Microsoft’s music and movies service, Zune, has only been available in the US, however this is set to change very soon as Microsoft have announced they will be bringing it to the UK in autumn.
The iTunes competitor will be available on the Xbox 360, your PC and most importantly for us, your Windows Phone 7 device, where you’ll be able to choose between the Zune Marketplace for downloading your media, or by paying a monthly subscription for Zune Pass.
Zune Marketplace is much the same as other online stores, such as Amazon and the aforementioned iTunes, where you’ll be able to purchase music and movies from labels including Sony, EMI, Warner and Universal, and studios such as Paramount, NBC Universal and Warner Bros. Files won’t be stuffed full of DRM either, so you can use Zune even if you don’t have a Zune MP3 player.
Zune Pass is a subscription service, where £8.99 per month will get you unlimited streaming and downloads. This will work out well if you own all three compatible systems – a PC, Xbox and a WinPho7 phone – as they will all share the ability to stream music.
What the UK won’t be getting though, is the Zune HD player, but we will have all the lovely new Windows Phone 7 handsets instead, and it’s clear that Microsoft want to compete with Apple in the UK by offering a similar all-in-one service.
Will the appearance of Zune bring new buyers to Windows Phone 7? We’re not sure, but we do think it will be a deciding factor for those still on the fence about Microsoft’s latest venture.