Is Microsoft copying Apple's iPod receipe? Microsoft preps apps for Zune HD
11/9/2009 by: Theo Valich
From the looks of it, it seems like Microsoft is dead set on copying Apple in almost [each] and every step of the way with its Zune player line-up. First with hardware - now with software.
After the first generation of bulky devices, Microsoft launched the Zune HD, a nVidia Tegra-powered multimedia monster with a brilliant screen. You can read our in-depth review of the Zune HD and its accessories in Sean's excellent article but the topic of this article isn't the hardware - rather the software.
Earlier today, Microsoft released a new firmware [should we just write an operating system update?] bringing Zune to version 4.3. Even though the number of firmware revision doesn't speak a lot, this is a major upgrade as Zune HD now supports 3D capabilities of the Tegra chip. Yep, GeForce is now activated and ready to roll using Mobile DirectX. Bear in mind that two months ago, Microsoft released the XNA Game Studio 3.1 SDK Zune Extension Kit, a software development kit that supports writing apps for Zune HD. With 3D hardware capabilities now enabled, it should be easy to finalize 3D games and regular apps. Naturally, there comes the need for a store where all those neat games and applications can be sold from.
Is Zune HD site getting another tab in near future? According to today's firmware update - yes.
With todays' software update, Zune HD can run apps developed with XNA Game Studio and according to our sources, apps are on the way too. Thus, it isn't hard to imagine how Zune's homepage will look like in a few weeks from now. Microsoft is bringing 3D games and apps to the platform in order to capture as much holiday sales as possible. If there was a time for somebody to ride in and start capturing the market in a big way, end of 2009 is looking like an ideal opportunity.
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