Microsoft expands Zune's international presence before Windows Phone 7

Microsoft Monday announced that it will be launching its "Multi-screen" Zune services in new international markets this fall. The expansion will bring the free Zune software version 4.7, Zune Marketplace with non-DRM MP3 and video downloads and movie rentals, and the Zune Pass subscription service to a total of 20 countries.

Only the UK and France will be open to all of these features, and the rest will vary between countries.

Zune Pass (U.K., France, Italy and Spain) will be accessible on Windows-based PCs, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox LIVE, but will lack the download-to-keep feature that US subscribers have. It will cost €9.99 per month for unlimited download and streaming.

Music purchase (U.K., France, Italy, Spain and Germany) lets users buy non-protected MP3 files and music videos to keep. Microsoft today said content from Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music and Warner Music Group will be available, as well as content from independent labels.

Video purchase (U.K., France, Germany, Canada, Australia and New Zealand). Consumers will be able to download full-length movies and watch them on Xbox LIVE, a Windows-based PC, or Windows Phone 7 device. Microsoft said Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution will be providing content, among other studios, which it did not name.

Movie rental (U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Mexico, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.) As the name suggests, users in these countries will now be able to rent movies from Zune Marketplace and sync them across their devices.

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