Microsoft considers extending Zune services to Apple users

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Some services currently exclusive to Microsoft's Zune platform, such as subscription music downloads, could be extended to Apple products like the iPod in the future, a new report has suggested.



Jose Pinero, director of communications for Microsoft's TV, Video and Music Business, told Mary-Jo Foley of ZDNet that his company is considering whether to port Zune software and services to other platforms, like those offered by Apple. In addition to the Zune HD hardware, Microsoft also creates accompanying software for purchasing and playback of music, as well as syncing with the device. Such software is not currently available for Mac, nor does it sync with the iPod for Windows users.



Pinero declined to elaborate on whether any potential expansion could allow Zune subscriptions to be synced with the iPod, though Foley noted that her Zune Pass subscription works with a Sony Walkman MP3 player. It's also possible that the Zune desktop media player could be ported to the Mac.



"We are evaluating a lot of options in terms of platforms," was all Pinero said.



Yet another possible option could be an iPhone/iPod touch application. Rhapsody's App Store offering currently allows subscribers to stream its music library to their handheld device.



Mac and Linux users can already stream music from a browser as part of the new Zune 4.0 software, if they have a Zune Pass subscription. For $14.99 per month, customers can also choose 10 songs per month to keep forever, even after the subscription is canceled. It is currently only available in North America.



Though it has been rumored numerous times over the years, iTunes does not currently offer an "all you can eat" subscription music service like Zune Pass. Such plans from Microsoft and Rhapsody charge a flat monthly rate to allow access to the entire catalog of music, and that content remains accessible on a computer and portable media players as long as the subscription is in good standing.



After launching last month, the Zune HD garnered mostly positive reviews, praising its slick design and compelling features like Wi-Fi syncing and HD radio. Microsoft has said it intends to release at least one more update to the Zune hardware, but beyond that, it views the market as mostly a software and services platform.



"So what would it mean to take the Zune experience to Apple users?" Foley asked. "Simply make it easier for iPods/iTouch devices to connect to Zune Pass and to run the Zune software? I didn’t get any more specifics from Pinero."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 161
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    why not just write an iphone app to buy a zune pass and listen to music?
  • Reply 2 of 161
    OK, Microshaft, how much do you want me to pay you, NOT to release any Zune services, software etc



    We don't any bug ridden, user unfriendly software. I know its difficult to change a habit of lifetime, but people are fed up with your sub standard software. Thank You.
  • Reply 3 of 161
    dluxdlux Posts: 666member
    As much as I dislike Microsoft and all that they stand for, I hope the Zune is marginally successful. Not because I aspire to ever get one, but simply to keep Apple on their toes and keep price pressure on the iPod. Competition, and all that...
  • Reply 4 of 161
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member
    We don't need it. Really.
  • Reply 5 of 161
    Maybe we'll have to wait as long as MSN Messenger with video
  • Reply 6 of 161
    It would be awfully funny if they did.



    Because then Zune media services would have better integration with iPods than XBoxes, Live Marketplace and Windows PCs. (Microsoft's media service integration is an embarrassing mess, despite Live on the 360 being a damn good service and well worth the annual subscription).
  • Reply 7 of 161
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fonejacker View Post


    OK, Microshaft, how much do you want me to pay you, NOT to release any Zune services, software etc



    We don't any bug ridden, user unfriendly software. I know its difficult to change a habit of lifetime, but people are fed up with your sub standard software. Thank You.



    To blindly profess that all software Microsoft writes is crap is to rob yourself of ability to believe that competition encourages your favorite company to innovate.
  • Reply 8 of 161
    ulfoafulfoaf Posts: 175member
    Just the reason I buy iPods, so I can use lousy Microsoft services. Funny!
  • Reply 9 of 161
    ulfoafulfoaf Posts: 175member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post


    To blindly profess that all software Microsoft writes is crap is to rob yourself of ability to believe that competition encourages your favorite company to innovate.



    One word: History.

    Windows 3 was pretty good, but those were simpler times.

    Windows 9X and XP Home should not have been unleashed on the world without security measures. I believe they thought it too complex an issue for an average user, and chose to ignore the issue. Very arrogant.



    The Windows 95 interface was nice, but they pretty much copied what Silicon Graphics was already doing.



    I'll believe they can write good software when I see it. Windows 7 is being hyped now. Maybe they have been pushed by Apple. Nothing wrong with competition, Microsoft just isn't used to it!
  • Reply 10 of 161
    I one that would welcome this change with open arms! I am an iPhone customer who loves the idea of the Zune Pass, $15 a month and you get to keep ten songs of your choice. The Zune HD is an impressive device, but since I have an iPhone, and Microsoft is touting Zune as a software platform rather than hardware, it doesn't make sense for me to carry around two devices that do nearly the same thing.



    However, in light of Rhapsody getting accepted into the app store, I may not have to worry about it at all. Using the Zune software on the iPhone would be a fantastic thing - best of both worlds.
  • Reply 11 of 161
    justflybobjustflybob Posts: 1,337member
    Dear Microsoft,



    We don't need your stinking Zune's services. Period.



    Don't go away mad....



    ...just go away!.



    Now, please?
  • Reply 12 of 161
    Quote:

    I'll believe they can write good software when I see it. Windows 7 is being hyped now. Maybe they have been pushed by Apple. Nothing wrong with competition, Microsoft just isn't used to it!



