Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ding Dong! The Zune is Dead

zuneThat’s right, Microsoft is axing its Zune music and video player. Bloomberg reported yesterday that Microsoft has no plans to introduce new versions of the device due to lack of demand.

Microsoft released the Zune in 2006, attempting to claim a share of the mp3 player market with its song-sharing features and non-click wheel interface. Unfortunately, everyone was too busy buying iPods to care. Microsoft tried again in 2009 with the Zune HD, which was generally well-received but failed to compete successfully with the iPod Touch.

The Zune brand, however, is still alive and vaguely kicking. Microsoft rolled the Zune software into its Windows Phone 7, and “Zune” remains the name of Microsoft’s music/video marketplace on the Xbox 360. The company said in an email statement to Bloomberg, “Our long-term strategy focuses on the strength of the entire Zune ecosystem across Microsoft platforms.”

Does anyone else find the phrase “Zune ecosystem” amusing?

If you’re one of the five people who own a Zune, you needn’t worry. Microsoft will continue to support and sell its current devices – that is, until it comes up with another nonsense-named device to replace the Windows Phone 7.