We’ve known for a while that the Zune HD would have a Marketplace. But this has always been a confusing prospect: is this the same Marketplace to be found on Windows Phone devices in October? And, is the Zune HD a precursor to Windows Mobile 7 with its new interface and multi-touch display?
It turns out that for now, at least, the Marketplace on Zune will feature mostly free apps developed in-house by Microsoft. Apps will include things like Twitter, Facebook, and some 3D games. These are slated to show up later this year. For now, users can get more basic widgets and games from the Marketplace.
At this time, Marketplace for Zune and Marketplace for Windows Phones will remain separate. This is because apps that work on a “sometimes” connected device (that’s the Zune) may not work on an “always” connected device (like a phone). That, plus the fact that the Zune HD uses different software and drivers than those found on Windows Phone, and you can see why there will be no integration.
That said, it’s possible that one day we may see both marketplaces merge so that you can essentially run sweet 3D Zune games on your Windows Phone, and run Windows Phone apps on your Zune.
We expect delivery of a Zune HD later today. We’ll be doing coverage of the Marketplace to try to make some predictions of what Microsoft has in store for this sweet mobile device as it pertains to Windows Mobile. Plus, we’re curious as to how the internet browsing experience of the Zune HD compares to that of IE Mobile in Windows Mobile 6.5.