Zune services coming “this calendar year”

zunephone Zune software services have been moved under Enrique Rodriguez, the vice president who currently runs Microsoft’s Mediaroom and Media Center TV businesses. In an hour long interview with CNET’s Ina Fried he dropped some hints on the future of the Zune services on devices other than the actual Zune player.

“Zune the service needs to transcend Zune the device,” Rodriguez said.”The goal is to make non-gaming entertainment a first-class citizen within Microsoft’s business.” That means building better software and gaining scale “a little further out than just in Redmond.”

Microsoft has been saying for some time that it would expand to other “tuners” beyond the Zune player. Rodriguez wasn’t ready to offer details on when the Zune service would come to Windows Mobile, but did say to expect products within this calendar year that take the Zune service beyond just Microsoft’s own line of digital music players.

The Zune hardware team will now report to Tom Gibbons, who also leads the hardware design efforts within Microsoft’s Windows Mobile unit. This is consistent with previous rumours of Microsoft planning to create reference designs for other companies to use.

If the Zune experience is to come to Windows Mobile before the end if the year, it suggests it will ship with Windows Mobile 6.5 rather than wait for 7.  This would mean we could all be getting our Zune on by as early as June 2009, which can only be good news.

Read the full article at CNET here.

Comments