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The Zune 3.0 update went live today and with it, news that users will have free WiFi access at more than 9,800 McDonald’s via a deal with Wayport. Insert obvious comparisons to Apple’s (NSDQ: AAPL) iTunes deal with Starbucks here. As is the case with that arrangement, much of the success will have to do with ubiquity and ease of use. So far, I can’t get the new update to connect with my home network wirelessly so who knows?
Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) preempted Apple last week with hardware and software news about the Zune. The major features of the software update — good for all three generations of Zune — rely on wireless or are enhanced by it: wireless streaming and downloading from the Zune Marketplace, tagging songs on FM radio and purchasing. New recommendations and programming tech have been added as well, the Marketplace has been enhanced and content from Audible (NSDQ: ADBL) works now, too. Release.
More after I’ve had a chance to explore the updates.