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Zune HD 2 to be more like iPod touch, use WP7?

updated 09:10 pm EST, Tue March 9, 2010

Zune HD sequel may use phone OS roots

Microsoft's decision to drop the Zune HD from its XNA development kit may actually be hints at plans for its sequel, leaks indicated on Tuesday. Multiple sources toldZDNet that the follow-up touchscreen player will be "similar to an iPod touch," indicating a more general-purpose role than the media-heavy Zune HD. With Windows Phone 7 as the only known mobile OS supported by XNA 4.0, the shift implies that Microsoft may use a variant of its phone OS to drive the next Zune.

A decision of the sort would potentially alienate developers that have been writing software for the Zune as it would render the Zune HD a "dead end" with no real market. However, Zune HD app development was extremely limited and was never expected to have a broad app catalog. Microsoft may be embracing a more Apple-like strategy that is willing to abandon a legacy platform in favor of encouraging apps that work on both its smartphone OS as well as its media players.

Although its plans have been delayed past original expectations, Microsoft has long indicated that it wanted to treat Zune features as services rather than parts of a self-contained ecosystem. Using Windows Phone 7's tile- and menu-based system would allow this on a Zune HD refresh as it could still provide full media player features but a much wider app platform and Internet experience with only minor changes to accommodate the different interface priorities.

The new device could be released as soon as the end of the year, which is characteristic of Microsoft's Zune schedule. Typically, it has had at least a minor refresh of its players between September and November.

By Electronista Staff


  1. qazwart

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2001


    So, All Those Zunes are Obsolete?

    People bought into the PlaysForSure and saw that dropped for the Zune. Now, the Zune HD itself is becoming obsolete?

    The Zune HD was just released in September of last year and has already been declared a dead end. In contrast, the original iPhone came out in mid-2007 and is able to use almost all of the features of the iPhone 3GS model. Yes, the network is slower and the camera isn't as good, but it can use the latest OS and isn't obsolete.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    What few users the Zune HD has

    are really going to be confused by these changes. I don't quite understand what's happening. The Zune HD was supposed to be a pretty nice media player even though it doesn't have that good an ecosystem. And it wasn't a big seller. I somehow doubt Microsoft can turn the Zune HD line into a popular product since it's been languishing around with very little support for years. Microsoft is really trying to copy Apple but that's a fairly weak strategy of skating to where the puck was. With the iPad and newer, faster Touches coming it's going to be hard for the Zune HD to compete with Apple.

  1. martinX

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2008


    That wacky Ballmer

    He's making it up as he goes along!

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006


    Next year...

    Next year, zune hd 2 will be dropped.

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008


    Who would have guessed?

    Wow, the level of innovation from Microsoft knows no bounds. None, I mean no one saw this coming. Truly innovative!!

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: Nov 2006


    Re: Next year...

    And the remaining will be shipped to third world countries.

  1. martinX

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2008



    No matter what colours it comes in, it will always be brown to me.

  1. bigjimid

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2009


    Zune HD2

    MartinX - Me too man. Although, I really liked that layered brown/green skin.

    I think this is a good idea. Midas well set up the new Zune to use the App Marketplace that new WP7 devices will use. That way there will only need to be one package developer will have to design around, not two. Like it says, the Apple App store is used for the iPhone, iPod, and iPad. Why shouldn't Microsoft, or any company for that matter, want the same uniform method.

    And to think I almost bought an Zune HD last week. Silly me. They'll probably up the new one from 720p to 1080p playback too. We'll see.

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