Microsoft’s attempt at hatching up an iPod competitor back in 2006 didn’t go so well. It launched the Zune music player back on November 14, 2006. Through six years of support, the growing lineup of Zune players outgrew the demand for them (and Windows Phone 7 devices). And so, they were discontinued in 2012. But the music services behind the player went onward. That is, they will be going up to November 15 of this year.
Microsoft is migrating its Xbox and Zune music services into Groove, what’s basically now the unified music client for Microsoft devices. If [...]
The Zune HD won Bronze and Gold awards in the Entertainment and Interactive Product Experiences categories of the 2010 IDEA (International Design Awards). Check out what Michelle Berryman, Echo Visualization, LLC, had to say about the Zune HD’s design:
“In a category dominated by one major brand, the Zune HD is a real game-changer! It’s a remarkable product that redefines interaction models and creates a new standard for ‘great user experience.’ Everything about this product has been well considered and well designed from the packaging to the [...]
The Bing mobile website, m.bing.com, has seen a major update recently. Unfortunately, the update does not work on Windows Mobile Classic, but it will work great on the Zune HD and KIN phones. The update brings Bing’s mobile website a bit closer to the functionality and design aesthetics of the desktop version. It now shows information cards where possible instead of just a list of links as before. Switching from portrait to landscape orientations even resizes and reformats the mobile site. That means you don’t have to pinch/zoom/pan everywhere to make it fit, which is a [...]
A designer named Paul Anders who apparently works on some of the Windows Phone 7 videos recently posted this cool video that shows a little bit about Windows Phone 7’s Zune integration. Check it out below, or at the original link. Do you think this would make a good TV commercial or is it better just on the web?
(via Ramon Trotman)
As you know, J. Allard has announced his retirement from Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division even though there was a lot of creativity and innovation that’s come out of that team lately. Here’s an interesting look at said team that gives some insight into the creative workflow that has spawned products such as Zune, Xbox, and Windows Phone 7.
Folks at the IndiaMIX 2010 conference got a sneak peek of the new Zune Desktop software connected to the Asus Galaxy prototype Windows Phone 7. You can see a few more photos at beingmanana.com, but there’s nothing terribly special going on there. It’s pretty much exactly what you would expect a Windows Phone to look like when connected to the Zune desktop.
Most “smart” phones these days are really dumb when it comes to outdoor screen readability. Sure, the screen looks great when you’re inside with the lights out, but when you’re actually mobile and need to use some mobile-related feature of your phone, it turns out you can’t see anything on the screen. Luckily the KIN phones are designed for people who do have lives that take place outdoors and the screen was designed to accommodate. While it’s not as good as the screens from 10 years ago, it’s still going to be quite usable at the beach or [...]
Just the other day the Zune HD’s App marketplace was updated with two new games; Spades and Hearts, plus new versions of the Twitter and Facebook apps. Here’s a quick look at what’s new. Spades and Hearts are two very similar card games with very nice graphics, while the Facebook and Twitter updates add a very welcome landscape keyboard option.
Since we’re such big fans of the Zune music service, we were very curious and a bit excited about the KIN phones since they’re the first phones to support Zune. Here’s our video comparison between the Zune HD and the KIN Two.
Both devices are paired with a Zune Pass subscription so that you can get the full experience. What’s certainly awesome about having a phone with Zune Pass support built in is that you have streaming Zune pass and music download support from anywhere that you’ve got internet reception. So say you’re in the car and a [...]
Remember how ActiveSync could only sync one phone at a time? Luckily the Zune desktop software won’t have this limitation for Windows Phone 7, KIN, and other Zune devices. As you can see in the screenshots above, we’ve got a Zune HD and a KIN TWO connected to the same Zune desktop software at the same time. It’s very easy to switch between which device you’d like to manage both from the icon in the lower left and the Device management pages.
If Windows Mobile represented Microsoft’s corporate mobile strategy, KIN represents a consumer-centric user experience approach that signifies effortless hardware and software integration in a sleek, comfortable package for novice smartphone users. If Microsoft plays its cards right with hardware partner Sharp and carrier partners Verizon Wireless and Vodafone, KIN may be just the tip of the iceberg in luring users to the more advanced Windows Phone platform, marked by the release of Windows Phone 7 later this year.
At first glance, the KIN can be criticized for [...]
