An anonymous reader writes "Saul Hansell from the New York Times spoke with Microsoft's J. Allard, formerly of the Xbox games division and now in charge of their push on Apple's captive audience with the Zune. Allard lays out Microsoft's media battle plan, highlighting their longterm goals for expanding beyond games and software. 'This service will at some point add more options for video and mobile phones, Mr. Allard said, without offering details. Actually, Microsoft has been quite successful selling video downloads and online movie rentals through the Xbox Live service already. This seems a bit too much like the initial plan for MSN. This new network would be the switchboard through which all entertainment content and communication flows. Pretty much everything else in the technology world now is revolving around open systems where the Internet, and some simple standards, are in the middle.'"