Microsoft confirms Zune to go international this year

It looks like the folks at Microsoft just can't get enough of Twitter. There have been many leaks of information over the past few months coming from public tweets by company employees. We recently reported on a tweet from Brian Seitz announcing what we've all been wondering: There will be a new Zune device release this year, this fall according to sources within the company.

One of the biggest problems why I believe Microsoft hasn't made a huge impact in the MP3 player market with the Zune is because it's only available in the United States. Most of our readers and commenter's here at Neowin have said that they would absolutely love to see the Zune device released to other countries. Good news for those of you living outside of the United States.

After doing some digging, we can confirm that the release this fall will be international . While we were not able to get a list of countries that the Zune will ship to, we can confirm that it will be shipping to: Australia, China, and Europe. A company representative told me that there will be far more countries that the Zune will be shipping to.

Stay tuned for more, including specs and pictures (We've seen the internal video!). I'll leave our readers with this: It's slim and you won't need a D-Pad. Feel free to speculate.

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King Antonius said,
FINALLY!!! Shame i have my iPhone now though.


Microsoft, you just lost sales due to being so frigging slow.

Exactly my point, if I hadn't bought my Touch and known this was about I would be tempted by it. It looks like a very nice MMP but they were just too slow.

The battery life on my smartphone is already crappy enough without me listening to music on it.

I'm hoping that with whatever new device is coming, that they implement bluetooth support the way Samsung has with its players, which not only play to wireless headsets, but also pause when an incoming call comes in.

Too little too late to be honest, I'm happy with my iPod and I don't plan to replace it anytime soon. If the Zune was released here (Australia) a few years ago, I probally would of got the Zune but since it wasn't, I got the iPod and haven't looked back Don't get me wrong, it's still good to see it release outside NA though.

Is this bad boy marketed well in the US? I solidly believe that if the Creative Zen product family was actually marketed in the UK it may well have been a rival to the iPod, but instead its only people that actually read reviews and care what they're buying that even know about it.

I'd love to see the Zune over here, but tbh it really needs to make an impact to tell UK consumers that there are these things called MP3 players and not just iPods.

neo158 said,
Well, minus the Phone part, I think this will be what the new Zune will look like, Possible new Zune Design what do you guys think?

Not bad concept poor photoshopping though D: if any rumors are true however if they do go touch screen or anything they maybe competing with new ipod touch which may have gps and maybe a camera so as much as i love zune software and stuff they're playing a bit too much catch up to really be a worth while upgrade from say ipod touch. Then again as itunes gets worse and worse and they clamp down on jailbreaking etc it may become better...

Mum, I know what I want for Christmas now! :D

As for what's gonna be in the new Zune, if it's true that it's gonna be a touchscreen Zune (as per the hint "it's slim and has no d-pad"), then don't expect massive storage. I'm expecting flash memory to be used, or failing that, SSDs, which either way, would be awesome! I'd love to have a 64GB SSD touchscreen Zune!

Hey! Don't forget Malaysia too!!! I have been wondering for a long time why Zune is not available in Malaysia...

Woooohooooooo! Starts putting all his pennys in a jar lol
Told the misses I want one as soon as there released here she goes well we better get 2 looks like she wants one as well

Zune?!?! Even with them available in Canada for months, I haven't seen a single person who has one! iPods and iPhones FTW! :P

MulletRobZ said,
Zune?!?! Even with them available in Canada for months, I haven't seen a single person who has one! iPods and iPhones FTW! :P

I own a Zune, as do a lot of others, just not enough to put a dent in Apples market share... but like this articles states, some of it has to do with that... but, I personally feel the Zune hardware and software is superior to Apples. I haven't met anyone who has used the Zune software and still liked iTunes over it. So... Zune and Zune Software FTW! :P

jase savior said,
I own a Zune, as do a lot of others, just not enough to put a dent in Apples market share... but like this articles states, some of it has to do with that... but, I personally feel the Zune hardware and software is superior to Apples. I haven't met anyone who has used the Zune software and still liked iTunes over it. So... Zune and Zune Software FTW! :P


I don't own a Zune....yet, but I do agree that the Zune software is a lot better than iTunes. Its faster, minimalist and does exactly what it's supposed to do.

