New and updated apps now available for Zune HD owners

By Tom Warren, on 2nd Aug 11 9:41 pm with 47 Comments

Zune HD

Microsoft introduced new Zune HD apps this week and updated some existing ones.

The software giant has issued a new range of games and utilities for Zune HD owners, including:

  • Finger Paint
  • Calendar
  • Trash Throw
  • Slider Puzzle
  • ColorSpill
  • Splatter Bug
  • Vine Climb
  • Decoder Ring
  • Tug-O-War

Updated apps:

  • Shuffle by Album
  • Zune Reader
  • Penalty! Flick Soccer
  • Email
  • Echoes

Zunited notes that this brings the total amount of Zune HD apps available to 62, far behind Microsoft’s 27.000 Windows Phone apps. Microsoft recently axed its range of Zune HD originals devices and urged people to purchase Windows Phone devices instead. The software giant also confirmed that it is working to port Zune HD applications to Windows Phone. Zune senior business development manager Dave McLauchlan revealed the company’s plans in a recent Zune Insider podcast. Microsoft was forced to confirm it is not “killing” any Zune services after it was revealed that the company plans to rebrand Zune into Windows Live shortly.

Microsoft has been suspiciously quiet around Zune and Zune services over the past few months. The software giant’s Zune Video service gained over 50% more market share in 2010 compared to 2009, thanks to an international launch of the Zune Marketplace. Microsoft made Zune Video available in October to additional regions including Europe, Asia and Australia. Despite the expansion, Microsoft’s Zune services aren’t widely known outside of the United States. Microsoft’s marketing teams have spent little time and money on promoting Zune and the focus appears to be solely on Windows Phone.

  • http://twitter.com/ninlar Ryan

    I still love my ZuneHD w/ Zune Pass. I have a WP7, but I still like to have my dedicated ZuneHD for the gym and flying. The battery life is amazing on the ZuneHD. I think Microsoft just failed to properly market it like they have been with WP7.

    • Anonymous

      It wasn’t just marketing. How could they develope this to compete against the Ipod Touch and not include  a decent app store with plenty of games? I wonder if one of the oems can take a WP7 and take out the telephone capabilities to sell to kids and teens. Not all parents will pay for a data plan for their kids.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeffrey-Syang/507688178 Jeffrey Syang

      well, u do have to keep in mind that the zune hd is meant to be a pmp and not a mini computer, however in my opinion, the zune hd feels more like the middle ground between pure pmps such as cowons (zune hds have wonderful sound quality but is still below cowons by a fraction. Beats ipods by a bit tho. Granted, people must have the equipment to hear the difference.) and mini computers like the itouch. 

    • Anonymous

      That’s how Apple originally marketed the iPod touch, too, as a PMP.  Then they realized that was not what the market wanted, so they expanded it to full mobile computer capability.  And now they sell a zillion of the things.

      Why Microsoft thought that the PMP-focused strategy would be competitive is a mystery to me.

    • Anonymous

      That’s how Apple originally marketed the iPod touch, too, as a PMP.  Then they realized that was not what the market wanted, so they expanded it to full mobile computer capability.  And now they sell a zillion of the things.

      Why Microsoft thought that the PMP-focused strategy would be competitive is a mystery to me.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeffrey-Syang/507688178 Jeffrey Syang

      I personally have one, and to be honest, I sometimes really wonder why they don’t release the sdk for 3rd party developers (It makes a bit of sense in that there might be security issues with 3rd party apps. Not to mention, having two sets of apps for the wp7 and zhd would be kind of a pain to monitor.) However, I do think that the reason they chose to go down the pmp-focused route is to target the niche market, from the audiophiles to the apple-haters, and possibly provide an alternative for those who want something close to the itouch but not so app-oriented (I personally feel that the itouch depends on apps too much to make the device enticing. My brother has an itouch and after playing with it for a week, the interface bores me, no offense, the hell out of me [it has too many lists] while the zhd kept me “entertained” for about two years and still going). 

    • Anonymous

      Well, they certainly achieved niche level sales.  I don’t see what they ever had to gain by targeting a niche market; this is Microsoft we’re talking about, not a little startup.  They need big platform success to move the needle.

      By the way, though I’ve not touched one myself, my impression has always been that Zune HD was a very nice device.  It was just packaged and marketed in such a way that it had no chance to ever gain traction against the iPod touch juggernaut.

