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Microsoft changes its story, concedes death of Zune hardware

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
Less than a day after Microsoft denied that its Zune lineup of portable media players was being discontinued, the company has decided to confirm that its Zune players have in fact received the ax.

The confirmation came in an official post made by Microsoft on the Zune website. The note, first spotted by WinRumors, reveals that Microsoft will stop manufacturing Zune hardware, though users who own the devices will continue to receive support.

"We recently announced that, going forward, Windows Phone will be the focus of our mobile music and video strategy, and that we will no longer be producing Zune players," the site reads. "So what does this mean for our current Zune users? Absolutely nothing.

"Your device will continue to work with Zune services just as it does today. And we will continue to honor the warranties of all devices for both current owners and those who buy our very latest devices. Customer service has been, and will remain a top priority for us."

While the Zune hardware is no more, the branding will live on in the form of the Zune Music Pass subscription service, as well as Zune software available for Microsoft's Windows Phone platform and Xbox 360.

Evidence that the Zune was dead came on Monday, when all references to Zune hardware were temporarily removed from the official website. While it appeared to be the final nail in the coffin for the flagship Zune HD, Microsoft later re-added the device to the site, and a spokesperson for the company said its removal was a "mistake."

But on Tuesday, Microsoft opted to admit that the Zune hardware is in fact being canceled. Microsoft said that anyone who recently placed an order for a Zune player through its Zune Originals customization service will still receive their purchase, and repairs and registration of current Zune devices is still available through the Zune Online Service Center.



The latest version of the Zune hardware, the Zune HD, was released in 2009 and was positioned as a competitor to Apple's iPod touch. It features an OLED multi-touch screen and access to the Zune Pass service, which costs $15 per month.

Microsoft's move has been expected for months as devoted media players become less needed in the market, replaced by multi-function smartphones with high memory capacities. Even Apple has seen sales of its market-leading iPod lineup dwindle as the iPhone has become the company's premier device.

Apple's best-selling iPod, the iPod touch, is expected to receive a minor revision at today's iPhone-centric media event, with Apple rumored to add a white model to the lineup. However, the internal hardware of the iPod touch is not expected to see any major changes from the version first released in 2010.
post #2 of 63
Too bad. The Zune HD was a pretty nice piece of hardware, and I was looking forward to future iterations. Less choice is never good.
post #3 of 63
More weirdness from MS. They should have a better go of it in the mobile phone sector once they get going. I just doubt it will be anything like iPhone or Droid success but I expect they will have ok sales numbers.
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post #4 of 63
I have never seen a Zune in the wild. A lot of people I know buy iPod Touches for their kids because iPad is too expensive/fragile. They get iPad for themselves. You hear about bad Zune sales figures and such but it's still a shock when they actually knock it on the head.
post #5 of 63
Both of the Zune customers are going to be really upset.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
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post #6 of 63
The death of Zune and death of iPod Classic all in one day?
The times are a changin.
post #7 of 63
Wonder how much shareholders money they pissed down the drain on Zune? It was doomed to failure before it even hit the market. Horrid OS, horrid UI, terrible build quality, poor sound quality, buggy/crash prone client software, etc... typical Microsoft.

The real question now is how much shareholder money are they going to piss away on the equally bad Windows Phone before they throw in the towel?
post #8 of 63
Dear Zune

I have just read of your demise. I can't say that I all that surprised. For a long, long time you have been lonely and sad living on your own. In the end you grew tired of being by your lonesome self and decided to end it all.

I can't say that I blame you.

Adios Zune, nice to have known you, hopefully someone will come by from time to time and leave flowers on your grave.

post #9 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

Wonder how much shareholders money they pissed down the drain on Zune? It was doomed to failure before it even hit the market. Horrid OS, horrid UI, terrible build quality, poor sound quality, buggy/crash prone client software, etc... typical Microsoft.

The real question now is how much shareholder money are they going to piss away on the equally bad Windows Phone before they throw in the towel?

So how long did you have your Zune and Windows Phone for...?

Or is this yet another posting based on speculation?

As an owner of an iPhone 4 (running the iOS 5 beta) and Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, I can say they are both excellent devices with thier own strong points... so let's leave these statements to people who actually own devices...
post #10 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

Wonder how much shareholders money they pissed down the drain on Zune? It was doomed to failure before it even hit the market. Horrid OS, horrid UI, terrible build quality, poor sound quality, buggy/crash prone client software, etc... typical Microsoft.

The real question now is how much shareholder money are they going to piss away on the equally bad Windows Phone before they throw in the towel?


Add to that the money that Nokia is pissing away on that fatso Stephen Elop - what a dumb Knuck name. I guess it will be another 12 months before Microsoft throws in the towel on Search, Windows Phone and whatever other bone headed rubbish they come up with.
post #11 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Both of the Zune customers are going to be really upset.

