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Zune Services – Microsoft’s Answer to Apple iTunes will Soon Be Available on Other Devices Karishma Sundaram | , 5:03 p.m. Feb. 14, 2009 2009-02-14

Zune Services are the music services that Microsoft launched towards the tail end of 2006. There are a few components in the Zune brand, including Zune Marketplace, Zune Car Pack, among others. 

What are the Zune services all about?

Zune services are all things multimedia, while focusing mainly on music and video. The services can be used in the form of a software application that is downloaded on to various computing devices. Zune services were mainly intended to connect the user to their library of tracks which were stored in a single location.

A major component of the services includes a discovery module; a user can browse through a massive collection of musical tracks and videos which they can then download and store on their device. The only limitation is in the number; a user can store only ten tracks per month. These can then be rotated or changed the next time around. This particular service is known as the Zune Pass and is essentially akin to a rental.

Zune places a great deal of focus on connection: the service gives the user the ability to connect to various different things, like other people with the same tastes, an extensive musical library, among others, while also acting like a manager of the user’s multimedia content. Zune services have built-in support for a number of file types, allowing the application to organise content effectively and efficiently.

There are standalone players as well, which can be compared to the popular Apple iPods. These players have more hardware options than the software of course, like a speaking dock station for example. The advantage of having such a comprehensive multimedia solution spanning all platforms makes sharing files across them much easier. As all the devices share a common interface, and therefore there is no need to map functions of various applications to suit the others. 

What lies ahead?

Microsoft is slated to release Zune services for other platforms later this year. Thus expanding their compatible devices, Microsoft will rival Apple iTunes more effectively as a potentially more prolific service. Mac loyalists may of course remain true to the iPhone and the iTunes, but that will not necessarily apply to the other mobile handset manufacturers.

In addition to releasing the Zune services for other platforms, Microsoft will be boosting the services, adding more features and expanding its functionality to attract a greater clientele. Even though Microsoft has been avoiding comment, speculation that the Zune division is suffering due to the economic downturn is rife.

There may also be a possibility of Microsoft releasing a Zune services-based phone. This may not be the case, although it is quite possible that the newest upcoming release of Windows Mobile will have a Zune port. There are certainly many changes afoot, as Windows Mobile 6.5 is set to have a new designed interface. 

Check out the Zune services, at their website, along with the various hardware and software options that the company is offering. All in all, the services are enticing, but if the company is facing trouble, then the future of this particular service may be in question.

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