    Okay, how about another history lesson. Remember IBM? They were the top dogs in the industry long before Microsoft had its reign. People laugh and point at Windows 95 as Microsoft's attempt to "catch up" to the rest of the world. Apple was laughing hysterically at Microsoft at the time, making fun of little facts like "Oh, now they can support long-format names, like we have been doing for 10 years."



    No one had taken Microsoft seriously until Windows 95, and do you know why? Obviously someone liked it, because it fulfilled what the technology industry needed at the time in the consumer market, far superior to anything Apple or anything else had at the time.



    Edit: I don't like defending any company based on its past or present history. Vista was atrocious, and Windows 7 is amazing. Just like Tiger was a mess and Leopard is terrific. If a company makes a good product, who cares about its past? Hell, Apple's OS 9 was utter crap. Are you telling me I should judge the company today based on something they made 10 years ago??
  • Reply 13 of 161
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by yuusharo View Post


    Okay, how about another history lesson. Remember IBM? They were the top dogs in the industry long before Microsoft had its reign. People laugh and point at Windows 95 as Microsoft's attempt to "catch up" to the rest of the world. Apple was laughing hysterically at Microsoft at the time, making fun of little facts like "Oh, now they can support long-format names, like we have been doing for 10 years."



    No one had taken Microsoft seriously until Windows 95, and do you know why? Obviously someone liked it, because it fulfilled what the technology industry needed at the time in the consumer market, far superior to anything Apple or anything else had at the time.



    Edit: I don't like defending any company based on its past or present history. Vista was atrocious, and Windows 7 is amazing. Just like Tiger was a mess and Leopard is terrific. If a company makes a good product, who cares about its past? Hell, Apple's OS 9 was utter crap. Are you telling me I should judge the company today based on something they made 10 years ago??



    Zune HD is about to fall out of the top 10 in Amazon's mp3 player rankings.



    It's sinking fast.



    This is just not an area Microsoft will ever get. They've had a decade to get it.
  • Reply 14 of 161
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    We don't need it. Really.



    HaHA- I was waiting how long before I saw your typical MS hate diatribe. (4th post- not bad)



    Now do we really think Apple would open up the iPod to this? Apple would probably jailbreak our iPods if we dare add this.
  • Reply 15 of 161
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    Zune HD is about to fall out of the top 10 in Amazon's mp3 player rankings.



    It's sinking fast.




    Really? Then why is it always sold out at Best Buy here in NY?
  • Reply 16 of 161
    dluxdlux Posts: 666member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    Really? Then why is it always sold out at Best Buy here in NY?



    Perhaps because they don't stock many?



    There's a difference between Amazon's actual sales rankings and anecdotal inventory reports from a single physical retailer.
  • Reply 17 of 161
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dlux View Post


    Perhaps because they don't stock many?



    There's a difference between Amazon's actual sales rankings and anecdotal inventory reports from a single physical retailer.



    Or maybe because it's like an actual good device that garnished decent reviews and that like people are actually buying?
  • Reply 18 of 161
    yuusharoyuusharo Posts: 311member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    Zune HD is about to fall out of the top 10 in Amazon's mp3 player rankings.



    It's sinking fast.



    This is just not an area Microsoft will ever get. They've had a decade to get it.



    Part of the reason for that is because the Zune HD is only available in the United States, while the iPod is sold worldwide. I'm not keen as to why MS has limited the sales only to home, but I suspect it has to do with the fact that they see the Zune as a software/subscription platform, and much less a hardware device. Microsoft is a platform company, after all, dabbling in console gaming, mobile, and of course, the desktop. To them, it would seem that selling the Zune hardware in countries that can't access the Zune software wouldn't make much sense (they realize that without the subscription, the iPod would just kill them).



    In a few years, Zune is going to be known less as a device, and more as an entertainment brand. They're already adding Zune capabilities to the Xbox, and have plans to add it as the media functions running on top of Windows Mobile and, possibly, other devices as well. We may see it replace Media Center and Media Player in a future version of Windows, unifying all the media abilities of the operating system to the one brand.



    That's why it makes sense to extend the Zune service to Apple users. If they make the brand available to Mac and iPhone users as a viable subscription-based alternative to iTunes, that could be a very, very big deal. Not to mention that the record industry would love seeing such strong competition to iTunes, so that Apple won't hold all the cards as Walmart did just a few years ago.
  • Reply 19 of 161
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,016member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    Or maybe because it's like an actual good device that garnished decent reviews and that like people are actually buying?



    Right... like the old Zune? People bought those too only to use them as doorstops a few months later due to Microsoft's inability to create a decent interface and their amazing ability to over-hype a product.
  • Reply 20 of 161
    mac31mac31 Posts: 44member
    This is similar to why I never wanted a Blackberry. It has taken the rise of iPhones and iPods for other companies to finally even *consider* writing their software for the Mac. It's stupid.



    I feel that the iPhone and iPod are products made especially for my needs, aka, seamless syncing with my Apple computer. RIM and Micro$oft have taken tooooo long in their attempts to get friendly with Apple users, so I find NO reason to give either of them the time of day after they've given us the shaft for so many years.
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