Zune Marketplace Goes International

Posted by at 11:04 pm on September 20, 2010

Microsoft tonight expanded its Zune Marketplace services beyond the US for the first time in the run-up to Windows Phone 7. Its unlimited Zune Pass music, MP3 downloads, video sales and movie rentals will be available in France, Germany and the UK later this fall. Spain will get all but video sales, while Australia, Canada and New Zealand will get both of the video services but no music.

Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands and Switzerland will be limited to movie rentals. Dedicated MP3 players like the Zune HD won’t be coming to the new markets.   Zune itself has had no presence outside of the US except for a brief time in Canada.  

“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.

Every country will get a new version 4.7 update to the Zune desktop app for Windows to sync WP7 devices. Mac users have already been promised basic sync  via a third-party app.   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.

This move will make Windows Phone 7  the only other major smartphone platform besides Apple’s iPhone to have a  closely associated media store and apps.   Google Anroid platform in most cases uses Amazon for music but the ties are much looser than what Microsoft and Apple does with their mobile OSs.   Samsung is work on it own media store for  their  Galaxy phone sbased on Android.

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