The biggest problem with the Zune in Canada is lack of either the Zune Marketplace and the Zune Pass.

I bought my wife a Zune 80 for her birthday last year. It's a very nice device; well made, with a fantastic interface. But we buy music from iTunes.

Yes! Yes! Yes! What about Brazil?

Please do not forget about us! Please bring Zune Marketplace also.. so we can rent or buy mp3.

Ps. Hope we all get a 250gb Zune...

SidVicious said,
Australia, China and Europe?

What? No Zune in Brazil?


Zune on brazil could easily cost about $500 (dollar), and you know that.
And market place, here? In my dreams maybe, but I can't imagine it happening :/

Billy Gun said,
Yes! Yes! Yes! What about Brazil?
Ps. Hope we all get a 250gb Zune...


I'm hoping for a 1 TB Zune. Lol, that would be perfect!

I agree that lack of international availability is a big factor in it's small market share. They recently started selling it in Canada. I've had iPods before and I can honestly say the Zune is a better product. When the Zune was first launched the software was bad -- a hacked up version of WMP that was clearly rushed. And there were firmware bugs, but what 1.0 product doesn't... The Zune team quickly rewrote the desktop app from scratch and fixed the firmware problems. The Zune desktop software is gorgeous. It's very minimalistic, non-Microsoft looking, and easy to use. It's far better than iTunes, and the Zune's MixView is superior to iTunes' Genius. Also the UI on the device is more intuitive than the iPod. Many people knock the Zune and assume it's an inferior product, but if you haven't actually used a Zune hands on then don't knock it. You can use the desktop software instead of WMP. Also if you have an Xbox 360, you'll love being able to stream from the Zune software and dock the device to the Xbox (via USB port).

I like my iPod and the way it interacts with iTunes - its so easy, but if the Zune is cheaper and integrates well the Zune software, I might consider it my next upgrade.

The Zune hardware is fully integrated with the Zune software (even more so than iPod + iTunes). The Zune is also integrated with the Xbox 360, allowing you to use the Xbox as both dock and playback device.

Yea, and with Zune, you can unplug your device in the middle of a syncronization and your files don't get corrupted!

Try that with iTunes.

andrewbares said,
Yea, and with Zune, you can unplug your device in the middle of a syncronization and your files don't get corrupted!

Try that with iTunes.


Sorry, but in my experience I think I hate to disagree with that.

Recently, my Zune would turn off whenever I listened to Chris Cornell's "Climbing Up the Walls". The exact same point each time; about 2 minutes in. Seems that it did corrupt during sync, but easily rectified by taking it off the Zune and then resyncing it.

But, yeah, it was just a one-off.

Too late for what?

I live in the EU and I don't see loads of iPods out here. If anything in Europe people use their cellphones for music way more. It also helps when you have way more devices to pick from compared to the lame US market.

GP007 said,
Too late for what?

I live in the EU and I don't see loads of iPods out here. If anything in Europe people use their cellphones for music way more. It also helps when you have way more devices to pick from compared to the lame US market.


Your kidding right? In the UK the iPod is everywhere - you get on a bus, metro, tube or whatever and i would say that over 50% of people aboard are listening to an iPod. Even the queen has an iPod Mini, and now a new one thanks to President Obama!

GP007 said,
Too late for what?

I live in the EU and I don't see loads of iPods out here. If anything in Europe people use their cellphones for music way more. It also helps when you have way more devices to pick from compared to the lame US market.

