Microsoft's digital entertainment service, Zune, will expand in the UK and Europe this fall, providing Xbox Live Gold access to unlimited streaming of "millions of songs" via a Zune Pass music subscription.
The service, which costs $8.99 ($14) per month, will be initially available to users in the U.K, France, Italy and Spain, with a single Zune Pass subscription offering access to the Zune music catalogue across Xbox 360, Windows-based PCs, Zune devices and Windows Phone 7.
"The integration between Zune, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox LIVE is an exciting advance in our entertainment offering," said Craig Eisler, Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business corporate VP. "Zune enables users access to the entertainment they want, wherever they want it -- and now, more people than ever will be able to enjoy the freedom and flexibility that the Zune service offers."
As well as being able to purchase MP3s from Zune Marketplace for use on compatible players, users can also purchase music videos for viewing on Windows-based PCs, Windows Phone 7 and Zune on Xbox Live.
In addition to Zune video on Xbox Live, consumers will also be able to rent movies for viewing on their Windows-based PC or choose to sync the rental to their Windows Phone 7. Consumers in the UK will also have the option to purchase download-to-own movies and music videos to watch over Xbox Live, on their Windows PC or through Windows Phone 7.
Microsoft has said that the content provided internationally will vary by market, with "local experts" selecting the top songs, videos and unique promotions for each country.
The Zune PC software suite has also been upgraded to serve as the Window 7 phone synchronization client with the new version free to download from Zune's marketplace.