Microsoft releases all 9 (yes, 9) Zune apps which come complete with static and pre-roll video ads

“Apps for [Microsoft’s] new Zune HD are now available… with an unexpected ‘bonus’: static and video ads that play during launch,” Nate Anderson reports for Ars Technica.

MacDailyNews Take: There’s nothing at all unexpected about it:

We are going to be an advertising company, and we are going to be a devices company. Advertising is a new business model. Now we don’t just talk about ISVs [independent software vendors], we talk about publishers. What’s a publisher? It’s an ISV in the modern world who also wants to accept advertising. That’s kind of the definition… We need to embrace that. We need to be world-class at that… We are hell-bent and determined to allocate the talent, the resources, the money, the innovation, to absolutely become a powerhouse in the ad business… I think we’ll bring this kind of tenacity that will enable us to, let’s just say, make great strides.Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, July 26, 2007

Anderson continues, “Nine apps are available: calculator, weather, Texas hold ’em, Sudoku, Space Battle 3, Shell Game… Of the Future, Hexic, Goo Splat, and Chess.”

MacDailyNews Take: That’s it, Zune’s App-Lack™ has ended, we’re switchin’! cheese

Anderson continues, “They’re ‘free,’ since Microsoft has apparently decided to sell ads against them. The ads show up during app launch, which takes an astonishingly long time.”

Microsoft’s Zune ads from Ars Technica on Vimeo:

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Zune HD has nine (9) apps. iPod touch has over 75,000. In early August, Apple told the FCC that the App Store for iPhone and iPod touch receives approximately 8,500 new applications and updates per week.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Gandu” for the heads up.]


  1. My free Sudoku and chess games for the iPhone don’t have cool car commercials like the Zune (cough, cough) HD.

    Now how will I figure out which car to buy?
    Oh, wait! What was that “decision maker” called? ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”rolleyes” style=”border:0;” />

  2. “Calculator” and “Weather” are extras that you have to download from the zune app store? The original iPhone in 2007 included calculator and weather in the basic setup. This seems like a pretty desperate move on the part of MS to make their app store have 9 applications instead of 7.

    I can’t believe Microsoft released a wifi, touch-screen media player in 2009 that can’t do email or youtube. Hello, 2006.

  3. also, there is no excuse for commercials during launch time on these apps. Microsoft has over 200 billion dollars, it DOES NOT need to subsidize in-house Zune app development with commercials. If I were a Zune customer, I would consider this a slap in the face.

  4. The apps are all touch-enabled, though it looks as though only the calculator takes advantage of the accelerometer; <u>twisting the screen into landscape mode switches the calculator to a scientific model</u>.

    They stole that idea from the iPhone and iPod touch.

  5. This thing is going to miserably fail. One thing is to drive down a road and see a billboard, see a TV commercial, but on your MP3 player, no way. Who is the target market for this thing?

  6. Couldn’t they have made it an even 10? Solitaire could have been #10 (and very appropriate for a Windows CE -based OS).

    “Weather” is an app? I thought it was a web site. How about making “Stocks” and “Sports” and “News” apps too, to help reduce the App-Lack?

  7. Aren’t somewhere around 10,000% more iPhone apps submitted to Apple every single day?
    Actually, I’m beginning to find MS’s pitiful efforts entertaining, in the fact that one has to wonder what these people are thinking.
    I think the public is slowly coming to lose faith in MS’s ability to get anything right. . . . Even if it is true that Windows 7 is markedly better than Vista, what would leave anyone to believe boasts of that, when one regards the company’s history?

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