Windows Phone 7 will sync with Apple Mac
Microsoft to release management tool for Apple computers
By John P. Mello Jr. | PC World | Published: 13:00, 14 October 2010
After a UK exec spilled the beans, Microsoft officially announced that it will be releasing a tool to allow phones running its Windows Phone 7 software to sync some content with Apple Macintosh computers. The official announcement lacked the promise of a twitter message sent earlier by the exec that Microsoft was preparing a full blown version of its Zune software for the Mac.
The Zune software is needed to sync information and media between WP7 phones and a computer. However, Microsoft only makes a PC version of the application. Without some means to sync the phones with Apple products, there would be a strong incentive for Mac owners to shun WP7. When you have as small a share of the mobile market as Microsoft has, it's probably not a good idea to turn you back on any potential customers.
In its official statement on the WP7-Mac connection, the company said, "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."
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That statement is more narrowly construed than an earlier tweet by Microsoft UK's head of Windows Phone marketing Oded Ran, which was subsequently removed from Twitter. "ANNOUNCEMENT: I'm glad to confirm that Mac users would be able to use Zune on their Macs to sync with #WP7," Ran tweeted. "More details soon."
Phones based on WP7 are the first to deliver an iTunes-like experience to Windows users. All media, photos, music and videos can be synchronised between the Zune software and the phone. In addition, Zune Pass, a subscription service that allows subscribers to listen to from 8 million to 10 million songs on demand, will be available to WP7 users in some countries when the phones reach the shelves on October 21.
If Microsoft made a full fledged version of its Zune software available on the Mac, it would give Mac owners who bought WP7 phones the kind of experience they'd get with an iPhone, plus a subscription music service, which doesn't exist at Apple's iTunes store. Moreover, the move could win some converts for Microsoft's Zune media player, which has a pathetic 2 percent market share compared with Apple's iPod line which has over 70 percent of the pie.
Microsoft's announcement of "a tool" for syncing WP7 and Macs, though, pretty much tosses a wet blanket on that pipe dream.