At the start of this week, as is was gearing up to launch Windows Phone 7, Microsoft made available for download an updated version of the Zune Software client.
The fact that the release of version 4.7 of the Zune Software was scheduled to coincide with the launch event for Windows Phone 7 was meant to underline the fact that the Zune service and the company’s latest Windows mobile platform are closely connected.
The new free Zune Marketplace version 4.7 media player and synchronization software comes with full support not only for Zune HD as well as previous Zune devices, but also for upcoming smartphones powered by Windows Phone 7.
“If you are a current Zune user, you will be asked to update your current Zune software the next time you launch the Zune software,” revealed Rob Greenlee, Podcast Programming & Marketing Lead for Microsoft Zune.
“If you are not a current Zune Marketplace media player software or device user, then you can download it to get access to Zune Pass Music, TV, Movies, Movie Trailers and Podcasts on your PC today.”
New Windows Phone 7 devices will be launched on October 21st on select European markets and on November 8th in the United States.
Windows Phone 7 comes with a number of focal points dubbed hubs, one of them reserved for Zune.
The Music and Video hub of Windows Phone 7 devices is powered by Zune in the background, allowing users to both manage and access their own media collection, but also stream content from the Zune service right on their phones.
Zune Pass subscriptions are available to customers in the US, UK, France, Italy and Spain.
“In addition, the Zune software will serve as the Windows-based PC sync client for the handsets allowing a user to manage and transfer their media between PCs and Windows Phone 7 handsets,” Greenlee stated.
Microsoft has already started rolling up updates to Zune PC software version 4.7 to all customers as of October 11th, 2010.
Greenlee also enumerated some of the advantages of the Zune client:
“The Zune PC software provides a best-in-class experience to manage, discover and enjoy digital media with a variety of exclusive features including new enhancements such as:
• First Connect: provides a simple out-of-the box experience for Windows Phone 7 customers with automatic updates to Zune content upon initial connection
• HD Streaming Video: enables instant-on HD video streaming available on your Windows-based PC for many rented and purchased videos
• Photo Sync: allows a smoother process for transferring photos from a Windows Phone to your Windows-based PC
• Sync Media: lets users purchase music and videos through Windows Phone 7 and sync content with their Windows-based PC
• Parental Controls & Rating on Videos: gives parents more control of available content streamed or downloaded to a phone.”
Microsoft will allow Windows Phone 7 users in the US, UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain will be able to subscribe to Zune Pass for £8.99/9.99 per month, and leverage Zune software to access the Zune Marketplace.
Zune Software 4.7 is available for download here.