Microsoft abandons Zune media players in iPod defeat

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Microsoft's direct effort to challenge Apple's iPod, introduced in 2006 under the Zune brand, is being abandoned after a failure to gain traction in the market.



According to a report by Bloomberg, Microsoft will stop making any new Zune models and shift its focus toward incorporating its music store and subscription software into mobile phones.



The report cited sources who "declined to be identified because the decision hasn?t been announced," but noted that Microsoft's Zune-branded players failed to break into the top five US portable digital music players last year, according to data by NPD Group.



Apple's iPod continues to dominate the media player market, with a 77 percent share of the US market and similar market share globally.



In 2006, Microsoft's chief executive Steve Ballmer said of Apple, "we can beat them, but it?s not going to be easy," and confirmed the company was going to remain in the market for the long haul, gradually building market share.



The Zune HD (below), introduced in the fall of 2009, expected to make a dent into Apple's iPod touch business by combining an OLED screen, NVIDIA Tegra processor, HD Radio, and a new gaming platform that was supposed to leverage Microsoft's Xbox 360. However, it completely failed to do so, for reasons detailed at the time by AppleInsider.







Zune phone?



The company has iterated the same long haul/slow growth strategy in smartphones, where it has dramatically lost market share since the appearance of Apple's iPhone in 2007. Microsoft now faces not just the entrenched competition from Apple's iPhone, but also a shift by many of its former Windows Mobile licensees to Google's free Android operating system.



One of the company's strongest partners, LG, described Microsoft's latest Windows Phone 7 product as being "a bit boring," but also said it views WP7 as having "strong potential," and that it does not want to be dependent upon just one vendor's OS.



LG also noted that carriers are concerned about Android taking too great of a share of the market too, explaining, "there is a need and demand from the operators saying there is too much ?Android? in the portfolio. In that sense LG always tries to balance our portfolio, and that?s not just in sense of hardware but OSes as well."



Microsoft recently partnered with Nokia to align the leading phone maker with its own plans for Windows Phone 7. However, Nokia and Microsoft compete in offering music and subscription media, with Nokia's Ovi media store and music subscriptions being a direct rival to Microsoft's efforts to shift its Zune software into the smartphone realm.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 144
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,094member
    It was (and still is) lipstick on a pig. The hardware was actually pretty good but the software as usual had much to be desired.



    No love lost here. At least WP7 shoes some glimmer of promise. Maybe Microsoft is finally realizing the stupidity of its ways? Nah...
  • Reply 2 of 144
    phalanxphalanx Posts: 109member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    It was (and still is) lipstick on a pig. The hardware was actually pretty good but the software as usual had much to be desired.



    No love lost here. At least WP7 shoes some glimmer of promise. Maybe Microsoft is finally realizing the stupidity of its ways? Nah...



    I liked Zune software much better than iTunes!!!! Please Apple, fix that "user experience"!!!!!
  • Reply 3 of 144
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,726member
    Is it my imagination or do Zune and Xoom sorta sound alike?
  • Reply 4 of 144
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member
    Of all the dumbass things Microsoft have done over the years, I would vote releasing a Zune in brown as the second dumbest thing.



    The dumbest obviously is Balmer being appointed CEO.



    What do you think second dumbest is?
  • Reply 5 of 144
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    It was (and still is) lipstick on a pig. The hardware was actually pretty good but the software as usual had much to be desired.



    No love lost here. At least WP7 shoes some glimmer of promise. Maybe Microsoft is finally realizing the stupidity of its ways? Nah...



    Ballmer just issued a decree that all WP7 phones must be brown.



    (Oops... I see I was beaten to the punch by PaulMJohnson)
  • Reply 6 of 144
    tipootipoo Posts: 849member
    Lol, right after they started shipping to Canada. Trying to pawn off the last few units on us, eh?



    Anyways, I do think its a shame, the Zune HD hardware was great for when it launched, after two generations they finally had it polished to a gem, but they never took off with the app side of things, and never refreshed the hardware.



