Zune Media Players Taking Flight With United Airlines

Microsoft's Zune HD sure has seen a difficult road. No matter how hard the company tried, they never could gain ground on Apple. The iPod has proven too strong for even Microsoft's marketing powers, and now it's rare to hear anything about the player at all. Microsoft is still making them, but they're hardly marketing it; at this point, the iPod has simply taken over, and as SanDisk's CEO pointed out a few years back, it's hard to "out iPod the iPod."

But that's not to say the Zune HD is dead. United Airlines has just given the media player a new lease on life thanks to a partnership that will place Zune HDs into the hands of patrons. Reportedly, United will host around 500 Zune players on extra-long flights between the U.S. and Australia and Hong Kong. The deal will provide those Zune players with pre-loaded content that can't be found anywhere else (think pre-release movies), but details beyond that have yet to be made public.

Honestly, this sounds like a pretty great deal for United customers. You don't have to bother bringing your own device to stay occupied in-flight, and you'll be treated to exclusive material all the while. Not to mention, having a Zune to hold is far easier on the neck than leaning over to get the viewing angle correct on one of those seat-back LCDs. Is the Zune's second wind? Hard to say, but there's no better place to start than the friendly skies.