      Early in the days of the Zune, Microsoft liked to talk about how it was in the MP3 market for the long haul, and were going to keep iterating and fight their way into the market.  Seems funny in retrospect. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeffrey-Syang/507688178 Jeffrey Syang

      I can’t agree more. I do however, hope that that if they make a second zune hd, they will code it in a way so that it will be compatible with wp7 apps for those who really want apps while keeping its unique interface and great sound quality. On a side note, MS really needs to learn to market better if not more. btw, you might want to take a look at a few youtube vids on the zune hd to see what I mean by more “entertaining”. This is one of the better vids -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-UoLW0XkfA

    • Aaron

      I recently traded my old iTouch 2g 16gig for a ZuneHD32 and couldn’t be happier. Email was a deciding factor since it was recently released. I just wish it had a speaker. Taking my headphones to the head isn’t ideal.

    • Anonymous

      Considering there’s no such thing as an “iTouch”, the rest of your claim is in doubt.

    • Anonymous

      Just curious, why do people attribute the overall success or failure of a product to marketing?  That’s just not the case.  Some products (and their related ecosystems) are simply better than others.  If you’re late to the game, just being competent (like the Zune HD) isn’t enough.  

  • http://twitter.com/ninlar Ryan

    I still love my ZuneHD w/ Zune Pass. I have a WP7, but I still like to have my dedicated ZuneHD for the gym and flying. The battery life is amazing on the ZuneHD. I think Microsoft just failed to properly market it like they have been with WP7.

  • IE & Opera FanBoy

    For Windows Phone, its all those OEM Hardware vendors should advertise/market a lot. They are not spending as much as they are for android based phones. 

  • Aaron

    Zune HD came out at a bad time.  The Windows Phone OS and marketplace were still being developed, so I understand why it cannot use WP7 apps.  I guess they had to release something, but lack of an app store is still a show stopper when it comes to media devices these days.  Too bad they don’t seem interested in releasing a Zune HD 2 (or 7?) that could use the marketplace.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t understand why they couldn’t delay it. They would’ve made more money and people would be happy with the amount of apps the HD has. Microsoft’s team was foolish for choosing that route. It isn’t fair and it isn’t a good business practice to leave people in the dark without any firmware updates after 7 months of being released. We haven’t gotten a feature filled update since April of 2010. Someone needs to punch someone in the face because many people including me are pissed that we were left out so early with IE6 as a browser(no tabs, no forward button, the browser poops out half way through a long page), only having jumplists as a way to search. No typing the artists name or anything. Better WiFi support, unlocking of the firmware so we can actually do something with it(we can’t do anything because it’s encrypted). Something. It’s quite unfair.

      I hope Tom can pass this on to his tech friends. Thurott and Rafael Rivera,etc. 

  • Baileystein

    You got a typo there, the 62 apps are far behind 27.000? It is suppose to be 27,000

  • Baileystein

    You got a typo there, the 62 apps are far behind 27.000? It is suppose to be 27,000

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1367315317 Sebastian Oliva

      I think that’s how they do things in the Europe countries.

    • Guest

      Indeed, and probably explains the US debt crisis.

  • Anonymous

    WHY? I have a zune HD and really liked it, but MSFT neglected it into oblivion from day one. this is too little too late.

  • King of Efland

    Perhaps a Windows 8 based device is next?

  • bobk

    Microsoft should sell a new Zune or Xbox portable. Many young people are getting hooked on iPod touch and then they buy iPhone later. MS has to offer a device for the whole family.

  • Anonymous

    Bring back the Zune HD. We need a competitor to the iPod Touch.

  • Guest
  • Anonymous

    Thank you Microsoft! Splendid job with some of the apps!! Maybe MS could also improve the way apps are accessed. There are now many apps and scrolling through the whole list to find the app you need takes some time. A search to launch thw app like WP7 would be perfect.

    Also, of those 27000 app, how many are completely free? 10000 or even less? All Zune HD apps, all 62 of them are free. The 62 apps are handpicked. And what would you do with more than 100 or 200 apps? Imagine if you installed that many apps on your desktop computer.

    • A Morton

      640 kb should be enough for everybody….

  • Anonymous

    Updates are only for 3 apps. No updates for Shuffle by Album or Zune Reader. Wonder where you got that info.

  • Renzo

    Zune HD is dead for the same reason iPod is dead: the MP3 player market became a race to the bottom and those wanting to race to the top got smartphones instead.

    • kibbles

      funny, for being “dead” the iPod is sure raking in the cash.