A few new apps for the Zune HD were released last night. They’re now available in the Zune Marketplace. The coolest one is called Labyrinth. This game is similar to Teeter that comes with most HTC devices except the graphics are much more complex. Instead of simply tilting the device to roll a marble through a maze, Labyrinth also adds cool environment graphics and other goals that you have to accomplish within the maze before proceeding to the marble’s destination.
The next game is Solitaire. It’s not the one you’d expect to see on Windows 3.1 or [...]
I’m sorry, but no, this article doesn’t have anything to do with running Zune on your Android (although I think that would be very, very cool).
I started out as a Microsoft Fanboy. Every day I carried my Windows Mobile phone, Zune, and even sported a Microsoft S.P.O.T. watch.
When Android hit version 1.6 I defected from my AT&T Tilt to an Android-powered T-Mobile G1 (and later to the Nexus One) but I was still packing my Zune around with me for months afterward.
Constantly looking for ways to simplify my life with technology, I started replacing [...]
Yesterday, Microsoft released the new Zune HD version 4.5 firmware which adds some great new features including Smart DJ, Picks, new video Codec support, screensaver enhancements, and an updated TV-out interface that includes Marketplace access. The Picks feature shows up in the Marketplace and lists a number of artists that Zune thinks you might like based on your specific listening habits. This is great for discovering new or old music that you may never have known about otherwise. The Smart DJ is equally useful for discovering new music. After you navigate to an artist’s [...]
Microsoft announced today that its newest mobile operating system Windows Phone 7 Series will be open source. The announcement came early this morning out of Redmond stating that developers will be able to create their own programs starting with the official launch of the new operating system in late October.
Steve Ballmer explained that, “With so many social networks now having such a grip on the mobile community it only makes sense that we allow third party developers free range over our newest mobile platform. The Zune HD was an experiment to see how future endeavors [...]
You may have heard that the Zune HD is going to get an upgrade to verson 4.5 soon. Take a look at this video walk through of some of the new features. The new Smart DJ feature and Marketplace access from an HDTV dock are going to be great. Hopefully we’ll see some Smart DJ features in Windows Phone 7 Series as well.
Will Windows Phone 7 Series be able to do this kind of thing? We’re not sure, but take a look at how a tiny little Zune HD can power a nice big high definition television when connected via an HDMI cable and the Zune HD A/V dock. Unfortunately, when the Zune HD is connected to a big screen TV, the interface is simplified a bit and you don’t get access to your applications, internet, marketplace streaming, or social features. Still, being able to play 720p video is pretty cool.
Since Windows Phone 7 Series is going to have some excellent integration with the Zune service, we thought it would be fun to talk a little bit about some of our favorite music that you can easily sample for yourself in the free Zune desktop software. If you’re excited about Windows Phone 7 Series or even the rumored Pink Project phones, you’re probably going to want to check out the Zune services. Of course, Zune becomes much more fun, addicting, and useful when you get the Zune Pass subscription though.
Today I’d like to recommend the “Favorite Metal [...]
Adam Lein and I are huge Zune Pass fanatics. The service cost $15 per month and gives you unlimited music downloads. While you never actually own the music, the awesome software, music selection, and Zune integration (and soon Windows Phone 7 Series integration) all make this trade-off worth it. Also, you get 10 song credits a month that you can use to download tracks that you own forever.
For me, Zune Pass is like a playground. I can spend all day downloading, discovering, and listening to music. With one account, I can access my Zune Pass account from multiple computers with [...]
Yesterday, the Facebook application for the Zune HD was released. Unfortunately there was a bug that didn’t allow it to work properly for most people. That bug has quickly been fixed, and now we’re able to show you how the Facebook app actually works.
It has most of the basic functions you’d expect in a Facebook app. There’s no Photo/Video upload, and you can’t tag photos from here, but there is one extremely cool new feature. You can create news posts about the music you’re currently listening too. The Zune HD will create a link to the [...]
HTC has just released news that they will be developing WP7 Series devices to debut later this year. This new mobile operating system is very user friendly and allows HTC to begin developing technologies that will coincide with Windows Phone 7 Series.
“Windows Phone 7 Series is a significant milestone for Microsoft, the industry and ultimately people looking to do more on their phones. HTC is working closely with Microsoft to bring the unique HTC experience that customers love,” said Peter Chou, chief executive officer of HTC Corporation. “Microsoft has clearly [...]