Microsoft plans Wi-Fi song downloads for Zune

Just as reports emerge that the Zune’s Wi-Fi sharing functionality blocks certain songs, Microsoft has decided to dangle a carrot in front of prospective Zune owners by promising additional Wi-Fi features. As The Register reports, the company’s Entertainment Business Global Marketing Manager Chris Stephenson has stated that he wants to see “music dispensed by over the air ‘filling stations’ to Zunes.” Stephenson says the best places for such “filling stations” would be McDonald’s restaurants, Starbucks coffee shops, and retail chains that already have Wi-Fi hot spots. Citing no other specifics, Stephenson added that Microsoft was looking for additional ways for Zune users to “cache and download on the go.”

In related news, an interesting piece of e-mail correspondance has surfaced in the Comes v. Microsoft anti-trust trial. The correspondance, dated November 13, 2003, contains a rant by Microsoft Platform Products and Services co-President Jim Allchin about MP3 players from Creative and Dell. Allchin said Apple was “so far ahead” of its competitors with the iPod and that he should talk with Apple CEO Steve Jobs because “unless something changes, the iPOD (sic) will drive people away from [Windows Media Player].”

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