Microsoft Announces the Expansion of the Zune Entertainment Service to New Platform and Markets; Confirms New Zune HD Portable Media Player

Premium Zune digital entertainment service to be available
internationally on Xbox LIVE.

REDMOND, Wash. — May 26, 2009 — Microsoft Corp. today
announced the evolution of Zune, the company’s end-to-end music and
entertainment service, to a new platform and new markets. Zune will extend its
video service to Xbox LIVE internationally this fall. This marks an important
development in the Zune strategy and brings the Zune brand to more than 17
million international Xbox LIVE subscribers. In addition, Microsoft confirmed
the next generation of the Zune portable media player, Zune HD. Available in the
U.S. this fall, Zune HD is the first portable media player that combines a
built-in HD Radio receiver, high-definition (HD) video output capabilities,
organic light-emitting diode (OLED) touch screen, Wi-Fi and an Internet

“The Zune music player is an integral part of the overall
Zune experience, and we’re proud to be growing and extending our offering
beyond the device,” said Enrique Rodriguez, corporate vice president of the
Microsoft TV, Video and Music Business Group. “Delivering on Microsoft’s
connected entertainment vision, this news marks a turning point for Zune as it
brings cross-platform experiences and premium video content to living rooms
around the world.”

Zune Service Expands to New Platform

Zune will be a premium partner in the Xbox LIVE Video
Marketplace, bringing an exciting catalog of TV and film to the platform. Zune
will occupy the first slot within the Xbox user interface in the Xbox LIVE
Video Marketplace, exposing the Zune brand experience to millions of new
consumers for the first time. At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) next
week, attendees will see firsthand how Zune integrates into Xbox LIVE to create
a game-changing entertainment experience.

Introducing Zune HD

  • Zune HD is the next iteration of the Zune device family and
    brings a new level of listening and viewing experiences to the portable media
    player category.
  • Zune HD comes with a built-in HD Radio receiver so users can
    listen to higher-quality sound than traditional radio on the go. Users also
    will have access to the additional song and artist data broadcast by HD Radio
    stations as well as additional channels from their favorite stations
    multicasting in HD. If you don’t like the song playing on your station’s HD
    channel, switch to its HD2 or HD3 channels for additional programming.
  • The bright OLED touch screen interface allows users to flip
    through music, movies and other content with ease, and the 16:9 widescreen
    format display (480×272 resolution) offers a premium viewing experience on the
  • The HD-compatible output lets Zune HD customers playback
    supported HD video files from the device through a premium high-definition
    multimedia interface (HDMI) audiovisual docking station (sold separately)
    direct to an HD TV in 720p.*
  • Zune HD will include a full-screen Internet browser optimized
    for multitouch functionality.
  • Zune HD is Wi-Fi enabled, allowing for instant streaming to
    the device from the more than 5 million-track Zune music store.

3 thoughts on “Microsoft Announces the Expansion of the Zune Entertainment Service to New Platform and Markets; Confirms New Zune HD Portable Media Player

  1. Does the ZuneHD Support Media Center Extender Functionality? Pretty much a no-brainer given the GPU / CPU in the ZuneHD, but can you confirm if the ZuneHD supports Media Center Functionality? This is sorely needed, as Linksys and HP have killed their extenders off, and we are only left with an *extremly* loud Xbox360 as the choice. Letting the ZuneHD with it’s small form factor and quiet running seems obvious.

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