Blog Post

Zune To (Finally) Make Its International Debut

After more than a year of speculation, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) is finally launching its Zune brand outside the U.S. and Canada. The company says that the Zune software and related services, including the Zune Marketplace online store and Zune Pass music subscription service, will debut in Europe this fall; for now, Microsoft will not sell the Zune music player abroad.

Microsoft had said for more than a year that intended to take the Zune brand international but said it wanted to focus on developing the Zune business model first. Another reason for the delay was likely the upcoming global launch of Windows Phone 7, which is being closely tied with the Zune and will require Zune PC software to sync music, videos, podcasts, photos and apps, .

Last fall, it said the Zune Video service would be accessible outside the U.S. and Canada for the first time via Xbox Live but said it wouldn’t talk about taking other Zune-related services outside North America. The video service, along with the others, will now be accessible via Windows PCs and Windows Phone 7, in addition to Xbox Live.

The Zune line-up will be different in various foreign markets; for instance, the Zune Pass, which includes unlimited streaming will only be available in the U.K., France, Italy and Spain. It will cost 9.99 euros, or 8.99 pounds, a month. The Zune video service will also now expand to Australia and New Zealand.

And, a movie rental service, which will let people rent movies which they will be able to watch on their PC or on their Windows Phone 7, is going live in yet another set of countries. In all, as we have outlined before, there will be fierce competition. The details are in the release here.

3 Responses to “Zune To (Finally) Make Its International Debut”

  1. Watt, Evs

    Always nice to hear from the marketing dept, Tim! It’s pretty clear from your website/blog that your mission is to spread the love and joy of Microsoft. Hope your being payed by the letter . . .

    Seriously though, I don’t have anything for or against the Zune, I’ve seen two in the real world. One encrusted in hot glued sparkles while the other was an honest to goodness brown Zune. Kid was trying to show his buddy something but they couldn’t get the sound to work. Not sure why.

    But this article is about the service, not the player. “Exclusive content” is pretty much meaningless. Anything worth mentioning is up on youtube within 5 minutes. For free. So why bother. Oh HD 1080p (maybe, your mileage may very). Sorry bud, free is better.

  2. Zune is already available outside the USA. Zune is already on Xbox 360, and i’m already using it on that platform here in the UK. It’s an excellent service! There’s loads of exclusive content, too, like the extended trailer for the movie Avatar which wasn’t available anywhere else — and I get video in full HD at 1080p! Don’t underestimate Zune, as many people have done; it’s brand with amazing potential.