Microsoft Announces the Final Details For a Zune Launch in Canada

TORONTO, ON — May 6, 2008 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that 4GB, 8GB and 80GB Zune digital music players will be available in Canadian stores on June 13, 2008. In anticipation of the arrival of the players, Canadians can visit www.zune.ca starting today, May 6, 2008, to download free Zune software and join the Zune online music community.

“Zune is more than just a music player for Canadians, it’s a shared, social experience,” said Craig Tullett, Group Manager, Zune Canada. “We’re excited to offer people an innovative way to discover, share and enjoy their music wherever they go.”

Zune Digital Music Players

Starting June 13, 2008, a variety of players and customization options will make it easy for Canadians to find the size, colour, design and price of Zune that best suits them. All Zune players support video, audio and pictures, have FM tuners and the ability to sync and share songs, playlists and pictures wirelessly. The Zune player family launching in Canada includes:

  • Zune 80. The Zune 80GB has a bright 3.2-inch screen, includes premium in-ear noise-isolating headphones and will be available in black and red. (SRP: $249.99 CDN)
  • Zune 4 & Zune 8. The slim, ultra-portable Zune 4GB and Zune 8GB will both be available in black, red and pink. (SRP: $139.99 CDN for 4GB and $189.99 CDN for 8GB)
  • Zune Originals. Canadians will have the option to purchase and customize their Zune player with personal text options and laser-engraved designs from international artists.

A Richer, Alternative Entertainment Experience Zune is redefining the digital music experience through its distinctive features:

  • Wireless Sync. Canadians can set their Zune to automatically sync to their PC collection via a home wireless network whenever it’s placed in its dock or plugged in to charge, making it easy to keep the Zune updated with the latest music or podcasts. Consumers can also manually start a wireless sync from their device as soon as they are within range of their wireless network.
  • FM Tuner. Canadians can easily listen to their favourite FM radio stations when they’re on the go or tune into television audio at the gym. Zune will even display the name of the song and the artist, using Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS) information from stations that broadcast it.
  • Wireless Sharing. Canadians can share select music, pictures and audio podcasts with other Zune devices nearby. Consumers can listen to any received song up to three times with no time restrictions and even pass it along to other friends with a Zune.

Zune Software

Starting May 6, 2008, download Zune software from www.zune.ca to organize and enjoy music on a PC, create playlists, manage podcasts and burn CDs. Once Zune players are available at retail starting June 13, 2008, use Zune software to easily drag and drop music, videos and photos to sync content to a Zune player. Zune software features include:

  • Auto Playlists. Create an auto playlist that updates itself automatically based on the criteria you set.
  • Editing Album and Track Information. Edit track or album information (metadata) quickly with multi-select and drag-and-drop features. This advanced metadata editing features make it easy to edit multiple tracks or survey albums and artist information.
  • Organizing Collections. Sort by artist, album or genre. While browsing by genre sort further by artist, album or release year.
  • Gapless Playback. Listen to an album without the brief gap between tracks, both on Zune players and in the Zune software. This is a must-have for live concert recordings and, compilation albums.
  • Sync Groups. Create custom groups for music, pictures and videos and sync to multiple Zune players.

Zune Online Music Community

Built around the inherently social nature of music and aimed at helping people discover new music, the Zune community exposes members to what their friends are listening to. In a recent study commissioned by Zune, 55% of Canadian consumers surveyed expressed frustration when trying to find new music, saying they didn’t have enough time, didn’t know where to look or that they felt they ended up wasting money on music they didn’t like. At the same time, 87% said they would trust a friend or family member’s musical recommendation over a music critic’s. (Source: Kelton Research, April 2008)

Seamlessly integrated into the Zune software, the Zune community is built around free, customizable Zune Cards which automatically reflect the music people are listening to on their Zune player or on their PC. Zune online music community features include:

  • Embeddable Zune Cards. Canadians can easily paste their Zune Card to Facebook, blogs or other websites where it will automatically update to show others what they’re listening to.
  • Artist and Album Reviews. Inside the Zune music community, members have the ability to write and post their own reviews for artists and albums, providing another community driven feature to help people find and recommend the best music.
  • Artist Pages. Check out biographies and find new music by seeing what other artist fans are listening to.
  • Windows Live Connections. Windows Live Messenger buddies will now be able to see what you’re listening to; clicking on the song will take people to that artist’s page in the Zune online music community.

More information on Zune and related images are available at http://www.zunenews.ca

About Zune

Zune is Microsoft’s music and entertainment brand that provides an integrated digital entertainment experience. The Zune platform includes a line of portable digital media players, the Zune Marketplace online store, and Zune Social, created to help people discover music. Zune is part of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division and supports the company’s software-based services vision to help drive innovation in the digital entertainment space. More information can be found online at http://www.zunenews.ca

About Microsoft Canada

Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Co. is the Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq “MSFT”) the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Visit Microsoft Canada’s web site at www.microsoft.ca.

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