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Blackberry Mobility Featured Article

February 22, 2010

Microsoft to Integrate Zune Software into Windows Phone 7 Devices

By Patrick Barnard, Group Managing Editor, TMCnet

Microsoft (News - Alert) is going to be integrating its Zune music player software into all mobile devices running its new Windows Phone 7 operating system, according to a Reuter’s report.

That means consumers who buy Windows Phone (News - Alert) 7 mobile phones will be able to connect to the Zune service and download music and videos directly to their mobile phone, which in this case also serves as the music player.

The move is an attempt by Microsoft to boost sales of Zune, which only has about 2 percent share of the portable music player market, compared to the iPod’s 70 percent.

In November, Microsoft added the Zune video service to its Xbox Live network, thus giving the approximately 20 million Xbox users worldwide access to Zune videos. As a result, the number of daily HD video downloads and streams have doubled, the company reports.

By integrating Zune with the Windows Phone 7 platform, Microsoft has an easier path to bring Zune to mobile customers outside of the US.

But as the Reuter’s report points out: “For this strategy to work, Microsoft will have to turn around its equally struggling mobile phone business. According to technology research and consulting firm Gartner (News - Alert), Windows Mobile handsets rank fourth in worldwide smart-phone sales, at 7.9 percent, as of third-quarter 2009, down from 11 percent a year earlier and behind Nokia, BlackBerry parent Research in Motion and Apple (News - Alert).”

Integrating a music player with a mobile phone makes sense for consumers in that it eliminates an extra device – the music player – which in turn offers convenience and helps consumers save money up-front on the hardware.

Patrick Barnard is a senior Web editor for TMCnet, covering call and contact center technologies. He also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet e-Newsletters in the areas of robotics, IT, M2M, OCS and customer interaction solutions. To read more of Patrick's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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