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Microsoft looks to combat Apple globally with Zune content

post #1 of 57
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Microsoft will launch its media brand outside of the U.S. for the first time this week, with the debut of the Zune content purchasing service for the Xbox 360.

Microsoft will introduce the Zune brand on its Xbox 360 game console in 18 markets Tuesday, including the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Australia, according to the Financial Times. The new service will include instant streaming of high definition movie purchases. The digital movie service will come under the Zune name, representing the first time it has been used by Microsoft overseas.

There is no indication, however, that Microsoft intends to take the Zune hardware -- namely, the relatively well received Zune HD -- on a global scale. The brand introduction is for licensed content only.

That the service is available on the Xbox 360 makes it more of a competitor to the iTunes and Apple TV pairing than Apple's market-dominating iPod lineup. The acquisition of licensing agreements has slowed expansion of Apple iTunes movie sales into other territories overseas.

Microsoft has reportedly acquired the rights to the "most popular films" from major studios MGM, Paramount and Universal. The Redmond, Wash., software giant has sold more than 10 million Xbox 360s in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.



Christine Heckart, general manager for TV, video and music marketing at Microsoft, told the Financial Times that the company intends to employ a "three screens" approach for the Zune service, expanding its content to the TV and PC, as well as portable screens like the Zune and mobile phones.



In 2008, Apple went global with iTunes Store movies, delivering them for the first time to the U.K. and Canada. This April, Apple launched the iTunes movie store in Germany, with over 500 Hollywood and German films. Movie rentals can be watched directly on a computer, or streamed to the living room via the Apple TV hardware.
post #2 of 57
I'm down with buying an Apple TV after a new refresh, and a subscription service.

We'll see. \
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post #3 of 57
Interesting move from M$. But we'll have to see if it is not too little, too late.

Time for Apple to bring the attention to the next big thing!
post #4 of 57
The problem in Canada, is there a french province (Québec) and here all the Blu-Ray got a french version of the film. On iTunes, all the film are English only. Even if the film was a french film made by a quebecer. Go see, "polythecnic", a true story of a massacre in a Montreal shcool in the 90's. Go see the comment of the user in iTunes under that film, everybody are obset.

I know Quebec is a small market, but all our music artist are on iTunes, why there is no french film yet? iT's too long. I can't rent film from Apple TV because of that. I know it's coming but it's way too long. I know Alliance vivafilm already got an agreement with Apple for french content but I think they concentrate there effort for the european market.\
post #5 of 57
Have you ever seen a Zune in the wild? Neither have I.
post #6 of 57
What is this Zune I keep hearing about?
post #7 of 57
The one thing Apple lacks in it's strategy... content. Sony realised this in the 80's, as does Microsoft today. Content is king as they say.
You can have the best device in the world, but if you don't have content, it's useless.
Apple beware. Perhaps time to spend some dollar.
post #8 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by zindako View Post

What is this Zune I keep hearing about?

It's for keeping doors open and stopping paper from blowing away, I think.
post #9 of 57
I'm glad to see this happening. Whether or not the Zune is "out in the wild" is pretty irrelevant to this story. The story is that the Zune Service is on the XBOX 360. The 360 is a very good console (not without problems) and is in a lot of hands now. The bottom line is they will sell some content.

This should be considered a good thing by Apple/iTunes users (including me) because it forces Apple to keep working on making iTunes better and the devices more advanced.
post #10 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by gigi View Post

The problem in Canada, is there a french province (Québec) and here all the Blu-Ray got a french version of the film. On iTunes, all the film are English only. Even if the film was a french film made by a quebecer. Go see, "polythecnic", a true story of a massacre in a Montreal shcool in the 90's. Go see the comment of the user in iTunes under that film, everybody are obset.

I know Quebec is a small market, but all our music artist are on iTunes, why there is no french film yet? iT's too long. I can't rent film from Apple TV because of that. I know it's coming but it's way too long. I know Alliance vivafilm already got an agreement with Apple for french content but I think they concentrate there effort for the european market.\

Gigi, it's not just that! True, it's frustrating, I'm with on that one, but think of your monthly bandwidth of 30GB with Videotron, download 8 HD movies and you've busted your limit! That's another thing that has to change, those pesky limits! Even the fastest plan at 50Mbits only has 100GB! You can bust it in less than 4.5hrs at full speed!
post #11 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mosqueda View Post

This should be considered a good thing by Apple/iTunes users (including me) because it forces Apple to keep working on making iTunes better and the devices more advanced.

