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Zune HD demo reveals app store

updated 11:40 am EDT, Sun August 23, 2009

Zune HD Apps Confirmed

A weekend demo campaign at Best Buy stores has inadvertently betrayed Microsoft's plans to offer third-party app support for the Zune HD. A visitor briefly given control of the player by a representative has captured footage (shown after the jump) of a conspicuous "apps" menu item alongside music and made it clear the production player can download and install third-party software. The in-store unit's Wi-Fi was "blocked," however, and made it impossible to enter that section and see whether a true store is available and what titles are complete.

The company has never officially said the Zune HD would support more than a handful of built-in games, but numerous signs suggest that the company has been trying to create a unified store that would let both Windows Mobile and Zune users load the same software. A trademark for "OneApp" feature, as well as job listings, have all indicated the company developing a common platform. Microsoft has previously admitted it wants to bring elements of the Zune interface to Windows Mobile but has never suggested fully similar software.

The feat is possible as both platforms have Windows CE roots and run on ARM's processor architecture.

It remains to be seen how many apps if any Microsoft will have on launch. Although development for Windows Marketplace for Mobile potentially provides a boost for touch-friendly software, the Zune developer has reportedly been luring iPhone developers with cash to have them port existing apps to its own hardware and gain credibility with iPod touch users as a result. The presence of downloadable apps at all nonetheless significantly narrows competition with Apple, whose App Store has been considered critical to growing its touchscreen devices.

By Electronista Staff


  1. VinitaBoy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2001


    Yep, and Once Again . . .

    Monkey-Boy see, Monkey-Boy do. Another prime example of Microsloth leadership and innovation. Have they no shame whatsoever? (Of course not; there is no floor to MS copycatism.)

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008


    How many

    How many showed up at the stores? Where is the huge media coverage? Zero, nada, zilch. No one cares about this wannabe, copy cat POS.

  1. SlimGem

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008


    Aw Come On

    "The presence of downloadable apps at all nonetheless significantly narrows competition with Apple ..."

    So MS could have 5 apps compared to Apple's 65,000 and that "significantly narrows competition"?

    I see no one claims responsibility for this article.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    I know it doesn't

    mean all that much in terms of functionality, but I still don't understand why part of the "e" in "Marketplace" runs off the screen. It just seems like the Home Screen was an afterthought. It just seems a bad way to present a product. It wouldn't stop me from buying a product, but it's still sloppy-looking.

    Microsoft will have to try copy everything Apple does if it wants to compete with them. I'm not even sure there is a way for MS to leapfrog over Apple's mobile platform at this point. The Tegra hardware is a nice move, but doubt most non-tech users are going to care about just the hardware. It's easy for Apple to duplicate fast hardware, but not so easy for Microsoft to develop an ecosystem.

    A 64GB Touch with video recording seems almost invincible when it comes to marketing clout. I'm not particularly excited about a new album format but it might be a nice way to present multimedia packages.

  1. ryanjo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2001


    Zune app

    The first Zune app: "iLame"

  1. Okonomiyaki

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2003



    Somehow reminds me of "PlaysForSure" and we all remember how well that worked.

  1. Mebsat

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2007



    Oh, squirt me a break.

  1. sportmac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2009



    All that money and not an original thought in site.

  1. jdonahoe

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 2006


    Microsoft adds insult

    Microsoft adds insult to injury in another article that says they don't want any cheap, $0.99 programs on their app store.

  1. jdonahoe

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 2006


    Article link

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