updated 12:10 pm EDT, Mon August 11, 2008
Zune to get unique content
In an effort to boost the slow sales of its Zune media player, Microsoft is turning to Hollywood in order to license original content for it, according to new reports. Microsoft has sent executives to talent agencies and production companies over the last few months to find video programming that would be available either exclusively for the Zune or launch first for the device before being offered elsewhere.
At the same time, Microsoft again denies rumors that a Zune-branded cell phone is being developed. While the company is calling its efforts to add the dedicated multimedia content for the player as still in the "exploratory phase," the new video programming would take advantage of the Zune's social networking capabilities.
Via Zune Social, users could download the favorite digital music of characters from a new show or receive its soundtrack. Microsoft is already expanding the functions and content available for the Zune, including introducing games and TV shows from the NBC Universal and MTV networks. These moves are said to contradict recent rumors that Microsoft would phase out the Zune, which were sparked by the lack of Zune discussion during the company's latest quarterly results.