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Old 05-07-2008, 07:30 AM
Jason Dunn
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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Default Zune Will Launch in Canada Without Online Store


"Microsoft Corp. is bringing the Zune, its answer to the iPod, to Canada, but the media player's initial launch will be hamstrung by the lack of an accompanying download store. The company on Tuesday announced the Zune player will be available in stores here on June 13, making Canada the first country outside the United States to get the device. The online Zune marketplace, where device owners can purchase music and video content, however, won't be available on launch. Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it was adding episodes of popular television shows, including The Office, South Park and Battlestar Galactica, to its U.S. online marketplace. There are a number of factors that need to be sorted out before the online store can be made available here, said Elana Zur, product manager for Zune in Canada. "We need to do what makes sense for Canada," she said. "We want to make sure that rather than rushing it, we develop the model that makes the most sense for the market.""

There was some speculation about this issue when I posted about it yesterday, but it seems we have the answer: no Zune marketplace store at launch time. That kind of sucks, because it's a less-than-ideal scenario for the Zune, but I still thing it's better than nothing. Get the hardware into the market, and even if people can only use it with their ripped CDs, at least it's out there. I really hope that the "model that makes the most sense for the market" isn't one of these "We need to have localized content or it won't succeed" excuses that is delaying the launch of the store.

The only people who don't believe that the US and Canada have nearly identical cultures in terms of entertainment are usually the ones either working for the Canadian government, or someone who receives government grants for "defending" Canadian culture. If the reason the Zune marketplace isn't launching in Canada on June 13th is because they're trying to get French content in order, or some uniquely Canadian TV content...then the Zune team has been listening to the wrong people. Bring the Zune marketplace to Canada with exactly the same content as the US marketplace, and everything will be just fine.
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