Zune MVP Marques Lyons has organized an Xbox LIVE Community Playdate for the Zune Nation. Join the Zune team and MVPs in playing Full House Poker on Friday, May 6, 2011 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. PST / 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. EST. The current list of confirmed guests can be found after the jump.
Updated: Zune Insider, the official podcast of Microsoft’s media service, has a brand new website. In addition to a visual overhaul, the new website includes basic social media integration. The right-hand column includes the most recent Facebook updates from Zune, as well as what’s being said about the service on Twitter. The new site also makes it much easier to share articles and podcast episodes on social networks.
Our sister site ZuneBoards noticed a tweet from 2PlayMobile, who claims to have been contracted by Microsoft to develop new apps for the Zune HD. While the tweet only mentions two new games, their website, which has since been updated, referenced three titles: Bug Splatter, Tuginator, and Young Ninja. Next to nothing is known about these games, but ZuneBoards has a few theories.
Microsoft has continued to release new apps on a regular basis since the launch of the Zune HD on September 15, 2009. The most recent wave hit the Marketplace less than two weeks ago. It is unknown when, if ever, these games will be released, but it’s nice to know that Microsoft continues to support such a great device.
Every few months, Microsoft surprises Zune HD owners with a few new apps. A few hours ago, our good friend Travis Pope noticed two new apps in the Zune Marketplace: Email and BBQ Battle. While the former title is somewhat bland, the utility itself is extremely useful. The game, essentially a picnic-themed tower defense title, is fun too.
We don’t usually post block quotes, but we feel this needs to be heard directly from the source. Dave McLauchlan, Senior Business Development Manager for Zune, stopped by our forums to give an official statement on the “Zune is dead” rumor that took the internet by storm. Here’s what he had to say…
Goodbye to the social. According to several reputable-ish sites, the Zune HD obviously is no more, and there will probably be no more new Zune hardware players. It doesn’t come as a real shock, looking at the stepmotherly way Microsoft treated its Zune devices for the longest time. No international availability, no marketing/awareness/advertisements, no real updates in a long time, too crippled and locked down for many people’s needs, and so on. The software side of things however should live on (for now), on the Xbox and Windows Phone 7, which seems to be a somewhat safer way than competing directly with iTunes and iPods. Seems the whole Zune platform was just a long term sandbox for Microsoft testing the waters for more lucrative device implementations. Current Zune fans will not be amused. Good luck for your future endeavors.
Via Bloomberg, Engadget, PCMag. Check the forum thread for discussions.
Northernmost of all North Americans, rejoice – you too can now be part of the “Social”. Straight from Microsoft’s business development department, the Zune HD is now officially available in Canada, in three glorious capacities (16, 32, 64GB) and seven wonderful colors. Personal disfigurement customization via engravings is a possibility as well.
Of course the Zune HD has been sold unofficially in Canada for quite some time already, but now it’s all legit, more or less – yet availability of the online store, subscription service, and all that might still be missing. Head over to Zune Originals for more info. Personally, I can’t verify how well that works. Me being in Europe, the site rudely screams “ACCESS DENIED” in 40 point bold font at me when I try to access it. I feel a bit sad, not being part of the “Social”, but that’s how the story goes.
Read more about it in the forum thread.
After years of waiting, Mac support for Zune has finally arrived. Dubbed the Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac, this application lets you synchronize your iTunes library with your Windows Phone (as the name implies) or, believe it or not, your Zune HD. The application has been beta since late October, and you may remember us reporting on how to unofficially set it up via the command line earlier last month. But the final version (which officially includes support for the Zune HD) has only been out for a few days.
At Zuneboards they are giving away two Kicker speaker docks for the Zune: the ZK350 and the ZK150. If you recall my two reviews on them, they are very impressive- so you don’t want to miss these. The rules are simple just make a image signature on Zuneboards with anything kicker in it. No graphic talent needed, one Kicker dock will be chosen for the best signature and one will be chosen at random just for participating. Check out Zuneboards for the details.
But wait there is more!
Not to leave ABI out of this, we will give away the ZK500 here on ABI in a similar fashion. Simply create Zune HD wallpaper with anything Kicker in it. Details in the Zune Forum.
Forum member nate8nate found out that the Zune HD’s closed ecosystem might be not so closed after all. By installing Windows 7 Phone Connector for OS X and enabling the Zune via commandline he managed to successfully connect to his Mac, and transfer files to the player.
Let’s see how long it takes until that awesome undocumented feature dangerous bug is removed, for your own safety and convenience. Or maybe it’s a sign that Microsoft is loosening its iron grip on their walled garden a bit. Well, that was enough metaphor abuse for one day. Either way, rumors about Zune HD support for Mac have been around for quite a while already – of course support for Zune Marketplace on Mac is a whole other issue.
Check out the full instructions in the forum thread.