Zune expands to Europe, beyond

Microsoft has announced they are expanding their Zune product offerings this fall to international markets including the U.K., Mexico, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The latest Zune software upgrade (version 4.7) will be available in 20 countries improving management of videos, music, photos and podcasts. The latest software allows streaming of high-definition movies from Zune Marketplace to your PC. Zune Marketplace has digital distribution deals with Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. among others to sell or rent titles.

Along with expansions into different international markets will come custom music and video playlists selected to reflect what’s popular in a particular country.

[From Microsoft]: The fall 2010 international expansion of the Zune music and video service includes the following:

•Zune Marketplace will extend services to several markets in Europe and beyond.

◦ Zune Pass (U.K., France, Italy and Spain). The monthly music subscription service will be available for 9.99 euros /8.99 pounds per month for unlimited download and streaming access to the Zune music catalog and will be accessible on Windows-based PCs, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox LIVE. The offer in the U.S. will remain at $14.99 per month for unlimited downloads and streaming access, with the ability to keep 10 MP3s per month.

◦ Music purchase (U.K., France, Italy, Spain and Germany). Expansion to these markets will enable consumers to purchase MP3s and listen on their Windows-based PC, Windows Phone 7 or any other device that supports MP3 format. Users will also be able to purchase music videos to enjoy on Windows-based PC, Windows Phone 7 and Zune on Xbox LIVE.

◦ Video purchase (U.K., France, Germany, Canada, Australia and New Zealand).Consumers will now be able to purchase movies to download and watch anywhere — on the big screen in the living room with Xbox LIVE or their Windows-based PC as well as sync it to their Windows Phone 7 to enjoy on the go.

◦ Movie rental (U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Mexico, Canada, Australia and New Zealand).In addition to Zune video on Xbox LIVE, consumers in these countries will now be able to rent movies for viewing on their Windows-based PC or choose to sync the rental to their Windows Phone 7.

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