There’s no end in sight for the wait to get Zune available around the world, even after a few years since Microsoft introduced the devices and services that were supposed to kill the iPod and iTunes.
“No news on other markets. But that doesn't mean folks here aren't keen to expand our services around the world. I'll let you know as soon as I hear something,” revealed Microsoft’s Michael Stroh
This is one of those cases in which “soon” means a few more years at least, or possibly, never. I for one have lost faith, and it’s a real shame that Microsoft is punishing international users, especially those buying Windows Phone devices, for which Zune and Xbox LIVE are all but completely useless.
But there’s good news for Canada consumers, since they’ll get to use Zune Music Marketplace and Zune Music Pass with the Windows Phone handsets.
“Windows Phone owners in Canada [will have] access to more than 14 million tracks from all the major labels, as well as tens of thousands of indie labels,” Stroh said.
“A Zune Pass will cost C$9.99 per month (or C$99.90 a year). Besides a Windows Phone, subscribers can also listen on a Xbox 360, Windows PC, Zune device, and Zune.net.”
Come Monday next week, Microsoft will also kick up a notch the Zune Music Pass, content-wise. According to the software giant, those subscribers that do have access to the service will have at their disposal tens of thousands of music videos.
In addition, the Redmond company is slashing the prices of Zune Pass for customers in the United States.
“On Monday, Microsoft starts selling a new, less-expensive Zune Music Pass. The new plan costs $9.99 a month (about $5 cheaper than the current plan) but gives you unlimited, on-demand access to the same catalog of music and (now) music videos. It also includes unlimited streaming access on a Xbox 360 and Zune.net,” Stroh added.
Users that will still want to, can continue subscribing to the old $14.99 plan. As a part of this plan they’ll also get to keep 10 free MP3s each month.