Microsoft's Zune Announcement

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.

We got a peek at the Billboard Mag piece on the Zune, which for all the buzz that's been going around, is fairly light on details. Microsoft says it's a "brand" (probably in the way that iPod is a brand), and that Zune-branded devices are going to follow this first flagship model—portable video players and game devices.

Microsoft is thinking about "'seven or eight' wireless scenarios" that they could possibly enable on the Zune, some of which are browsing other users' libraries, buying and downloading songs w/o a PC and viewing a "digital locker". Like reports said earlier, MS is focusing on collabrative and sharing with the Zune, allowing users to "view each other's playlists" and "recommend music and sample tracks".

What's also fairly surprising is that they say music will be the first content offered by their online service, with video coming later. That probably means no equivalent of the iTunes TV shows or Music Videos until later. The music service isn't going to be related to MSN Music, which may wither and die with this Zune service taking its spotlight.


Here's how the Zune fits into Microsoft's big picture alongside devices like the Xbox 360 and Windows Media smartphones:

That scenario is to provide ubiquitous access to digital media from a wide range of Windows-powered devices in what ultimately aspires to be one part MySpace, one part iTunes and one part Xbox Live.

More news as we get it.

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Peter Kirn

Let's see, we've got a logo that looks like some sort of MENSA puzzle, an absurdly alien product name (that does, nonetheless, rhyme with a Frank Herbert novel), a strategy that's completely vague (it'll ... let you ... play music ... on Windows ... and there will be magic wireless ... something), yet still seems completely off-course (buy it for collaborative music listening and Xbox 360!). The only thing you can say for sure is that it won't work on Linux and Mac and when it does ship for Windows, it'll likely be incomplete and late.

Yep, that's the Microsoft we know and love.