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Microsoft Commits To Zune Client For Macs

Microsoft has revealed that it is preparing to deliver a Zune client for Apple computers by the end of the year. The move is being made to support its Windows Phone 7 devices.
One of the bigger questions facing Microsoft after its debut of Windows Phone 7 is how it will treat syncing with Apple computers. To-date, Microsoft has not provided Zune software for the Macintosh platform. If it wants to sell Windows Phone 7 devices to consumers, however, it is going to have to play ball with Apple.

Microsoft's Windows 7 Revealed
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Microsoft's Windows 7 Phone Revealed

Late Tuesday, the company issued a brief statement, "Later in 2010 Microsoft will make a public beta available of a tool that allows Windows Phone 7 to sync select content with Mac computers."

What does that mean, exactly? It means that the desktop client will allow Windows Phone 7 users to sync their music, photos, and video content with iTunes and iPhoto (as long as said content is free of DRM shackles).

The Zune-Mac client is not the full Windows version of Zune software, and Microsoft didn't say anything about how or if it will allow Apple users to access Zune accounts and content. The Mac client also won't support major software updates for Windows Phone 7 devices, either.

Whether or not Microsoft wanted to develop Zune for Mac, this is a strategic step that it had to take. Part of Apple's success in convincing Windows users to buy the iPod, iPhone and iPad is that it created a Windows version of iTunes. This lets Windows users access iTunes content and the iPhone Apps Store from their machines and sync them fully with their iOS devices.

Apple knew early on it had to play that game in order to gain wider adoption of its devices. Now that Microsoft is the underdog, it has to employ the same tactic if it wants to win back customers