Yeah cos Apple have a habit of letting their foot off the gas. Slackers
post #12 of 57
And for Microsoft, it's good to see content, but sincerely, without the Zune HD worldwide, what good is that content for? Zune 120GB? Owned that a while ago, but iPod Touch and iPhone are much better video players!
post #13 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft will introduce the Zune brand on its Xbox 360 game console in 18 markets Tuesday, including the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Australia, according to the Financial Times. .

Apple has been really bad at expanding their presence - still no movies in e.g. Norway, and we are blocked from buying them in e.g. the US store. It's a great thing that Microsoft introduces a store like this here, now let's just hope it makes Apple increase their speed to faster than glacial.
post #14 of 57
1) What's a Zune??

2) Too little, too late.
post #15 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by 0xCAFE View Post

And for Microsoft, it's good to see content, but sincerely, without the Zune HD worldwide, what good is that content for? Zune 120GB? Owned that a while ago, but iPod Touch and iPhone are much better video players!

You can play the movies on XBox 360s.... so it's mostly an AppleTV competitor. Which is good, as Apple has been really, really bad on that service outside the US.
post #16 of 57
I'm a little confused by this move. Xbox 360 owners in the UK already have access to streaming and downloadable HD movies.

So I'm guessing that this is just a re-branding exercise? Or a widening of the content available? I've got both an Xbox 360 and an Apple TV. The content available for each is comparable (i.e. pretty poor).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple Insider

The Redmond, Wash., software giant has sold more than 10 million Xbox 360s since the video game console launched in 2005.

It certainly has. 34 million, according to the ever-reliable Wikipedia.
post #17 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by xyzzy01 View Post

Apple has been really bad at expanding their presence

Quote:
Originally Posted by xyzzy01 View Post

Apple increase their speed to faster than glacial.

I'm fairly certain this is not Apple's fault, it's the 'fault' of the studio's who are scared that apple will boss them about.
post #18 of 57
Wouldn't it be better for M$ to serve up content that Gamers would like. I think having bunch content that the xbox demographics are not interested it a waste of time and money, You would think M$ would have spend a little of that money they have understanding who the end customer is and they content they are most interested in.

my kid has a xbox, only because they is what his friend play on and he had no interest in watching of listening to M$ content when we have a nice big TV connect to Satellite. I am not about to hook up his xbox to the system that the rest of us watch TV on.

This is just M$ attempt to get into the Set Top Box market. They want to be the complete system to everyone. I highly doubt that the population at a whole is going to want their gaming system and STB to be one in the same. most games tend to hide out in their rooms or in the basement where the parents do not yell at them for tying up the TV.

Why would people want to pay for multiply content services. it bad enough you have to pay for wired home phone and a cell phone and even that is going away.
post #19 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft will launch its media brand outside of the U.S. for the first time this week, with the debut of the Zune content purchasing service for the Xbox 360...

This sounds more like a side effect of a media contract than an actual strategy from Microsoft. No hardware support, and apparently no master plan.

Besides which, US companies traditionally do lousy at "spreading overseas" as they don't understand the rest off the world. Apple is having a hard enough time as it is. I really doubt Microsoft can do any better even if they were trying their hardest, which this effort doesn't seem to be so far.
post #20 of 57
http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers...MMJTZS1V28HFNV

When you have a product by Pyrus Electronics ahead of you and you're Microsoft you truly don't get the market in you are attempting to own.
post #21 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

It certainly has. 34 million, according to the ever-reliable Wikipedia.


24M are stacked up in a Circuit City warehouse in Oklahoma.
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post #22 of 57
I'm sorry, I thought this site was called APPLE Insider. Who the hell cares about what Microsoft is doing, and why is every third story about them?
post #23 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormchild View Post

I'm sorry, I thought this site was called APPLE Insider. Who the hell cares about what Microsoft is doing, and why is every third story about them?

i totally agree with you
post #24 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormchild View Post

I'm sorry, I thought this site was called APPLE Insider. Who the hell cares about what Microsoft is doing, and why is every third story about them?

