A Unified Zune-Xbox, on the Way?

According to J. Allard from Microsoft, the Zune is likely to get more integrated with the XBox. This is a logical step since both are Microsoft products and are served by the same back end software.

In the future envisioned by Allard, people will be able to rent and buy music, movies, games or videos and play them seamlessly on mobile phone, portable media player or on their home entertainment center. To achieve this without problems to the consumer is the goal.

Allard wants more options than the Xbox Live $50 a year service or the $15/month Zune Pass. With the Zune Pass you can listen to unlimited music downloads as long as you continue to pay the fee. Microsoft is looking to cater to the person who pays for content that expires after a short while (the renter) or the person who want to own the content (the owner) and also the person who wants the content physically in his possession.

This vision is interrupted by digital rights management. Microsoft has faced issues in the past where digital rights management and the confusion over it has ruined the experience of a large number of users. However the dream of a unified platform on which Xbox 360, the Zune player and mobile phones run continues