And that would be who? Bill and Melinda?
post #12 of 63
The Zune pass is $10 a month and doesn't provide any purchases anymore.

It is too bad the Zune HD was cancelled, but not surprising considering everything is going to smartphones these days. We may see the iPod Classic get the axe as well today.

I for one, actually prefer a separate device for videos and music (and lots of storage) versus wasting my phone's battery life. But I seem to be in minority.

For the record I have owned many iPods (1st gen on), several Zunes (30GB, 80GB, Zune HD) and a few Sony players (HD1 and X1000 series). All were great players (the Sony sounded the best). I liked the Zune HD. Its design was simple and easy to use. It was small and the OS was fast (and looked very cool too). But the Zune had 2 problems. First MS tried to make it a competitor to the iPod (instant failure) instead of just making a great player. Second, the MS customer support for the Zune products blew compared to Apple's CS. Oh, and it took 3 years before MS even added Asian font support to the Zune's OS.

Sad to see it go, but the CS issue killed it for me in the end.
post #13 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

Wonder how much shareholders money they pissed down the drain on Zune? It was doomed to failure before it even hit the market. Horrid OS, horrid UI, terrible build quality, poor sound quality, buggy/crash prone client software, etc... typical Microsoft.

The real question now is how much shareholder money are they going to piss away on the equally bad Windows Phone before they throw in the towel?

What are you talking about? Did you own and use a Zune product? You must be talking about a Chinese knock-off. The updated OS was great and had a wonder UI. The Zune build quality (especially the HD) was built like a tank. The sounded better than all of the iPods...EXCEPT the original iPod Shuffle (wow that DAC was fantastic).

I will give you points on the original desktop software. It was bad, but the current version is great. It is simple and FAST...versus the slow, molasses-like experience I get with the current iTunes. As it is, I use iTunes for purchases and transfers, but use the Zune desktop client for music playback.
post #14 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by iKol View Post

The death of Zune and death of iPod Classic all in one day?
The times are a changin.

iTunes may be seriously demoted today too, thanks to iCloud...
Quite major considering how long it's been at the centre of the iUniverse.
post #15 of 63
I predicted this as soon as it came out.

I need to call myself an "analyst" and get paid the big bucks for my clairvoyance!
post #16 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by davewthompson View Post

So how long did you have your Zune and Windows Phone for...?

Or is this yet another posting based on speculation?

As an owner of an iPhone 4 (running the iOS 5 beta) and Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, I can say they are both excellent devices with thier own strong points... so let's leave these statements to people who actually own devices...

You're on AI and surprised at an unabashed Windows bashing? Why are u bothering? Surely your not expecting unbiased postings here- they are here, you just have to dig through them.
post #17 of 63
I feel sorry for this guy. Talk about bad decisions, sheese...

post #18 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by iKol View Post

You're on AI and surprised at an unabashed Windows bashing? Why are u bothering? Surely your not expecting unbiased postings here- they are here, you just have to dig through them.

Well, people here make comments about Mac users being well educated versus Windows users, so he should expect a well thought out and unbiased response. Of course that hardly ever is the case. Not always, mind you. There are some very good people here...in addition to may rabid fanboy dicks (just ignore them is the only solution). But you get that in any forum.
post #19 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by kresh View Post

I feel sorry for this guy. Talk about bad decisions, sheese...


I like the tatoo design. But who, in the right mind, would put a tattoo on their body advertising any product? Wow....just, Wow.
post #20 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by 80025 View Post

And that would be who? Bill and Melinda?

Don't forget the children... aren't they forbidden from tasting of the Apple fruit?
post #21 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's best-selling iPod, the iPod touch, is expected to receive a minor revision at today's iPhone-centric media event, with Apple rumored to add a white model to the lineup. However, the internal hardware of the iPod touch is not expected to see any major changes from the version first released in 2010.

This makes the old Touch highly valued in used equipment market. Some users probably have got an iPhone and will sell their Touch for a good resale price. Good for them!
post #22 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

I like the tatoo design. But who, in the right mind, would put a tattoo on their body advertising any product? Wow....just, Wow.

In semi-unrelated news... a local man was found dead today... apparently the victim of fanboi-ism.

The nice thing is that no one will ever see my Apple tattoo unless they break into my shower.... while I'm using it.
post #23 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ravedog View Post


The nice thing is that no one will ever see my Apple tattoo unless they break into my shower.... while I'm using it.

You got an Apple tattoo?

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Which appliance manufacturer will be next? General Electric?

Or will you emblazon your body with other brand logos instead? BMW? The Gap? Gillette? Kraft Foods?
post #24 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ravedog View Post

In semi-unrelated news... a local man was found dead today... apparently the victim of fanboi-ism.

The nice thing is that no one will ever see my Apple tattoo unless they break into my shower.... while I'm using it.

