LONDON, September 21, 2010—Microsoft Corp. today announced the further international expansion of Zune, its digital entertainment service. This fall, Zune will expand its music and video footprint and bring the free Zune software, Zune Marketplace online store, Zune Pass 1 music subscription service and enhanced features on Zune.net to customers in the UK and other international markets, providing a comprehensive entertainment experience on Windows-based PCs, on the go with Windows Phone 7 and in your living room through Xbox LIVE. 2
“The integration between Zune, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox LIVE is an exciting advance in our entertainment offering,” said Craig Eisler, corporate vice president, Interactive Entertainment Business Group at Microsoft.“Zune enables users access to the entertainment they want, wherever they want it– and now, more people than ever will be able to enjoy the freedom and flexibility that the Zune service offers."
When the service launches, consumers in the UK will be able to purchase MP3s from Zune Marketplace and listen to them on their Windows-based PC, Windows Phone 7 or any other device that supports MP3 format. Users will also be able to purchase music videos to enjoy on Windows-based PC, Windows Phone 7 and Zune on Xbox LIVE.
Zune Pass <1> ,the monthlymusic subscription service, will also be available for£8.99 providing unlimited download and streaming access to the Zune music catalogue and will be accessible on Windows-based PCs, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox LIVE <2> .
In addition to Zune video on Xbox LIVE, consumers will also be able to rent movies for viewing on their Windows-based PC or choose to synch the rental to their Windows Phone 7. Consumers in the UK will also have the option to purchase download-to-own movies and music videos to watch anywhere - on the big screen with Xbox LIVE, their Windows PC or synch it to Windows Phone 7 to enjoy on the go <3> .
As Zune expands internationally, its music and video service will be tailored for each market. Local experts will programme Zune Marketplace and feature the top songs, videos and unique promotions for each country.
The international expansion of the service is the latest step in a series of milestones for Zune, including powering Bing music search results, the added ability to purchase music and video on theZune.net website and the forthcoming integration with Xbox LIVE and Kinect for Xbox 360. By continuing to integrate Zune across the most important screens to consumers, Zune provides an all-in-one music and video service for users to discover, enjoy and experience their entertainment wherever they want.
The Zune PC software has been upgraded with new features and functionality and will serve as the Windows Phone 7 synchronization client. The new software (version 4.7) will be available for download for free to easily manage your personal collection of movies, music, pictures, podcasts and applications. Zune Software continues to set the standard for entertainment software, providing best-in-class experiences to manage, discover and enjoy digital media with a variety of exclusive features. For example, the Quickplay menu enables immediate access to recently played content, newest additions and personal favourites, and Smart DJ <4> automatically creates playlists from the content on your PC and takes the extra step of mixing in suggested music from the Zune Marketplace . 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.
Zune Marketplace online store is accessible from within the Zune Software and offers the ability to purchase millions of individual tracks or albums from its catalogue, all in MP3 format. Here, consumers can also subscribe to Zune Pass, which provides unlimited downloads and music streaming capabilities to the Zune music library, including content from major music labels including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music and Warner Music Group, as well as well as thousands of independent labels.Zune Marketplace also has a large library of movies from NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution and others.
Zune.net is the perfect resource for consumers as it allows them to download the software and set-up a Zune account with a new or existing Windows Live ID <5> . Zune.net will also provide Web access to Zune Marketplace to purchase music or use a Zune Pass to stream music directly through an Internet browser <6> as well as purchase video content <7> .
<1> Zune Pass available in the US, UK, France, Italy and Spain. Zune Pass is a music subscription service; some Zune marketplace songs and content are not available via Zune Pass. Available content may vary over time.
2Zune Pass on Xbox 360 requires an Xbox LIVE Gold membership and a Zune Pass subscription
3Content available for download on multiple devices may vary over time. Availability of content and video resolution will vary by device
4Only available with Zune Pass
5For cross-screen functionality, the same Windows LIVE ID needs to be used on the Zune PC software, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox LIVE accounts
6Internet browser support for Silverlight required.
7Service features may vary based on market availability
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<7> Service features may vary based on market availability