"Celebrating the U.S. launch of the new Zune™ digital media player and music service, Microsoft Corp. has worked with a number of cutting-edge artists to stage free concerts in public parks and plazas in urban centers across the country. Today at Westlake Park in downtown Seattle at the first of these Zune concerts, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates took the stage to share his excitement for this next step Microsoft is taking in music and entertainment. Gates outlined the Zune vision to create new ways for people to connect, discover and share music and entertainment experiences. He was joined onstage by John Richards, morning show host of popular community radio station KEXP, to showcase the new Zune-to-Zune wireless sharing feature. Richards wirelessly sent the inaugural song to Gates, who then surprised the crowd by giving away his Zune device to a member of the audience. Building on the “Hello from Seattle” greeting printed on the back of every Zune device, Richards created a playlist to celebrate Seattle music in honor of the Zune launch. The complete KEXP “Hello from Seattle” playlist will be available on Zune Marketplace for consumers to download."
The official Zune launch is just a couple of hours away, and well, you know how it goes. Things don't feel official without some official PRs from the company itself. If you're interested in checking them out, hit PressPass for one about the launch
and one about the "social"
. The second PR is very focused on the concept of "future-proofing". Microsoft wants you to know that despite some current limitations, the Zune will be upgradeable. We've seen this happen over the past year with the Xbox 360, and with the same team working on the Zune, I do believe that it'll be given the same sort of treatment.
So, folks, the Zune will be available from 30,000 US retailers. Tell us if you'll be picking up one (or two or three) tomorrow.