP3s per month.8
  • Music purchase (U.K., France, Italy, Spain and Germany). Expansion to these markets will enable consumers to purchase MP3s and listen on their Windows-based PC, Windows Phone 7 or any other device that supports MP3 format. Users will also be able to purchase music videos to enjoy on Windows-based PC, Windows Phone 7 and Zune on Xbox LIVE.
  • Video purchase (U.K., France, Germany, Canada, Australia and New Zealand).Consumers will now be able to purchase movies to download and watch anywhere — on the big screen in the living room with Xbox LIVE or their Windows-based PC as well as sync it to their Windows Phone 7 to enjoy on the go.9
  • Movie rental (U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Mexico, Canada, Australia and New Zealand). In addition to Zune video on Xbox LIVE, consumers in these countries will now be able to rent movies for viewing on their Windows-based PC or choose to sync the rental to their Windows Phone 7.

The global expansion of the service is the latest step in a series of milestones for Zune, including powering Bing music search results, the added ability to purchase music and video on Zune.net, and the forthcoming integration with Xbox LIVE and Kinect for Xbox 360. By continuing to integrate Zune across the most important screens to consumers, Zune provides an all-in-one music and video service for users to discover, enjoy and experience their entertainment wherever they want.

About Zune

Zune is Microsoft’s music and video entertainment service that provides an integrated digital experience across Zune devices, Windows-based PCs, Xbox LIVE and Windows Phone 7. The Zune platform includes a line of portable digital media players, elegant software, the Zune Marketplace and Zune.net online stores, the Zune Social online music community created to help people discover music, and the ZuneOriginals.net online media player customization store. More information can be found online at http://www.zune.net/en-us/press.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

1 Zune Pass available in U.K., France, Italy and Spain.

2 Zune Pass on Xbox 360 requires an Xbox LIVE Gold membership and a Zune Pass subscription.

3 Only available with Zune Pass.

4 Zune Pass is a music subscription; some Zune Marketplace songs and content are not available via Zune Pass. Available content may vary over time.

5 For cross-screen functionality, the same Windows Live ID needs to be used on the Zune software, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox LIVE accounts.

6 Internet browser support for Silverlight required.

7 Service features may vary based on market availability.

8 Keep 10 MP3s per month feature available to U.S. Zune Pass subscribers only, on their PC or Windows Phone 7.

9 Content available for download on multiple devices may vary over time. Availability of content and video resolution will vary by device.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news.Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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“Spotify Like” Zune Streaming music coming to Xbox

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Apr 262012
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Looks like Zune will live on in many other forms as the venerable music service and former gadget brand will be morpjhed into a “Spotify like” streaming music service on Xbox consoles. The news is so fresh there are few details but the service is said to be currently in development under the code name “Woodstock,” according to a report Wednesday by the tech blog The Verge.

Who hear wishes they would have done a better job with Zune marketing in the beginning so they would not be foced to rename this service for Xbox?

Microsoft Preps Spotify-Like Music Service – Personal-tech – Digital Content – Informationweek

Microsoft is developing a streaming music service for its Xbox Live network and other platforms, and it may be introduced at the E3 consumer electronics expo in June, a published report said.

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Zune is dead!

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Oct 042011
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Microsoft is discontinuing the Zune media player, which it launched five years ago in the hope of taking on the iPod.

The player was well reviewed when it launched in 2006, and it grabbed as much as 10 percent of the market for media players. But enthusiasm faded, and the Zune has become one of many failed iPod wannabes.

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Zune Originals has been shut down

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Jul 032011
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Zune Originals has been shuttered in yet another sign that things will be different in zune land soon. According to Liveside.net the originals shop is closing due to lack of use and a new direction for the Zune Brand.


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Is Zune Dead?

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Mar 162011
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Looks like at least one person is not ready to write off the Zune hardware line and he is making the claim that Microsoft is only focusing on the Windows Phone 7 and not totally abandoning the Zune branded hardware like the much loved Zune HD. Of course the guy is Dave Mac-MS, the manager of business development for Zune hardware, and he may have high hopes for the 4th generation of Zune devices but he may also be the last man standing in the sense he will go down fighting for his job and the hope that Microsoft will toss a few million more to buy a new media player design or maybe they’ll throw out a music edition Zune tablet like a few people have asked about in the Zune forums.

Apparently Dave has been busy building apps for Zune HD and he’s got some new stuff in the works for the only Zune product left on the market. They must have a few zillion of these left to sell off so they keep the guy on supporting the upgrades and applications such as Zune games and what not. I think Dave should stay quiet or they’ll notice he’s useless and they’ll go ahead and notify him his job position has been phased out along with more than a billion dollars in the great Zune debacle.



