Microsoft Needs a Windows Phone 7 Based Zune

Today comes word that Samsung is prepping an Android based Galaxy Player. This should come as no surprise as the iPod touch has yet to have any competition when it comes to a media player that offers a multitude of apps. Sure the Zune HD has a handful apps and they are quite good, but that’s not the platform of the future for Microsoft. Windows Phone 7 is the platform of the future and it of course runs the popular Zune software. The sooner Microsoft delivers the Zune 7 running Windows Phone 7, the more users will start embracing the new OS. Developers have started warming up to Windows Phone 7 and a new contract-free Zune is just the medicine needed to seriously ramp up developer interest.
Zune 7

The Zune HD is arguably the best music player on the market. If Microsoft replicates that functionality along with a few improvements and thousands of apps, it will help generate a gateway to the success of Windows Phone. How many iPhone users start as iPod touch owners? I’d venture to say more than a few. Not to mention, you’ve got a current Zune user base that would welcome an upgrade to the Zune line to include access to thousands of apps.

The trouble with the adoption of any phone is the associated cost of a wireless contract. Toss in carrier preferences and you limit the appeal of your product. By removing the wireless carrier component, you remove barriers to adopting Windows Phone 7. You might also get people from other platforms who are more likely to test the waters with a carrier-free Zune product.

Let’s face it, an update to the Zune product is long overdue. CES 2011 is just around the corner and announcing a Zune 7 running Windows Phone would have widespread appeal. It would increase the userbase, get developers excited and possibly get a few converts. Apple’s strategy works and Microsoft would be wise to follow it. For years, people have been calling for the Zune phone. Not it’s time for the Windows Phone Zune.


  1. Ringo Englewood says

    I agree wholeheartedly. Ive been using my Dell Venue Pro for 5 days now and it totally rocks. Now I would like a Zune Player which runs Windows Phone 7. I hope they create not just one player, but several styles this time like the iPod Nano, Mini, etc. Also, they should obviously port Windows Phone 7 to tablets. This just rocks!!!

    • Len says

      I agree as well, with the exception that the next Zune should be the official Xbox portible. That would sssssooooo rock!

      • Ivan Hernandez says

        Naw… Zune shouldnt be Xbox portable gaming… Zune is more like a Mp3 player, but since people is over apps nuts Microsoft doesnt wanna work on Zune OS and focus in Windows 7 OS.. since is a rumor that the Next Zune HD might have Window OS is gonna be like mm lets say the iphone…. the itouch is the iphone without the phone and thats wat is Microsoft doing with the zune… Windows 7 and Zune with 7 OS.. a phone with the phone combalility

  2. Bill says

    Ha, good luck with that! CLEARLY all MS needs to do is work on their music player. Then pennies from heaven will rain down on their heads!

  3. says

    Good idea, but I already love my Zune HD and my Samsung Focus Windows Phone 7 just the way they are, as does my wife. Love them both, they don’t have to be the same. If this change was made, however, we’d both be completely open to that.

    • Michael Spirk says

      It doesn’t mean that they would look the same. They should just produce a Zune on the same base as WP7. The UI could be different, but the apps would be running on both.

  4. Diana Feldridge says

    I think everyone agrees that Windows Phone 7 should have been the basis of Microsoft’s music player. It was also a no-brainer that Windows Phone 7 should have been the basis for Microsoft’s tablet. But it wasn’t. Ballmer decided that the full PC version of Windows would be better.

    So even though something like this is a no-brainer, it doesn’t mean that Microsoft will follow logic and do it.

  5. Michael Cassidy says

    I just can’t, for the life of me, understand why Microsoft won’t release a Zune phone. I understand that it doesn’t want to scare hardware supporters away, but it’s missing out on a huge opportunity. By shying away from producing a premium product, Microsoft will only insure that cheaper versions get produced.

    I have owned every iPhone produced since the 3G. I bought them not only because of the OS, but because of the way they feel in my hands and in my pocket. Every Phone 7 I’ve picked up and tried out has felt light and cheap. (I’m holding out hope that the Asus offering will feel better and more substantial.) But imagine if Microsoft offered a premium Zune version of its phone similar to the one pictured above. This phone would feel wonderful in the hand and be a delight to look at. It would also command a premium price and, most likely, put a few dollars in the coffers at Microsoft.

    The same can be said of the Courier. Just as they were walking down a path that their supporters were thrilled with, they killed the idea. Handing the market over to Apple.

    Please Microsoft. We’ve all been waiting for the excuse to give you our money. Just give it to us!

  6. Matt says

    I agree that M$ should make their own branded phone instead of relying on carriers to make WP7 generic, i would actually love a phone the size of the ZuneHD! I have owned the last 2 generations of Zune and have loved them both and now own the Samsung Focus but i don’t agree M$ should port WP7 to a new Zune player. What they should do is exactly the opposite! The Zune experience is pretty watered down on WP7 and I really miss the animations while songs are playing and smartDJ! If M$ is to make ZuneHD 2 they should continue with the experience offered on the ZuneHD but add the apps of WP7. I just hope for their sake this still is a market for PMP’s

  7. matthew says

    Microsoft does not improve technology on devices because they think they are the shit. they think they can just drop a product and people will buy it without improving it. just let them die and let fox Conn build iPods only. For god sake they haven’t even added a clock to the home page. They pay no attention to their customers. I am a Zune user and I am telling u if u want improvements on the Zune it will not happen. Microsoft cares just as much about the customers as they do about the fox Conn manufacturers.

  8. tal69 says

    The insane thing Microsoft did in the first place was leave out the zune dock connector on all Windows Phone 7 devices. How could something so simple and stupidly overlooked happen.

    A centralized published spec for connecting similar devices is what creates a market space for third party development. Zune Player 7 should be based on Windows Phone 7 specs and vice versa. Windows Phone 7 should have the dock and the same apps should be able to run on both.

    What has been successful for Apple is one OS for mobile devices: iPod touch, iPad, iPhone with a common third party interface to innovate.

    Microsoft has the reserves to get a comprehensive strategy put in place by offering devices with more ability at a lower price and gain market share but the big thinkers there need to start thinking bigger.

    • Mr_Ed says

      Every WP7 i’ve seen uses Micro USB. Everything im reading says that all phone changers are being standardised to use Micro USB (European rules). Therefore every phone will shortly have a Micro USB connector.

      Even Apple are on board for Micro USB. So not continuing to use the Zune Connector makes perfect sense.

  9. Digital6 says

    I love my Zune HD. However, because of MS using Zune HD owners as not much more than beta testers for WM7 and essentially deserting HD users, I absolutely will not get a WM7. Just bought my wife a new phone, looked at the WM7’s, got her an Android phone. I will be getting a new phone this summer and will go with Android as well.

    All MS development has been on WM7 with nothing new for the Zune HD, and they haven’t even gotten WM7 right yet.

    MS appears to be a company at war with itself and no real direction.

  10. huntsman says

    Completely agree. I would buy it on release day. I’ve stuck with sprint and thus can’t currently get the Windows Phone 7 :(

  11. Ivan Hernandez says

    Microsoft Shouldnt make the windows 7 OS, and upggrade the Zune OS better.. or orther word the should of made the Zune Phone.. but lets say the Win 7 OS is the Zune OS upgrade but they just decide to called it Win 7 OS … so dum…

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