Exclusive: Microsoft funding music mini-stores for WP7

Zune Music Marketplace coming to more countries this year

With Windows Phone 7 now well and truly launched around the world, some users have been lucky enough to experience the full set of features, and others have not. In many countries, handsets are somewhat 'crippled' by the lack of localised search, and importantly, a music marketplace. We're sure Microsoft is working to address the former, but now there's confirmation that Microsoft’s working to address the music situation.

Neowin has been told that Microsoft Australia has enlisted the help of record labels to create applications that will sit in the marketplace and allow users to purchase music. The development of the applications is being funded by Microsoft and there's no word as to how the applications will work with the Zune software on the phone – however, our source did make complaints about the complexities involved in storing downloaded files in the Zune music library. Apart from that, the development teams are apparently enjoying using and developing for Windows Phone 7. There was no word on pricing, nor any word on cross platform usage of music purchased in the mini-stores.

In addition to the aforementioned applications, our source also revealed that Microsoft intended to have the Zune Music Marketplace launched in Australia some time in 2011 and that the mini-stores were simply designed to fill the gap. One has to wonder how successful these mini-stores will be however, and if that money should have been spent on speeding up the launch of the Zune Music Marketplace.

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12 Comments

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Hope they can go a wee bit faster. There are so many international people that would love to invest into a Zune or WP7 phone, but don't like having to register with a US account just to get the full features. Microsoft really needs to improve on international support this year if they don't want even more people giving up on them.

This sounds like MS is making some temp deals with labels to promote their "mini-stores" on WP7 until MS can work out all the licensing deals and whatever else it has to to get the Zune marketplace open there. It sounds like a good stop-gap for now, specially if they feel they're close to getting Zune deals done making this sorta deal temporary.

GP007 said,
This sounds like MS is making some temp deals with labels to promote their "mini-stores" on WP7 until MS can work out all the licensing deals and whatever else it has to to get the Zune marketplace open there. It sounds like a good stop-gap for now, specially if they feel they're close to getting Zune deals done making this sorta deal temporary.

Yeah, I agree. I hope that Microsoft is able to get these services off the ground internationally for users that need it. Or those that travel internationally. Bing in particular I think they really need to get working everywhere.

No music marketplace? Hah, how about having no apps and games marketplace. We do not have either here in Sweden and I'm stuck using an American live id to access the American marketplace. If they're holding back the apps marketplace because of the music marketplace they could skip the music marketplace since everyone use the vast superior Spotify anyway.

lasershock said,
No music marketplace? Hah, how about having no apps and games marketplace. We do not have either here in Sweden and I'm stuck using an American live id to access the American marketplace. If they're holding back the apps marketplace because of the music marketplace they could skip the music marketplace since everyone use the vast superior Spotify anyway.

So EVERYONE uses Spotify, do they?

neo158 said,

So EVERYONE uses Spotify, do they?

Spotify doesn't have half the music I listen to but most of it is old stuff that I have on record or CD anyway so I'm not too fussed about it. Imo though Spotify is over-rated.

"Apart from that, the development teams are apparently enjoying using and developing for Windows Phone 7."

Considering that only people from a dozen countries can actually register as developers, I can't agree with this.

KavazovAngel said,
"Apart from that, the development teams are apparently enjoying using and developing for Windows Phone 7."

Considering that only people from a dozen countries can actually register as developers, I can't agree with this.

I feel your frustrations. Microsoft needs to do better work on international support for it's products.

Brody McKee said,
I feel your frustrations. Microsoft needs to do better work on international support for it's products.

Indeed.

They have to bring Bing out of beta in Europe (instead of that beta without the features)