Courtesty hothardware.com

But now, DaveMac-MS — manager of business development for Zune hardware — is saying something a bit different. He claims that he still has the title just mentioned, which wouldn’t be possible if Zune were dead. He was quick to point out that no one at Microsoft has officially given out any information on the future of Zune hardware, and to treat anything you hear as rumor for now. Here’s his headline quote, though:

“Here’s what you should know – ALL consumer electronics products have a lifespan, and the Zune HD is 18mo old. We were completely frank about this year’s Zune hardware being the WP7 phones, and we continue to both sell and fully support the Zune HD line of products. And as I’ve promised – we continue to bring new apps and games to the platform. More of those are in the works, I promise you.”

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Where is Zune is the new Microsoft Nokia partnership?

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Feb 132011
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Theories about as to what will happen with Zune now that Microsoft and Nokia are set to link up with the embattled handset maker using the venerable software makers latest mobile operating system as their next generation devices. Zune is mysteriously missing from any of the graphics depicting the mesh, or should I say mess, they intend on making. Either they didn’t have room or they are planning on scaling back the Zune name and focusing more on the Windows Phone brand which is strategically more important than Zune. If they had any substantial plans for Zune it would have earned a little square somewhere in that horizontal stack of little squares, instead not even the Zune name appears anywhere in the official announcements of the partnership.

Whatever the case we can be certain that the Zune brand will be taking a a back seat to Windows Phone name which so desperately needs to catch on with consumers if Microsoft intends on being relevant in the future. Without a strong prescience in the mobile market Microsoft may as well start working on an exit strategy because regardless of how much cash Windows or Office are making now it is obvious that those days will soon end.

Open source software is about to trounce Microsoft as the default choice for a majority of the world. I predict in 5 years we’ll be calling for an end to the traditional Windows default installation business model. The personal computer is dying and a larger variety of devices with different OS choices are hitting the market on a daily basis. Operating systems will all be mobile in the future with integrated communications and small form as the standard. Flip style pocket devices will rule as we all go mobile with our computing and learn to type and scroll on the go. Those images of idiots walking into public fountains in the mall or falling off the train tracks because of their mobile devices will become common place and websites will spring up just to showcase the idiots who kill themselves texting or even sexting.

I wish this laptop was smaller and more mobile. My next one sure will be.

Nokia / Microsoft: Where’s Zune? | LiveSide.net

However one brand is conspicuously missing from the equation: Zune. It doesn’t appear anywhere on the slide, nor anywhere else in the Nokia/Microsoft announcements. Paul Thurrott, in his Window Supersite post analyzing the announcements, noted that neither Nokia CEO Stephen Elop or Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer mentioned Zune. Thurrott quotes Elop and gives his opinion:

Microsoft, meanwhile, has a “great software platform” in Windows Phone, and the brands that mobile consumers want, “like Bing, Xbox LIVE, and Office.” (Side-note: Zune was conspicuously absent from this list. It is my opinion and guess that Microsoft is currently phasing out the Zune brand and will simply roll the various Zune services into Windows Live.)

And again, when Steve Ballmer took the stage Friday morning, he didn’t mention Zune either, as noted by Thurrott:

He said that Windows Phone was not just a single product but was instead the combination of many products from across Microsoft, “not only Windows, but Office, Bing, Hotmail, and Xbox.” (Note, again, how Zune was conspicuously left out of this equation.)

While this can’t be the greatest news for Zune or Zune fans, we think there are some explanations that fall somewhere south of “ZOMG, Zune is Dead!!”.

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The New Zune on Xbox Live

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Nov 022010
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Zune on Xbox

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Zune pass on your Xbox


of songs

With Zune Pass on Xbox LIVE, you can stream and download millions of songs from our 10M+ track library, or start an instant music mix based on songs and artists you like with Smart DJ.**

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download millions of songs

you are the controller

Zune is ready for Kinect. Play music and videos using gestures and voice commands.
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can’t miss tv

Use Season Pass to subscribe to your favorite TV series at a discount and always have the latest episodes as they come out.
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Zune everywhere

zune is where you are

Take the entertainment you buy on Xbox LIVE to go. Zune is on your Xbox 360, Windows Phone 7, PC, and Zune HD. It’s the best way to enjoy music, video, and more, both at home and on the go.***

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need help with zune?

Find us on Twitter at @ZuneSupport for answers.

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**Zune Pass is a monthly music subscription service; some Marketplace content may not be available via Zune Pass and may vary over time. On Xbox, Zune Pass allows for music streaming only and requires Xbox LIVE Gold subscription (your 10 monthly song credits are still available for download on your PC, Windows Phone, or Zune media player). On Windows Phone, streaming feature requires wireless network access; carrier fees may apply.
***Some Marketplace content may not be available for download on multiple devices and may vary over time. Availability of content and video resolution will vary by device.

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