Today Zune HD users will be pleased to find that Microsoft have added the following free XNA application downloads to the Zune Marketplace:
- Windows Live Messenger 2011
- Dr. Optics
- Castles and Cannons
The Windows Live Messenger is a very full featured application and includes functionality such as facebook chat, video and photo viewing. In many regards this is a bigger and more powerful application Windows Phone 7's email or calendar applications. Does this mean there is a chance that email, calendar, etc will come to the Zune? That's hard to tell, so users will have to wait and see.
These new application releases certainly indicate that Microsoft is committed to supporting the Zune user base - even while most of their mobile team are focussed on Windows Phone 7. This bodes well for the future of the Zune - and increases the likelihood of a Zune 2.0 device being released in 2011. Rumours have suggested a new Zune might be released in that timeframe that would run the full Windows Phone 7 operating system (without the phone specific components). It is anticipated it would be what an iPod Touch is to an iPhone.
The richness of the Windows Live Messenger application also gives some guidance on what depth of applications should be expected on Windows Phone 7 when it is released shortly. Stay tuned to @paulspain on Twitter for further updates.
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