No Zune connector on Windows Phones

I just received word back from Microsoft on my connector query. It turns out that Windows Phones will not use the Zune connector as some had hoped. Indeed, the otherwise rigid Windows Phone 7 Series hardware specification does not stipulate a physical interface of any kind, even mini-USB. So device makers are free to implement their own device-to-PC/charging solutions, and we’ll likely see a mix of mini-USB, micro-USB, and even (shame) proprietary connectors on Windows Phones.

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11 Responses to No Zune connector on Windows Phones

  1. claytontlewis says:

    This is going to make it very difficult to get an audio connector for cars without an audio jack. :(

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      Yep. I guess with more and more cars having standard USB ports and audio in jacks, it’s not as bad as it was a few years ago. While I think going forward with the Zune connector could have made some sense, clearly there isn’t a wellspring of Zune-compatible devices out there.

  2. bellinghamhosting says:

    Aren’t cell phone manufacturers being required by law in the US to be using usb based connectors by 2012? Still a shame they aren’t setting a standard like the zunes connector so that third parties know where the connector will be and what it will look like.

    Hey, while I’m here I have a question. Do you know if I’ll be able to stream or download music on the go from Zune on my Microsoft Windows 7 Series Pro Ultimate Home-Extreme Edition phone? I’m really looking forward to ditching my first gen zune and Droid Eris for one device :D

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      My understanding was that cell phone makers (including, interestingly, Apple) and the EU agreed in a non-binding way to implement mini-USB as a standard connector type by a certain year (perhaps 2012). I will need to look this up.

      Not sure yet on the streaming question. If you have a Zune Pass, you will be able to stream content from the Zune Marketplace to your device, however.

      • bellinghamhosting says:

        Perhaps you’re right. It was a while ago that I read about it.

        Awesome, that’s exactly what I wanted to hear!

  3. decoy9697 says:

    Paul, will the W7 phones have a regular audio jack? That’s how I connect my zune to my car audio at the moment.

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      That will be up to the device makers, but I can’t imagine a modern smart phone shipping without one at this point.

      • ropp29 says:

        Yeah, pretty much all phones do now, but that wasn’t the case relatively recently. I have an HTC Touch Pro (WM 6.1) and it doesn’t have any audio jack at all; just a USB port. I have to have an adapter every time I want to listen to music, which is extremely frustrating. So I would certainly hope all of the W7 phones would have a regular audio jack, because it really sucks without one.

  4. interframe says:

    Well, at least we’ll still have wireless sync with the Zune PC software. And most OEMs will probably go with micro-usb.

    And Paul, glad to see your so interested in Windows Phone that you practically made a special website for it! :) Overtime, this platform will become increasingly more and more important. It makes sense to follow Windows Phone anyways, mobile is the future and Microsoft is begining to make this platform incredibly interesting.

  5. pastorwelker says:

    I hope a new Windows Phone will work with the Zune HD AV Dock. I paid more than a little money for that and now that Zune HD 4.5 brings the Marketplace to the TV the dock is finally worth the money.

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      Most likely not. I suppose it’s possible some company will choose to use the connector. In fact, that’d even be welcome.

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