I'm sure I don't need to tell you that there's a great deal of momentum around the upcoming release of Zune in the USA. As you can read on the Agwire blog and News.com the North American release schedule is public.
Earlier this week I heard that currently there isn't a release date for Zune in other markets or indeed commitment that Zune will be released elsewhere. I'd like Zune to be in the shops near all of us in time for Christmas but that doesn't sound likely unless you're in the USA. If you'd like to see Zune in your market then please hit the "comment" button and share your thoughts.
Releasing Zune into a market requires far more than shipping devices as it's important to establish the right commercial agreements with content providers. The Zune Insider Blog includes discussion of this very subject and quotes a statement apparently made by Dene Schonknecht - he's the media and entertainment alliance manager at Microsoft in the UK.
I really like the idea of being able to share music with friends via Zune's unique feature - they receive the track(s) via wireless communications between two Zune devices and are able to play the track(s) a few times (three times over a three day period) to see if they want to buy the music themselves.
The Zune.net site is now up and running - it hosts funky "marketing" images and promotional material together with useful information about what you can do with Zune. Thanks to James Senior for posting about Zune.net.
The image below is from Zune.net.
The ZuneMarketPlace will be one of the most useful areas of the site as it's where Zune subscribers will be able to purchase music - it's not yet populated with content but I'm sure it will be once the device is released.
The ZuneMax site includes some interesting interviews with Microsofties who are working on Zune.
As Blake Hander writes on his blog Zune players will be initially available in Black, White and Brown. What's wrong with a nice bold blue colour too? I've been surprised through speaking to friends and family that Brown seems to be the best received Zune colour.
The Zune Virtual Press Room is a great place to read official information about Zune.