No Zune Pass or Music for Australia, WP7 to be a broken experience

image

Microsoft have just posted a press release regarding the expansion of their Zune services into new markets. Sadly the announcement is not a great on for Australians. The Zune Marketplace accompanying Music, TV shows and Movie rental service will now have select components available in select regions.

With Microsoft launching Windows Phone 7 later this year, one of the big questions is what the media offering would look like. This is Microsoft’s opportunity to have a legitimate competitor to market leader – Apple’s iTunes. The most compelling and unique features of the Zune Marketplace, is Zune Pass. This allows consumers to pay a monthly subscription fee and get access to Microsoft’s entire music library. Not only that, but keep 10 songs a month so if you ever decide to discontinue the service, those downloaded tracks are still yours.

So in this press release we discover that Australia won’t be getting Zune Pass, or a Music marketplace. What will be introduced in Australia is the the ability to rent movies from Zune Marketplace to your Windows-based PC and sync it to your WP7 device. This adds to the Zune Video Marketplace currently on offer in Australia via the Xbox 360.

imageimageimage

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.

So where does this leave Australian consumers who want to move to Windows Phone 7 ? Without a music store on offer from Microsoft, does that mean we’re really expected to purchase music through iTunes, then import to Zune Software, then Sync to the WP7 device. On a platform with lots of momentum, this announcement is a massive drawback to the platform. To be successful, WP7 needs to go feature for feature with competitors and in one key area – Media, WP7 is not even on the same page. This is incredibly frustrating considering Microsoft had a real opportunity to leapfrog the competition.

No word on-device podcast support, but chances are it’ll be the old download on desktop and sync to device game.

More @ Microsoft

  • http://twitter.com/StefEBear Stefan Greenwood

    this really is a slap across so many of our faces.
    yes I still want a WP7 phone but I’m severely annoyed that Microsoft are letting Apple and iTunes still rule as the ONLY online Music store in Australia.

  • rolltake

    Another half arsed attempt from Microsoft again with regards to Australian customers. At least Apple recognise us as a legitimate and viable market.

  • http://twitter.com/weesals Bradley Wesson

    I was really looking forward to getting a Zune Pass. I hope they extend it to Australia in the coming year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=621751324 Phillip Shipton

    Yes Im still gonna get a WP7 there are already apps to handle podcasts such as the TWIT app that will auto handle all the TWI podcasts from TWIT Cottage. Subscribing to podcasts is a feature of the Zune software already in Australia so this will not be an issue.

    Im dissappointed Zune pass will not be launching here yet but Im sure it will come… one day

  • Casho

    This has turned me completely off the the WP7. I really don’t like the idea of being treated like a second grade citizen.

    Another example of this is the lack of PAL support in Windows Live Movie Maker (including the new Beta).

  • Simpsons_liam

    maybe with the new xbox update today that it might finally come

  • Knersis

    Screw you MS, why do we get done in as usual. I so agree with Casho, I would have liked a WP7 but why would I want to get one when I’m not sure what’s going to be made available, and only ever get half of the goodness. You can keep your WP7 phone MS and put it where the sun doesn’t shine.

    I’m sure there is a way to hack past the limitation by getting a Zune Pass from some place, but thats to much trouble.

  • Dirtfairy

    That is just crap! I bought my windows 7 phone yesterday and im pissed i can’t personalise ring tones and have done the run around to sign up to something thats practically useless (zune). Verdict= massively dissapointed with platform.

  • Rickygnewton

    How disgusting. I have been robbed. I have been trying to sort out what Im doing wrong for hours. I cant download music using my Windows Phone 7 (WP7) HTC Motzart. Turns out I was trying to do the impossible. Thanks for nothing. How rude. Whats the real reason Microsoft is not (paid not too by the competition) able to release part of a program already used in other countries?? such as the US, France, etc. I will be advising everyone I know not to buy WP7 from Telstrah.rip.off or any other company. Go I4 if you want to directly download music files to your phone. What a sham!!!! Shame on you Microsoft!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brenden-Nickless/1109178914 Brenden Nickless

    STILL no Australia support. No electronic music purchase in zune software, no ability to see list of purchased apps in zune software, NO Australian support page for windows phone.. I’m looking at the how-to guides on good old USA *microsoft.com* and the Zune application in the pictures is NOTHING like the Zune on my PC. WOW. JUST WOW.
    Is Microsoft seriously trying to PUSH us towards their competitors? Or are they legitimately unable to acknowledge us Australians as a viable market yet? Geez, here I was thinking i’d never have to look at another Android or iDevice ever again.

    Way to FRAGMENT (yes i used the dreaded JOBS buzzword i hate so much) the WP7 experience with ETHNOCENTRIC feature privileges. You think you can just pick and choose which of your PAYING CUSTOMERS get a FULL and FAIR windows phone experience? Is that how you want to do business with us, Microsoft? You expect us to make do with what we’ve got and be grateful while the rest of the world happily finds a new remedy for the iTunes plague? We pay JUST AS MUCH as they do for our phones and our apps, JUST AS MUCH, and you strip us of the basic services you so happily give everybody else. Would you prohibit BLACK people from using all these features so that WHITE people can have exclusive access? NO, so why should countries be any different to race? This is the 21st century, you’re a massive, MASSIVE corporation raking in billions of dollars a year. Wake up. We deserve better.
    ‘Meet Windows Phone 7′ ay?
    Well, Samsung Omnia 7…MEET EBAY.
    Back to the ***king drawing board.

  • Mark

    Yet another reason to buy an iPhone or iPad.

    Oh wait, Microsoft doesnt have a Touch fiendly OS.

  • radsdau

    This is a total crock.  The phone itself is great, but this sort of nonsense is forcing people over to Apple.  I would have thought that’s the last thing they wanted to do, apparently not.

    After spending 30 minutes trying to buy songs from ZM I reverted to iTunes- it took less than 1 minute.  I could buy 1 song, and I knew exactly how much it cost me; I didn’t have to convert MS Points to dollars etc.
    This MUST change, and become an incredibly high priority for them.  They’re committing industrial suicide with stuff like this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/norgan Nathan Norgan

    you know, it does suck but those having a bitch, why don’t you use any number of music services that allow you to buy an mp3 that then can be used in zune and windows phone, but more importantly, uses a croos platform codec and can be played on any device anywhere. Can you say the same for iTunes (without getting your music stuck in iTunes forever).