    • http://profiles.google.com/marcosmalo Mark Mayer

      The iPod Touch uses iOS, and is basically an iPhone without the phone, not a pmp. Or if you want to look at it, it’s a “post PC” mobile computer. The rest of Apple’s iPod line is languishing, and Renzo is right. It’s a race to the bottom for pure pmps. (Pmp-ing isn’t easy.)

      MSFT now has a problem. They have three different OSes (4 if you count Xbox), and no clear strategy for unifying them. Balmer is has been very clear that Windows 8 is going to be the tablet OS, and I honestly don’t see how they’re going to pack a full PC OS into tablet (or smaller) hardware. Sure, eventually the hardware will catch up, but by that time the iPad will own the market (you could argue it already does). The Android tablet makers can’t seem to get their act together, so MSFT still has an opportunity here, but I think Windows 8 is the wrong wrong wrong choice.

      Ultimately, the problem is with Balmer. The man has no vision, and MSFT seems almost to be in a holding pattern. If Gates were still at the helm, he’d have gone all in on WP7, seeing that mobile “post PC” devices is where the future is, where the growth is.

      One thing I will say in MSFT’s favor: Their strategy of charging Android handset makers a license fee per android handset is brilliant. I don’t like patent trolls, but MS (and Apple and some other companies) honestly develop technology and shouldn’t let companies like Google steal this technology (and turn around and give it away for free, totally undermining them.) Google invents very little. Besides being a good source of revenue for MSFT (and I love the irony of MSFT making lots of money from open source), this is also a good stick to be used in conjunction with mango, ie., the carrot. HTC and Motorola have incentive to build WP7 phones now since Android isn’t really saving them money.

      Anyway, the “window” of opportunity to be serious player in the mobile market is closing. MSFT has a great product with WP7 as well as enough money to market the hell out of it. But they really need to go balls out. Unify product lines behind WP7 and leave Windows 8 for the very slow growing PC market.

    • Anonymous

      If by “dead” you mean “biggest fish in a shrinking pond” then I agree.  Apple now makes far more money from iPhone than from iPod.  But iPod dominates the portable audio / video player market, with roughly 77% market share worldwide.

  • Mojito

    Having purchased the Zune HD dock connected to my HDTV to play music, sync wirelessly to my PC, navigate the music marketplace, browse through my photo and video library, I would be more than content if the Netflix App becomes available to Zune HD as it has become available for my WP7!!! Hope the Biz Dev team is working on this or at least be able to watch movies from marketplace and sync movie to device and be able to watch on TV!! 

  • http://twitter.com/etandrib Nate Bird

    I feel bad that you’ve been covering Microsoft for the past ten years. Those have been the worst ten years to cover them. As for the Zune – it is obvious now that they made the Zune as an experiment for the Metro UI. I don’t expect to see another Zune release – ever…

    • http://profiles.google.com/marcosmalo Mark Mayer

      Do you mean new devices or OS updates? (or both)

  • Scottm4321

    “Microsoft’s Zune services aren’t widely known outside of the United States”

    I don’t believe that they’re widely known inside the United States either.

  • Anonymous

    …” the total amount of Zune HD apps available to 62…”

    What a f-ing joke.

  • Anonymous

    The iPod touch captured the non-data/phone market. Android devices and Windows 7 Phone devices don’t have a competing entry into that market. It’s unfortunate.

  • Anonymous

    My my, they’re going to port all of the 62 apps over! That will make quite a dent. Seriously, do most people care enough about those 62 apps?

  • Anonymous

    My my, they’re going to port all of the 62 apps over! That will make quite a dent. Seriously, do most people care enough about those 62 apps?

  • Studentrights

    Let’s face it… Apple has buried Microsoft for over decade with the iPod. Game Over.

  • Studentrights

    Let’s face it… Apple has buried Microsoft for over decade with the iPod. Game Over.

  • Simon

    I work on a liveaobard diving boat in Egypt – every week we see a dozen iphones/ipods. I saw a Zune once about 3 years ago. It was brown. nuff said 

  • Jason B

    We all know Zune is dead but it just keeps playing….. Zunbies.   The dead lives!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HE2NSIVZJVOPGELM5XSRWTKLX4 MacLaw

    Is this like the Onion or something?   Should I be laughing?

  • furball

    Isn’t 27 apps less than half of 62? And why the need for so many decimal places?

  • Anonymous

    What we need is a WP7 device w/o the phone chips but with WiFI. Basically an iPod Touch or Samsung Galaxy S.

  • nath

    they need a shooting game on it