Lately we’ve been hearing talk of a chart showing just how fragmented the Windows Phone experience is. We’ve posturing from those who want more of Windows Phone’s signature features in their area. Now whether this news would be reaching a fever pitch if we weren’t in the middle of a giant Windows Phone 7 and Zune news drought is beyond me, but I won’t say I’m all that upset about this fragmentation and to understand why, you must consider what Windows Phone 7 really is. Windows Phone 7 is Microsoft’s first serious attempt to bring all of the software giant’s products together. That means working with teams that aren’t yet ready to roll out the products to other markets, which means having to coordinate roadmaps with parts of the company that were until very recently U.S. only like Zune for example. So why am I writing about it on a Zune website? If you guys want to whine about fragmentation, I’ll show you fragmentation.

Zune Devices

We’ll start with the straight forward ones. The availability of the Zune devices outside of the United States has always been a sticking point with the platform. Take notice of how Canada gets a launch of two devices, then Zune pulls out the hardware entirely. Friend of the site Jason Dunn has been singing this tune for ages. This unfortunately is damage that can’t be undone, so oh well. It sucks, (shout out Canada) but hardly part of the bigger picture right?

Zune HD Zune 4/8/16 Zune 30 Zune 80 / 120 Windows Phone
Australia

x

Belgium

x

Canada

x

x

x

Germany

x

France

x

Denmark

x

Mexico

x

India
Ireland

x

Italy

x

Netherlands

x

New Zealand

x

Norway

x

Sweden

x

United Kingdom

x

USA

x

x

x

x

x

Ecosystem Options

Let’s now turn to other parts of the platform. Much has been made about Zune becoming Microsoft’s premier entertainment brand. In the United States Zune isn’t just software it is a rather large ecosystem. Let’s take a look at the different parts that come together.

Zune.net MP3 Marketplace Zune Software Zune on BING Zune on XBOX Zune Podcasts in Windows Media Center
Australia

X

X (Video Only)
Austria

X

X (Video Only)
Belgium

X

X (Video Only)
Canada

X

X

X (Video Only)
Germany

X

X

X

France

x

X

X

Finland X (Video Only)
Denmark

X

X (Video Only)
Mexico

X

X

India
Ireland

X

X (Video Only)
Italy

X

X

X

Netherlands

X

X (Video Only)
New Zealand

X

X (Video Only)
Norway

X

X (Video Only)
Sweden

X

X (Video Only)
Spain

X

X

X

United Kingdom

X

X

X

USA

X

X

X

X

X

Music Discovery Features

Discovering music much like having your music anywhere has also been a big check for Microsoft here in the U.S. You can buy music from anywhere but the ease at what you can discover new artists are what sets it apart from other services. Here’s a look at music discoverability features found in the Zune software and the Zune Social.

Zune Social Smart DJ Channels Mixview Picks 10 Free Tracks
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Canada
Germany

X

X

France

X

X

Finland
Denmark
Mexico
India
Ireland
Italy

X

X

Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Sweden
Spain
United Kingdom

X

X

USA

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

We’ll stop there, but had I included features on different devices we’d be going another paragraph and chart. Many people would argue that “licensing is hard”, that some countries make it “impossible” to offer many features including Zune Pass. Sure, then why not just sell DRM Free MP3s like you do in the software or on Zune.net. Neither can be that hard as Apple does both in foreign countries. The point here isn’t to point fingers –wait it is to point fingers. I’m a Zune user, and a fan. I love it to death, but for it to become Microsoft’s Entertainment platform, it must first fill out these charts. To have televisions shows in one area, and no podcasts anywhere except the United States is ridiculous. To purchase a Windows Phone with Zune only to not be a first class Zune experience is nuts. To pay the same prices for television shows as every other country and not be able to sync them to any mobile device when others can is practically absurd. If you want these options in your country complaining to the Windows Phone team is alright, but you need to go directly to the source, The Zune Team.