Microsoft releases three new Zune HD apps

Microsoft’s Zune HD marketplace might not be a host of lots of applications, but certainly is not dead.  Today Microsoft has announced Stopwatch, Labyrinth, and Solitaire for the Zune HD, all available now on the Zune HD Marketplace and for free.

Stopwatch is a simple application that allows the user to make their Zune HD act as a stopwatch, a great application for when you’re jogging.

Labyrinth brings back your childhood experience, using the Zune HD’s accelerometer to guide the small ball through a tricky course.  The game features obstacles including trees, walls and rocks to navigate around.

Solitaire is a classic game that the Zune HD was missing.  Everyone’s favourite pre-installed game on Windows machines is finally available for the Zune HD.

Stopwatch, Labyrinth, and Solitaire are available on the Zune HD Marketplace for free.  Users inside the US can download these through their Zune software, or Zune HD.

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WinMo 7 will be very attractive to developers. ZuneHD not so much. ZuneHD currently doesn’t have a developer friendly marketplace and probably won’t â€" ZuneHD2 (if there is one) will probably use the same features/OS as WinMo 7 so it will have a developer friendly marketplace.

When WinMo 7 launches it will have:
Developer friendly marketplace similar to iphones
Use Silverlight 4.0 (which developers can use Blend, Visual Studio and C# or for code behinds)
Use XNA 4.0 which will allow Direct X 9 graphics/features
More Code portability between platforms than iPhone. You can code a game (provided the graphics are simple enough) and have it compile for the PC, 360, and Zune/WinMo 7
Microsoft has better development tools than Apple
Silverlight 4.0 has many features that allow it to work similar to a WinForm/WPF application (still not feature complete to compete with WPF, but close). So developers can have local file access, etc… on the WinMo 7 platform.

I am eagerly looking forward to buying a WinMo 7 phone. The WinMo 7 dev tools are already available and the environment is very easy for someone who has done Silverlight and past Windows development.

I will like to get a WM7 Phone but the prices they're talking about are high. Why dont they amke it possible for me a developer to publish games to Zune Marketplace and for others to do the same.

Microsoft has done well with their UI designs of late but their mobile platform just isn't attractive to developers. We'll see if that changes with WP7.

MarenLBC said,
3 Apps in one day? Microsoft must have gotten laid last night!

Jokes aside, they did release FW 4.5 two weeks ago and if rumors are true, probably way more busy on a ZuneHD2 and version 5 of the software.

These apps are probably less about actually making games and more about working out the kinks with "non-OS" development teams so that it's a smooth and easy experience. If WM7 doesn't knock it out of the park, you can pretty much consider them dead when you've got the iPhone as the dominant leader and Android as the quickly rising challenger.

andrewbares said,
NO WAY, a STOPWATCH! And it even has a cowntdown timer, TOO! This is too good!
If I had a Zune (which I don't because they are not available here yet) I would use that Stopwatch a lot!

ajua said,
If I had a Zune (which I don't because they are not available here yet) I would use that Stopwatch a lot!

...Except it takes 8 seconds to launch a simple stopwatch program on the Zune. I timed it with another stopwatch, lol. Once started, the interface is really nice though. I love my Zune for it's music capabilities, not apps!

andrewbares said,

...Except it takes 8 seconds to launch a simple stopwatch program on the Zune. I timed it with another stopwatch, lol.
You must hate that about digital cameras too... ya know, when it's off and there's something you want to take a picture of before that brief moment is gone right?

At least with races and things needing timing you usually have 8 seconds notice. Unlike kodak moments Or else we might have lots more entertaining videos and pictures than present.

Edited by cybertimber2008, Apr 28 2010, 7:17pm :