Microsoft readies public beta of Mac Connector tool for Windows Phone 7

Summary:If you are an Apple user who really wants to "think different" and buy a WP7 device instead of an iPhone, you will have a way to get your updates -- the new Mac Connector for WP7, which goes to public beta later this year.

Now that embargoes on Windows Phone 7 reviewer information are ending, Microsoft is allowing us to say more about exactly how it plans to allow Apple Mac users to sync with the new breed of WP7 devices.

(A bit about this leaked out earlier this month and Microsoft said we could say something was coming, but prevented us from sharing the details, for some odd reason.)

Microsoft is not releasing a version of its Zune PC for the Mac (at least not yet). Instead, it has built what it's calling a Mac Connector tool for Windows Phone 7. Unlike the Zune PC client (codenamed "Dorado"), the Connector is not a Zune play-back app.

It is meant to allow Mac users who want to buy Windows Phone 7 phones to sync their content with the phones. And by "content," in this case, Microsoft means iTunes content (that isn't DRM'd), iPhoto content and any Windows Phone 7 software and/or app updates for the phones.

The public beta of this tool is due out some time before the end of this year. (I hear the folks who were briefed in Europe were told October 24, but Microsoft would not confirm that date when I asked.) The final version of the Connector tool is out early next year.

I am let down that Microsoft isn't (yet) delivering a Zune client for Apple.... I'd rather have it for iOS than the MacOS, since I am an iPad user. But now that Apple is merging some elements of iOS into MacOS, maybe that distinction will matter less in the future (?). The Zune client app is a really nice piece of software and seems to me a lot easier to use and more functional than iTunes.

In any case, if you are an Apple user who really wants to "think different" and buy a WP7 device instead of an iPhone, you will have a way to get your updates.

Topics: Apple, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Windows


Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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