The cell phone market in the US is very pathetic. When I was in Europe last year, I was blown away by the selection you guys get. US has crappy contract laws, and devices are always tied to services. Samsung has to make a separate phone for each provider rather than putting their resources into making a single awesome phone that can be used with any provider. Its ass backwards.

bbfc_uk said,


Your kidding right? In the UK the iPod is everywhere - you get on a bus, metro, tube or whatever and i would say that over 50% of people aboard are listening to an iPod. Even the queen has an iPod Mini, and now a new one thanks to President Obama!



Sorry to say, but that's just the UK. And you guys don't really think of yourselves as part of the EU anyways =P Take a look more Southeast and see if it's the same sorta deal.

I use my phone as an mp3 player as it takes a 8gb memory card. Cheaper an easier to carry than an additional device (or an iPhone).

hewitt s. said,
The iPod may be everywhere in the UK, but I suspect that has a lot to do with lack of competing products on the market.

Here here!

I agree that this was infact too late... they should have launched an attack on apple for sooner! Why leave it this long?

Shadrack said,
The cell phone market in the US is very pathetic.


Come across the border and you'll see the definition of "truly pathetic."

sweet, if they release a 16GB flash zune for £100 in U.K i'll buy 1, if not then i wont. Apple charges ridiculous amounts and MS only undercuts them by a very small amount in price, yet Apple's software is much better. The only way for Zune to take off is to undercut the ipod classic/nano by a large amount in price then people will flock to zunes. Games would be nice too, maybe some web apps like you get on the iphone, would then be a competitor for the ipod touch which would be a huge leap for microsoft.

Lets hope they release the full specs soon, even if it wont be released for a few months.

torrentthief said,
sweet, if they release a 16GB flash zune for �100 in U.K i'll buy 1, if not then i wont. Apple charges ridiculous amounts and MS only undercuts them by a very small amount in price, yet Apple's software is much better. The only way for Zune to take off is to undercut the ipod classic/nano by a large amount in price then people will flock to zunes. Games would be nice too, maybe some web apps like you get on the iphone, would then be a competitor for the ipod touch which would be a huge leap for microsoft.

Lets hope they release the full specs soon, even if it wont be released for a few months.

iTunes Software is better than the Zune Software? Have you actually tried both out, or are you taking someones word for it? IMO, I much prefer the Zune Software over the iTunes.

Agreed, have been a Zune user since Gen one, and although the original software was cruddy, the current version is both fast, stylish and very easy to use. Far far better than my recent experience with a friends iTunes.

I second these comments... The current Zune software (v3) is much better than iTunes. While iTunes is good, it's not great. It's boring. The Zune software is actually enjoyable. It looks awesome (check it out at zune.net), it's lightweight, and extremely minimalistic and easy to use.

No **** huh! Don't know whose been making the decisions for Zune but althought they made some good ones in terms of Zune Marketplace design and the design of the device but when it comes to releasing newer devices faster and getting out of the U.S. and grabbing more content has just been painfully slow. I think Microsoft finally saw the light when this past holiday sales tanked. Don't know why they didn't see that happening.

WelshBluebird said,
yay, finally.

Ditto. Been waiting for the Zune in Britain. Not particularly a fan of the iPod, i don't see what's so amazing about it. Will hold off gettin an mp3 player til the Zune arrives.

They always update the older gen Zunes when they release a new version. And if it's going to go international and it'll have to support unicode to work with those languages. So it should be coming soon.

I love that, so far, Microsoft has made firmware and software upgrades available to all generation Zune devices. It's nice that those who bought it on day one can have the same features as someone who bought one today.

It actually did support adding full unicode fonts to the old firmware version. However, the current Zune supports most European extended characters that are based off the latin alphabet.

GP007 said,
They always update the older gen Zunes when they release a new version. And if it's going to go international and it'll have to support unicode to work with those languages. So it should be coming soon.

So far they've been good about updating them in the past but you never know what can happen in the future.

zivan56 said,
It actually did support adding full unicode fonts to the old firmware version. However, the current Zune supports most European extended characters that are based off the latin alphabet.

I'm aware that the older version had unicode support. I'm looking for some Asian font's on my 80GB; getting tired of the boxes showing up