Microsoft changes its story, concedes death of Zune hardware

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 62
    jousterjouster Posts: 460member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 62
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,597member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 62
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 62
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Both of the Zune customers are going to be really upset.
  • Reply 5 of 62
    ikolikol Posts: 369member
    The death of Zune and death of iPod Classic all in one day?

    The times are a changin.
  • Reply 6 of 62
    bullheadbullhead Posts: 493member
    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?
  • Reply 7 of 62
    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.



  • Reply 8 of 62
    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...
  • Reply 9 of 62
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 62
    8002580025 Posts: 172member
    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?
  • Reply 11 of 62
    lamewinglamewing Posts: 742member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 62
    lamewinglamewing Posts: 742member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 62
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 62
    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!
  • Reply 15 of 62
    ikolikol Posts: 369member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 62
    kreshkresh Posts: 379member
    I feel sorry for this guy. Talk about bad decisions, sheese...



  • Reply 17 of 62
    lamewinglamewing Posts: 742member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 62
    lamewinglamewing Posts: 742member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 62
    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?
  • Reply 20 of 62
    jj.yuanjj.yuan Posts: 212member
    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!
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