Zune software going to Macs. Heads explode

Posted by Raven Lovecraft

For the first time since the introduction of Microsoft's Zune media player several years ago, the platform that was once seen as a direct rival to iTunes will be going to Apple's computer operating system.

Eagle-eyed Twitter followers found a Tweet from Windows Phone marketing chief in the UK Oded Ran. It read, "ANNOUNCEMENT: I'm glad to confirm that Mac users would be able to use Zune on their Macs to sync with #WP7. More details soon."

The post was quickly deleted, assumedly because Ran realized he wasn't supposed to make that announcement just yet. That's one cat that you can never put back in the bag, though.

If it seems like bringing the Zune media software to Macs is happening at a random time, it is anything but. With Windows Phone 7, users will need to have the Zune software on their computer in order to sync content with their phone.

But Zune software isn't available on Macs. As much as Microsoft hates Apple, it probably hated more the idea that anyone who owned a Mac would essentially have no reason to buy a Windows Phone 7 device.

Microsoft is taking all the steps possible to create a winner with Windows Phone 7. Android and the iPhone made its previous platform, Windows Mobile 6.5, almost completely irrelevant, and its short-lived social-centric "Kin" platform died before the vast majority of consumers ever even heard of it.

The software giant hopes to do a better job with making a comeback than Blackberry maker Research in Motion did. The new Blackberry 6 operating system and flagship Blackberry Torch device fizzled out.

Despite a large marketing campaign and months of media hype, the "new" platform was seen as nothing but an incremental upgrade to previous Blackberry platforms, with absolutely no work made to address some of the underlying problems to the software, which still has an archaic underlying infrastructure that's more than 20 years old.

Microsoft is taking the required approach of really starting from scratch. Windows Phone 7 looks nothing like the last Windows Mobile platform, and even though it will be extremely integrated with other Windows products, it appears as though it's at least trying to entice Apple fans as well.