Maybe there’s no Zune Phone in the works, but it increasingly looks like Microsoft’s (MSFT) entertainment division is doubling down on their push into music.
Two job listings point to new Zune initiatives:
- Microsoft-subsidiary Musiwave, which brings music and downloaded content to mobile users mostly in Europe, is looking for engineers to turn mobile devices into “Zune tuners,” Techflash reports. This might be the implementation of “Project Pink,” the rumoured plan to expand Zune services onto Windows Mobile phones.
- Even more interesting, CNET found a job listing to bring Zune to the Xbox. We’re surprised this hasn’t happened already. According to a report released by the NPD group yesterday, games like “Guitar Hero” one of the fastest-growing ways people are discovering new music to buy. If a kid discovers a song playing Xbox “Rock Band,” Microsoft needs to make sure the purchase happens through them and not on Apple’s (AAPL) iTunes or Amazon’s (AMZN) MP3 store later.
Seems like Microsoft is making some good moves here, and the more places you can use your Zune service the better. But Apple’s iPod dominates because of ease-of-use, elegance, and “cool factor.” Engineering and distribution initiatives show Microsoft is being aggressive, which is good, but engineering alone won’t cure the Zune’s troubles.