After more than a year of speculation, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) is finally launching its Zune brand outside the US and Canada. The company says that the Zune software and related services, including the Zune Marketplace online store and Zune Pass music subscription service, will debut in Europe this fall; for now, Microsoft will not sell the Zune music player abroad.
Microsoft had said for more than a year that it intended to take the Zune brand international, but said it wanted to focus on developing the Zune business model first. Another reason for the delay was likely the upcoming global launch of Windows Phone 7, which is being closely tied with the Zune and will require Zune PC software to sync music, videos, podcasts, photos and apps.
Last fall, it said the Zune Video service would be accessible outside the US and Canada for the first time via Xbox Live but said it wouldn’t talk about taking other Zune-related services outside North America. The video service, along with the others, will now be accessible via Windows PCs and Windows Phone 7, in addition to Xbox Live.
The Zune line-up will be different in various foreign markets; for instance the Zune Pass, which includes unlimited streaming, will only be available in the UK, France, Italy and Spain. Get the full story at Paidcontent.co.uk