Because in the grand scheme of things they matter.

Less and less by the day I'l grant you.
post #25 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormchild View Post

I'm sorry, I thought this site was called APPLE Insider. Who the hell cares about what Microsoft is doing, and why is every third story about them?

Because Apple don't operate in a vacuum... You may live in one, however!

What other organisations do within the same or related spaces as Apple has an impact on Apple, their products, and their services. I'm certainly interested in what MS get up to with the Zune brand. Especially if it gives us a clue as to what the movie studios may be doing in the future.

I'm certainly getting fed up of the fact that films come and go from iTunes rental in the UK. Now, I can't believe this is down to Apple. I've lost count of the amount of times that I've put a film on my 'wish list' to watch later; but found it's no longer available, or buy only.
post #26 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley View Post

Have you ever seen a Zune in the wild? Neither have I.

Yes. I have seen a couple. However they were gifts from vendors to my former companies.
post #27 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Wouldn't it be better for M$ to serve up content that Gamers would like. I think having bunch content that the xbox demographics are not interested it a waste of time and money, You would think M$ would have spend a little of that money they have understanding who the end customer is and they content they are most interested in.

What are you basing this on? Pure speculation?

Microsoft's core market is 18-34 year old males. There's plenty of content on Xbox Marketplace for that demographic, such as free epsidoes of Red vs. Blue and South Park.
post #28 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley View Post

Have you ever seen a Zune in the wild? Neither have I.

Wait...let me check my back pocket....yep, still there! I've probably only seen 6 others, but they were all happy with their choice.
post #29 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve's son View Post

I'm down with buying an Apple TV after a new refresh, and a subscription service.

My AppleTV relocated to the land of the misfit toys.
post #30 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

I'm fairly certain this is not Apple's fault, it's the 'fault' of the studio's who are scared that apple will boss them about.

It's Apple fault for trapping you into iTunes whenever you buy music or whatever from them. The movie studios were actually very smart to hold out unlike the music industry. Now you can rent from Bluray machines and HDTVs themselves from a variety of sources , not just iTunes.
post #31 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Wouldn't it be better for M$ to serve up content that Gamers would like. I think having bunch content that the xbox demographics are not interested it a waste of time and money, You would think M$ would have spend a little of that money they have understanding who the end customer is and they content they are most interested in.

Their latest big-title gaming offer on the Zune HD is Project Gotham Racing: Ferrari Edition. For a mobile game, it's actually very good and the graphics are great and smooth. A good deal of levels, challenges, cars to unlock, etc. Best part is that it's free!
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post #32 of 57
What I would like to see is a common DRM protection scheme for video. Who sells you the movie shouldn't determine what devices can play it. Obviously I'd rather have no DRM, but that doesn't look very likely at this time.

That is the major reason why I haven't purchased movies from Apple or otherwise online, and wont purchase from Microsoft if they make their service available to me. The stated reason for having DRM is to prevent piracy, but the real purpose is to lock us into purchasing products solely from one company. These are anticompetitive practices that use piracy as an excuse to exist, when in fact the current forms of DRM encourage piracy because you get a better product with fewer restrictions. In my mind, if DRM laden content is to be successful, it has to be transparent. DVD's have been protected for years, but who you purchase a DVD from doesn't determine what DVD brands of DVD players can play the DVD (aside from region restrictions of course).
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post #33 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by 0xCAFE View Post

Gigi, it's not just that! True, it's frustrating, I'm with on that one, but think of your monthly bandwidth of 30GB with Videotron, download 8 HD movies and you've busted your limit! That's another thing that has to change, those pesky limits! Even the fastest plan at 50Mbits only has 100GB! You can bust it in less than 4.5hrs at full speed!


Take Bell internet they offer 50 Gb of bandwith.

And Videotron for 15$ more you got an extra 30 gb.

I admit this is a non sense, we have to complaint to videotron to increase those limits, with youtube becoming 1080p the demand will increase a lot
post #34 of 57
Can anyone explain why they would launch the zune store, but not the zune itself? Is the next xbox gonna be called zunebox or xbox zune. Makes no sense.
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post #35 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft has reportedly acquired the rights to the "most popular films" from major studios MGM, Paramount and Universal.

