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Mobile World Congress Feature Articles

February 17, 2010

Will Zune HD Take the Global Market by Storm?


Microsoft is not about the let Apple enjoy the limelight when it comes to portable media players and smartphones. The company’s highly-rated ZuneHD portable media player is now a phone.

 
At MWC 2010, Microsoft’s (News - Alert) press event, the Zune phone finally took center stage, welcomed by a number of approving nods from audience attendees – according to a review in CNET.
 
This Windows Phone (News - Alert) 7 Series is truly more than simply a Zune HD with a phone added to it. This portable device actually combines some of Microsoft’s most successful products, such as Windows Mobile, Zune, Xbox and Microsoft Office – who wouldn’t want this device?
 
As stated in this review, “there's a whole lot of Zune in the Windows Phone mobile OS.” The touchscreen keyboard is unmistakable, while the twist style user interface looks and behaves just like the latest Zune HD portable media player.

While this reviewer, Donald Bell, referred to the Zune media player as now the prologue to the Zune story, he claimed to have had the same feelings when the iPod gave way to the iPhone (News - Alert).

Bell claims to be relieved, however, as Microsoft was certainly challenged in trying to market a portable media player based on sharing and social music features – the main reason there were not an overabundance of Zune users.

There could easily be an explosion in the population of registered Zune users with the inclusion of Zune services on Microsoft’s latest smartphone software. But, is the company facing a too little too late proposition?

Bell doesn’t see it that way and believes the shuffle of all the Windows Phone 7 Series announcements that the Zune’s music and video services will suddenly be available throughout the global market once the supported phones are available in time for the 2010 holidays bode well for the company.

One of the biggest challenges to date is the face that there was limited international exposure of the Zune Video Marketplace for the Xbox 360, Microsoft’s Zune software and music services are strictly confined to the United States.

With some of the industry buzz around dissatisfaction with Windows on mobile devices and the ongoing success of the iPhone and even the BlackBerry (News - Alert), it is still hard to say how much power the Zune HD will have in the global market. The combined offerings are certainly something to consider, but will they be enough of a pull?
 
The company continues to throw millions at the Zune phone and it is believed to be a good investment. Microsoft seems convinced one use and even die-hard iPhoners will be hooked. Only time – and use – will tell!

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi










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