Microsoft is readying a new music and video service, according to reports. The software giant has started advertising for job opportunities in its Entertainment and Devices (E&D) unit. ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley spotted a recent job posting by Microsoft that references codename “Ventura”:
The Ventura Media Services team is looking for a highly motivated Software Development Engineer to help drive some great new service innovation.
Who are we? We are Ventura Media Services – an agile team working on the beginning of some very large scale projects. We incubate, innovate and iterate. We are all about building services the right way. The team is a tight group of music and video lovers that create services and experiences revolving around music/video discovery and consumption. We are not afraid to try new things in the name of pushing the bleeding edge of technology.
As a member of the team, you will work closely with all of our partners to release features on a rapidly iterative development cycle. You will get the chance to work with other IEB product teams to help deliver epic end-to-end scenarios across all 3 screens.
In this position you will have the chance to help choose direction and drive innovation on some of the most cutting edge media services. Think large scale. Think Azure. Being a web and services group, our goal is to release early and often while maintaining high quality. If you are a proven developer who likes to drive innovation, then this is the place for you!
Foley notes that “Ventura” is a set of services being developed by Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices (E&D) unit. The services will focus on music and video discovery and consumption. “Ventura” also appears to run on Microsoft’s Azure cloud hosting. Little is known about “Ventura” and how it fits into the company’s Zune music and video services. Zune has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. Microsoft was forced to confirm it is not “killing” any Zune services after it was revealed that the company plans to rebrand Zune into Windows Live shortly. Microsoft has been suspiciously quiet around Zune and Zune services over the past few months. The software giant’s Zune Video service gained over 50% more market share in 2010 compared to 2009, thanks to an international launch of the Zune Marketplace. Microsoft made Zune Video available in October to additional regions including Europe, Asia and Australia. Despite the expansion, Microsoft’s Zune services aren’t widely known outside of the United States. Microsoft’s marketing teams have spent little time and money on promoting Zune and the focus appears to be solely on Windows Phone.
Microsoft’s “Ventura” services appear to be the future of Zune. I’d expect we’ll start hearing a lot more about them later in 2011.