Microsoft: Forget ZunePhone, we're aiming for Zune (on) TVs

It's hoping Zune Marketplace can challenge rival iTunes

Rather than building a Zune-branded smartphone, Microsoft plans to take the software and online store it built for its Zune media player and bring them to your television set in the hopes of emulating Apple's phenomenally successful iTunes Store. But it still plans to deviate from iTunes in strategy.

The store, called the Zune Marketplace, offers millions of songs, podcasts, music videos and TV shows for purchase and download. It's accessible to Zune users as well those who've downloaded the software onto their Windows PCs.

That hasn't been enough for critical mass, judging by the US$85 million Microsoft reaped from sales of Zune hardware and music and video downloads during the Christmas quarter. By comparison, the iTunes Store cleared about US$3.5 billion last year, according to Apple's filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Zune Marketplace remains outgunned because the Zune has made little progress against the iPod's dominance. Only two million Zunes had been sold as of May 2008, the last time Microsoft publicly announced figures.

Meanwhile, nearly 200 million iPods have been sold, along with almost 18 million iPhones.

Still, Microsoft hopes it can unshackle the Zune Marketplace and mount a more serious challenge to the iTunes Store.

Instead of building its own ZunePhone, Microsoft is bringing the Zune Marketplace to the upcoming 6.5 version of the Windows Mobile operating system.

Microsoft is "bringing our Zune Service, not the Zune hardware but the Zune entertainment service, to all three screens, PC, phone, and TV," CEO Steve Ballmer told Wall Street on Tuesday (download Microsoft Word transcript). "So it becomes a fundamental part of building a real business around TV sets."

Ballmer's words echoed those of Enrique Rodriguez, the Microsoft vice president in charge of the Zune software, who told CNET earlier this month that "Zune the service needs to transcend Zune the device."

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags zune

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Eric Lai

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?