updated 09:55 am EST, Wed November 15, 2006
Zune Web Video Downloads
Microsoft is planning to tightly integrate its own web-based video service with its new Zune media player, according to a report by news site Playfuls. Taking advantage of its own Soapbox web video site, which began invitation-only beta testing in mid-September, Microsoft will give Zune owners the opportunity to download top videos from Soapbox that will be posted weekly on its Zune.net website in the near future. The feature would convert downloaded clips into a format that would be transferred to the Zune music software and which could be played directly on the Zune device itself. The move could potentially upset an existing strategy by Google, which offers downloads of submitted videos in an iPod-compatible format but doesn't currently integrate with iTunes or other video-capable software. Industry expert Om Malik has recently suggested that Microsoft rival Apple investigate partnering with a viral video site such as YouTube -- a site since acquired by Google -- as a means of increasing the popularity of its video-capable iPods.