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Building A Bridge For the Zune

2421976391_30e1006d0b The great forces at Microsoft have done a great job of keeping the world of Zune apart from the ecosphere of the Xbox.  In retrospect, the was probably not the best idea, and there may be an effort to bridge the gap.

A job listing, found by CNET, indicates that they are looking to hire at least one new person at Microsoft to bring our beloved Zune into the Xbox family.  What can we hope for out of this?  The job posting gives us a hint:

We are looking for a strong, collaborative designer to work closely with the creative directors to propose innovative designs and content solutions for the Zune Device UI, Zune Xbox and Zune PC Application. You will be part of a small, but experienced, design team working with multiple feature teams to help ship exciting and emotionally engaging products for Zune.

Some are speculating that this will evolve into a Zune service for mobile phones.  Whatever direction this goes in, integration between these product lines can only be a good thing.  If you have 3+ years of experience in this type of thing, and are willing to move out to Redmond, WA, than this just might be the right opportunity for you!


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Robbie Bach interviewed: No Zune phone coming, but possibility of touchscreen Zune in the future

Zunelogo Robbie Bach, Microsoft's president for entertainment and devices was recently interviewed by the SFGate and dropped some interesting tidbits of information touching a wide variety of Microsoft products.

First off, the fabled Zune phone is just not going to happen, commenting that “we don't make phones ourselves. We don't have any plans to make phones ourselves.” But was also quick to point out that the Zune is more than just a product, but instead a platform which means we could see it integrated into other Microsoft products in the future. So while we may not be getting a Zune phone, we may be able to get a version of the Zune software on a Windows Mobile based phone. Bach even went as far as stating that "the Windows Mobile Team has even asked how Zune could work better with Windows Mobile."

Next up was dealing with what we may be getting in the future in terms of the Zune itself. There was not much to sum up here, as he stated it very clearly, so I will let his words speak for themselves.

“Take the device independent for a second and just assume that over time where there's a screen, touch will be part of it. It's not going to matter what the product line is. You're going to see it be a cornerstone of the work we do.”

So, based on this interview it seems pretty clear that Microsoft has no major announcement in the works for tomorrow in an attempt at stealing some of Apple's thunder, but it does give us Zune fans something to look forward to in the future. I for one would love to see a Zune Touch.

Bach also covered a variety of other topics to include further debunking the recent rumor about a Blu-ray drive coming for the Xbox 360. Head on over to SFGate.com to check out the rest of the interview.

[SFGate]


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Pre-Order Your Zune-Halo 3 Now

The Zune – Halo 3 special edition is available for pre-orders at Gamestop-Ebgames now. The players will be shipped on June 15th, 2007. The special edition comes loaded with a collection of "Halo" content, including videos, soundtracks, trailers, ads and artwork. The game itself will only be available only on September 25th, 2007.

If you are not convinced about this edition of the Zune, you can have a look at this video made by the Zuneinsider. He's unboxing the Zune-Halo 3 for you. The Zune's packaging for this special edition is really great. The artwork is amazing.

With those really cool special editions, a really think that Microsoft is reaching something Apple was never able to do with the iPod. Sure, they had special editions like the iPod-U2 version but Apple is too much self-centered on their own designs that they can't easily co-brand products like Microsoft can do.

Update: The guys from gearlive were lucky enough to put their hands on a copy of the Zune-Halo3. Here's their photo review of the new special edition Zune.

Here are more pictures of the Zune if you haven't seen them yet.

More details about the content bundled with the Zune-Halo 3 after the jump.

Continue reading "Pre-Order Your Zune-Halo 3 Now" »


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Microsoft Entertainment System Patent Revealed

Microsoft's dream of interconnection and interoperability would work on a multitude of technologies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LAN, UWB, USB or Firewire. What it is going to be in real life? No one can tell! It's still just a Patent application filed by MS! Interesting though

Here's an excerpt of Microsoft's application document.

Microsoftmultigamingsystem_for_xbox

Microsoft filed a Patent application that describes the future of the gaming console and the networking interoperability between different kinds of portable devices. According to Microsoft's document, any device with a CPU, memory, proper connection interface and software, will be able to connect to the system. This would mean the Xbox 360, Zune, any Window Mobile, PCs and probably pocket PCs as well.

Continue reading "Microsoft Entertainment System Patent Revealed" »


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Zune trick: Use the Zune Remote Control With Xbox

Video: Zune Remote controls an Xbox 360

You bought the Home A/V pack or the remote control? You own an Xbox 360? Well, here the Zune trick! You can use the Zune remote control to control your Xbox with it. Not sure about that? Watch Cesar from Zuneinsider do it.

Thanks for the Zune trick Cesar!


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Robbie Bach: Zune is a multi-years investment project

Robbie-bach-Zune-XboxQ: You've said that the investment horizon for the Xbox is multiple years. What is the investment horizon for the Zune. Is it as long as Xbox?

A: Well, it's of a different nature. First, as we said earlier, the economics of the investment, the size of the investment have a big difference. That's the first point to note. The second point to note is the business works differently. There's new hardware every year. It cycles in a model that's very different from the video game model, where you're sort of in for five or six or seven years and then you've got the next version of the product, and you have the chance to make the next incremental leap. So, by nature, I think the investment horizons and investment cycles are different. On the other hand, I'll say our competitor in the music space has 80% market share. Sony only had 60. So, that's a little different dynamic. I think that's also true. But, yes, it's multi-years, just to get back to your original question. It's definitely multi-year.

An interesting article with Robbie Bach was published by A+E interactive. Robbie Bach is the president of Microsoft, Entertainment and Devices Division (Xbox and Zune). The article is very long but if you want to have a better understanding of Microsoft strategy in the entertainment market, this article is for you. You will also clearly see that the Zune can’t be a “fly by night” and Microsoft is going to back the product for a long time.

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