Friday, February 13, 2009

Windows Mobile 6.5 Leaks Show New Signs of Life for Zune

Well there was quite a stir up at the Zune offices today. At first, we thought we might be losing some members of the Zune team, but now it looks like Microsoft might just e so impressed with what they’ve done that it’s looking to spread Zune’s influence to other areas. These “leaked” WM6.5 screens show a nifty little icon for a marketplace. Combine that with the acknowledgement that the Zune team was split-up into software and services and hardware divisions, one of which (hardware) is being headed up by Tom Gibbons who is coincidentally also in charge of Windows Mobile hardware, and you’ve got an interesting scenario on your hands.

We’ve even got the software and services head-honcho saying that they are definitely looking to expand the Zune experience to other services and devices outside of just a portable media player. This news goes along very nicely with the alleged Project Pink as well as the inclusion of the on-board MP3 trimmer. I for one couldn’t be more excited. The Zune subscription model is a great way to find new music and now that they’re giving you 10 DRM-free tracks every month in addition to unlimited music downloads, it’s well worth it. My Zune is the main reason I don’t use iTunes or the music functions on my iPhone so having it in WM is a sure-fire way to put up a fight against the iPhone as well as branch out the Zune subscriber base to a group that might have otherwise never gotten to experience it.

If Microsoft’s press conference at MWC wasn’t already one of the most anticipated, it sure is now. And they need it. With the Pre going from unknown to highly anticipated and some new iPhone casing showing up as well as RIM’s never-ending onslaught of revision to the Curve, Microsoft needs to show WM-loyalists why they shouldn’t be tempted. Just a few more days and all will be unveiled…hopefully.

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