    If they somehow let it run WP7 apps, it would be just about the only competitor to the Touch (theres that Archos thing but I don't think it can use the android app store * officially*). A WP7 based PMP with Zune HD-like hardware but with better internals would be rather nice IMO.
  • Reply 7 of 144
    tipootipoo Posts: 849member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post


    Of all the dumbass things Microsoft have done over the years, I would vote releasing a Zune in brown as the second dumbest thing.



    The dumbest obviously is Balmer being appointed CEO.



    What do you think second dumbest is?







    You just said it...
  • Reply 8 of 144
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post


    Of all the dumbass things Microsoft have done over the years, I would vote releasing a Zune in brown as the second dumbest thing.



    Microsoft has been giving it to us in the brown for years.
  • Reply 9 of 144
    Dang.



    Perhaps I should run out and buy one just so that, some day, I can tell my grandchildren about this....



    Nah. On second thoughts, forget about it: I can just take them to an old website.
  • Reply 10 of 144
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,981member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by phalanx View Post


    I liked Zune software much better than iTunes!!!! Please Apple, fix that "user experience"!!!!!



    Then go buy a Zune. I'm sure there's few left for cheap.
  • Reply 11 of 144
    nkalunkalu Posts: 315member
    That's cold. Zune couldn't compete anymore.
  • Reply 12 of 144
    kubekube Posts: 40member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post


    Of all the dumbass things Microsoft have done over the years, I would vote releasing a Zune in brown as the second dumbest thing.



    The dumbest obviously is Balmer being appointed CEO.



    What do you think second dumbest is?



    Microsoft "bob". Truly amazing.
  • Reply 13 of 144
    kpluckkpluck Posts: 500member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ...The Zune HD (below), introduced in the fall of 2009, expected to make a dent into Apple's iPod touch business by combining an OLED screen, NVIDIA Tegra processor, HD Radio, and a new gaming platform that was supposed to leverage Microsoft's Xbox 360. However, it completely failed to do so, for reasons detailed at the time by AppleInsider.



    ROFL!! Yes, there can be no doubt, it failed only because of the reasons AI wrote about.



    From everything I read the Zune it actually was reasonably good hardware. They had a great music subscription system, Zune Pass. All the music in their library for $15 bucks per month, plus you get credits to buy 10 songs each month.



    I think the Zune failed primarily because of Microsoft's horrible marketing and of course, Apple's market dominance (well deserved be that as it may).



    -kpluck
  • Reply 14 of 144
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    Quick, somebody dig up some stills from the Microsoft "funeral procession" and replace the giant iPhone with a Zune. Get to work, Photoshop mavens!
  • Reply 15 of 144
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,274member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by megatrick View Post


    Microsoft has been giving it to us in the brown for years.



    ... and steaming!
  • Reply 16 of 144
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 706member
    Steve Jobs said that there are talented and smart people at MS. It's just that they don't have any class and culture in their products. Zune is exhibit A.



    Someone at MS who should have been fired decades ago has had the final say in naming their software and hardware products.



    In hindsight, the name, color, lack of support and looking downright dowdy next to Apple's iPods should have clued MS execs in to its certain demise.



    It did take longer than I expected. I'll give MS that. Must have been the fact that it could receive FM radio.
  • Reply 17 of 144
    rbryanhrbryanh Posts: 263member
    Another one bites the dust, or just plain bites.



    Vista, Kin, Zune... And the only three people I know to acquire one of the latest crop of Windows phones all returned them within a week with various expressions of contempt and disgust.



    Is it possible there are limits to what can be achieved by buying and ruining your competition? Who knew?
  • Reply 18 of 144
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,274member
    The AI article referenced that was written in 09 is pretty funny as well as being spot on.
  • Reply 19 of 144
    zbarskyzbarsky Posts: 19member
    Nice to see the 'ipod killer' finally dead.
  • Reply 20 of 144
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,477member
    Wow. Next up: a Microsoft music/video cloud service
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