Golly, how could Disney miss such a great opportunity?
post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It's Apple fault for trapping you into iTunes whenever you buy music or whatever from them. The movie studios were actually very smart to hold out unlike the music industry. Now you can rent from Bluray machines and HDTVs themselves from a variety of sources , not just iTunes.

Labels just announced record sales, I don't think they do too badly under the direction of Apple.
Studios should do the same if they had any sense.
post #37 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley View Post

Have you ever seen a Zune in the wild? Neither have I.

I've seen a bunch of them - I work in Redmond and used to take the 253 bus. It's a very popular bus with MSofties as it runs from the Bellevue transit center with a few stops along the MSFT campus. I saw loads of drones with their HP laptops and Zune devices. Outside of Redmond? No, I haven't.

However, a very good friend of mine works on the Zune team and I visited him at MSFT a few months ago to have lunch. We compared devices (this before the HD was announced - while he no doubt knew about it, he certainly wasn't free to speak of it). He drooled over the iPhone's interface and loved it. That said, I have to say that I was fairly well impressed with the Zune as well, though I'll likely never get one (I have an iPhone - don't need another media device, plus the Zune isn't likely to support the Mac, despite an errant mention of the possibility here on AppleInsider).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mosqueda View Post

I'm glad to see this happening. Whether or not the Zune is "out in the wild" is pretty irrelevant to this story. The story is that the Zune Service is on the XBOX 360. The 360 is a very good console (not without problems) and is in a lot of hands now. The bottom line is they will sell some content.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

This is just M$ attempt to get into the Set Top Box market. They want to be the complete system to everyone. I highly doubt that the population at a whole is going to want their gaming system and STB to be one in the same. most games tend to hide out in their rooms or in the basement where the parents do not yell at them for tying up the TV.

When Microsoft first announced the Zune and everyone wondered why, I had a pretty good idea. With Apple we have iTunes, the iPod, and the TV. It's a great ecosystem for people who only want to pay for content (I'm one of those - I don't watch much TV and it's far cheaper to subscribe to a handful of shows a la carte than it is to pay $100/month for a bunch of crap I won't watch). Comparatively, Microsoft has the Zune Marketplace, the Zune, and the XBOX 360. Also great for those who want to pay for content, and for about the same price, they also get the added functionality of a console that plays great games, supports more video formats than the Apple TV, and (unlike the TV) has theoretical support for 1080p content. Already Microsoft has a leg up on Apple.

What's one of the biggest complaints I see on these forums about the Apple TV? The lack of DVR support. Microsoft? They haz it. I believe all versions of Windows 7 now come with media center. Toss a cheap TV tuner card or USB stick into a PC and you now have the ability to record television programming that can be streamed to an XBOX 360 or transferred to a Zune for watching remotely.

I believe the Zune was released because Microsoft saw where Apple was going with pushing its way into the living room. Microsoft, in addition to being unable to come up with a though of its own, cannot stand anyone being successful with anything, so they released their own hardware device. They know the Zune will likely never come close to the iPod in sales - but with it, they stand a much greater chance of pushing Apple to the sidelines when it comes to the home theatre experience.
post #38 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers...MMJTZS1V28HFNV

When you have a product by Pyrus Electronics ahead of you and you're Microsoft you truly don't get the market in you are attempting to own.

the pyrus is ahead of some ipods as well...

but then, it has a camera...
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post #39 of 57
As someone with an Xbox 360 already in my living room, the fact that this new service is prepared to stream 1080p video is a winner for me. Until the TV is capable of letting me view full HD videos I just don't have a place or need for it.
post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers...MMJTZS1V28HFNV

When you have a product by Pyrus Electronics ahead of you and you're Microsoft you truly don't get the market in you are attempting to own.

yes, after its initial burst of sales to owners of older Zunes and people on the Redmond bus, the "relatively well received" Zune HD has proved to be a total flop in the marketplace. Behind even SanDisk.

only Ballmer could be dumb enough, despite this, to insist on using its tarnished "brand" as the name for the XBox media store. as if anyone over 30 is ever going to use an XBox (ok, there are a few), and as if teens and gamers are going to pay for any media they can get free instead from filesharing ... oh, right, it is coming to Windows Mobile 7 next year too! another winner!

this sad little Zune "ecosystem" will one day be the symbol of incredible ineptitude of the Ballmer era at MS.
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