During this weekâ€™s Zune Insider Podcast #84 (Subscribe here) Microsoftâ€™s Dave McLauchlan announced a partnership with United Airlines which will see 500 Zune HD devices loaned to passengers on long flights. The devices will be preloaded with exclusive content like movies that have played on theaters but not yet released to DVD. The two companies already have a deal whereby Microsoft Zune provides customized music channels to the airline carrier. I like this effort because Microsoft is finally exposing the Zune to a wider audience and more than likely, the passengers are going to enjoy the devices and and want to know more about them, tell their friends about it and even maybe purchase one for themselves. With United agreeing to this trial, it means, IMHO, that they must have been happy with the initial Zune music services in order for them to give the hardware a chance. This could also be used as a gateway for the introduction of Windows Phone 7 concept to the masses.
During the same show, Mr. McLauchlan, announced that more apps and games were coming all of which would be free and if anyone had ideas for games and apps, he could be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter at @DaveMacMS. So, if you are one of those people who have been yearning apps or games on the Zune HD, please let him know.