I am not a fanboy, if that is what you are trying to imply. I like Apple, Sony and MS products, but will buy any brand that provides a good value. I would like the Zune icon even if it had nothing to do with MS. It is just a cool design.

By the way. Apple will NOT always be doing well. Just like every other company, they will fall due to their own hubris in some fashion. Whether it happens soon or later is up to the company itself and has nothing to do with competition or its customers. I hope that doesn't happen for a LONG time to Apple (I like their products), but it will ... eventually.

And if you are serious about having an Apple tattoo (which I doubt you are) then my comment about wearing any company logo on your skin applies.
post #25 of 63
Quote:
I'm not dead yet!



Quote:
I'm feeling much better!



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post #26 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by kresh View Post

I feel sorry for this guy. Talk about bad decisions, sheese...

He changed his position on the Zune three years ago.
post #27 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ravedog View Post

Don't forget the children... aren't they forbidden from tasting of the Apple fruit?

jragosta said: "Both of the Zune customers are going to be really upset".

So I had to limit it to two (2), and decided on the adults.
post #28 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by jouster View Post

Too bad. The Zune HD was a pretty nice piece of hardware, and I was looking forward to future iterations. Less choice is never good.

Well, it never was much of a piece of hardware. The market recognized that early on and that's why it failed. MS simply pulled the plug on the brain-dead device. Nobody will miss it.
post #29 of 63
Missed opportunty, Microsoft could have easily made an iPod Touch competitor and marketed it as such. Don't get why they did not do so, heck they could have added functions that the iPod Touch does not have such as a GPS chip.

Biggest issue I ever had with the Zune was it's name, seriously.... Zune, what the heck were they thinking?
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post #30 of 63
but, but Sheldon Cooper said: "you will be sorry you wasted youre money on an iPod when Microsoft comes out with theirs." How can he be wrong?
post #31 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

Missed opportunty, Microsoft could have easily made an iPod Touch competitor and marketed it as such. Don't get why they did not do so, heck they could have added functions that the iPod Touch does not have such as a GPS chip.

Biggest issue I ever had with the Zune was it's name, seriously.... Zune, what the heck were they thinking?

These are the people that named their interface "Luna" and their operating system "Vista." Are we really surprised?
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I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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post #32 of 63
I was never a huge fan of the zune UI, it seemed a bit busy with the fading background images and such, or at least that is how i recall it, don't think i ever tried one after the initial release.

Funny thing is, that is just personal taste, and it seemed like an ok product. Well, except for the name and the brown. I mean WTH?

The real story is that they are going to focus on phones. WP7 is the only original thing MS has done since Bob, and the only good product they have ever created in house (rather than buying and then ruining) and yet I think it actually has less users than two cans and some string. It is amazing that MS can crank out bad products, year after year, and sell them, but they finally release what actually has some potential and no one wants it.
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post #33 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by 80025 View Post

And that would be who? Bill and Melinda?

You forgot Alan Harper

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dfgc7yrfOFo
post #34 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

Missed opportunty, Microsoft could have easily made an iPod Touch competitor and marketed it as such. Don't get why they did not do so, heck they could have added functions that the iPod Touch does not have such as a GPS chip.

They did try, and they failed. Sucks to be them, but no one should feel sorry for Microsoft (and I doubt anyone here does).
post #35 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

Wonder how much shareholders money they pissed down the drain on Zune?

Hopefully less than you did on your education.

Some people need to move past the 90's and either upgrade their mindsets, or if they insist on sticking with their irrelevant space-wasting thought processes maybe think about taking up bird watching or caravanning so they can rant with all of the other dinosaurs.
post #36 of 63
What's a Zune?
post #37 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by kresh View Post

I feel sorry for this guy. Talk about bad decisions, sheese...


Wow.....reminds me of this line..

"I can see marrying a girl, but a tattoo is so.....permanent!"

Today - 04-October-2011 - will be forever known as the day Zune ended. I don't see any other piece of technology news that could totally trump this news!
post #38 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ejr1959 View Post

Dear Zune

I have just read of your demise. I can't say that I all that surprised. For a long, long time you have been lonely and sad living on your own. In the end you grew tired of being by your lonesome self and decided to end it all.

I can't say that I blame you.

Adios Zune, nice to have known you, hopefully someone will come by from time to time and leave flowers on your grave.


Thanks for thinking about me. Yes, it's been tough. People tell me that I'm good looking and pretty good at spinning records, but I'm just not from the right neighborhood. Perhaps if my folks lived in that nice gated community down the road, the girls would pay more attention to me.
post #39 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ravedog View Post

Don't forget the children... aren't they forbidden from tasting of the Apple fruit?

If they do taste of the Apple, will they be dismissed from "Eden"?
post #40 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The latest version of the Zune hardware, the Zune HD, was released in 2009 and was positioned as a competitor to Apple's iPod touch.

Is there an app for that?
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