Report claims that Zune is dead ... and I'm not surprised

Report claims that Zune is dead ... and I'm not surprised

Summary: Microsoft is pulling the plug on Zune hardware following what is described as "tepid sales," according to a report by Bloomberg.

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TOPICS: Microsoft
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Microsoft is pulling the plug on Zune hardware following what is described as "tepid sales," according to a report by Bloomberg.

According to an unnamed source talking to Bloomberg, Microsoft will instead concentrate on putting the Zune player onto Windows Phone handsets.

Microsoft will concentrate on putting Zune software onto mobile phones, such as those running its Windows operating system, said the person, who declined to be identified because the decision hasn't been announced. Zune software lets customers buy songs and movies, as well as pay a monthly fee to stream unlimited music.

I've reached out to Microsoft for comment.

If Zune is indeed dead, I'm not surprised. It was an odd device in many ways, born as a knee-jerk reaction to the dominance of the iPad, but by that I don't mean to say that it was a bad player, Just odd. The odd brown shell (which seemingly was the most popular) was an interesting color for Microsoft to choose (note that Apple never bought out a brown iPad ...). The odd sharing feature built into the player was an interesting idea but demanded that your friends have Zunes too in order to make use of the feature (in other words, it was utterly useless to most users). Then there was the odd marketing strategy that meant Microsoft doesn't sell the Zune outside of the US and Canada. I still can't fathom out why Microsoft never took the hardware global.

But the most significant aspect of this report, if correct, is that Microsoft is willing to back out of a significant market and hand more market share to Apple. It's one thing for Microsoft to lag (significantly) behind the Curpertino giant, but another for it to back out of the market altogether.

Well Zune, if you have been 'Kinned' then that's sad ... but I doubt that you'll be missed.

[UPDATE: This in from a Microsoft spokesperson:

"We're absolutely committed to providing the best movies, music, and TV show experiences through Zune on Xbox, the PC, Windows Phone 7 and Zune devices. We'll share more information about the evolution of the Zune entertainment service and Zune hardware as future plans develop."

No confirmation, no denial.]

[POP QUIZ: Name one mass-market non-iPod portable music player ... go!]

Topic: Microsoft

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84 comments
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  • ipod not ipad

    You seem to have ipad on your mind... you have it everywhere it should be ipod.
    TheRackow
    • Regardless of the incorrect comparison. Windows Phone is also on the way

      out. The losses are just going to be too much to justify.
      DonnieBoy
      • It will take MS another few billion dollars to see if WP fails or not

        @DonnieBoy: MS spent hundreds of million dollars in Zune promotions before they are killing it now.<br><br>MS does not know what to do with its monopolistic money.
        DDERSSS
      • RE: Report claims that Zune is dead ... and I'm not surprised

        @DonnieBoy

        I suppose you're still one of those people who has an iPod, an iTouch, an iPhone and an iPad 1 and 2.

        I just use a WP7 phone and just like other smnartphones, it makes the music player redundant. Zune was useful for developing the UI and making iTunes look archeological, but it's integrated now, so thank you and goodbye ;-)
        tonymcs@...
      • I believe you are misguided.

        @DonnieBoy, why are you so worried about Android having competition? I, (as have many) have stated the fact that Android gre in popularity as it was the only smartphone OS that Verizon had.

        With a few WP7 handsets coming to the CDMA market, could it be you are worried that it will take sales from Android?

        Do you not state repetedly that "competition is good"?
        Tim Cook
      • RE: Report claims that Zune is dead ... and I'm not surprised

        @DonnieBoy
        Well, go and tell it to 3.3 M subscribers (gestimated) of Windows Phone 7, http://thenextweb.com/microsoft/2011/03/11/did-microsoft-sell-877000-wp7-handsets-in-february/
        Ram U
      • Yes, Windows Phone 7 will be next to be cancelled

        @DonnieBoy - Yes I agree with you that Windows Phone will follow Zune. Don't forget Microsoft's Kin phones went the same way... to failure.

        Microsoft tries to copy Apple's iPod and iPhone, but comes to market with products that are too late, and unfinished.
        Vbitrate
      • RE: Report claims that Zune is dead ... and I'm not surprised

        @DonnieBoy Here is this stupid a$$wipe.
        JoeHTH
  • RE: Report claims that Zune is dead ... and I'm not surprised

    Zune was not released outside of the USA and Zune Marketplace was only available in a handful of countries . . . and MS wonders why it "failed"!
    Wakemewhentrollsgone
    • Sure that was the reason

      Maybe it failed because it was not as attractive as the iPod & iTunes and other competitors!

      Why roll out to more countries a product that failed in it's home market?
      Richard Flude
    • Well, you should just say that Microsoft is in general inept, and leave it

      at that.
      DonnieBoy
      • That's what everyone here say about you DB

        @DonnieBoy
        Your comments are pretty much inept. Alot like Google in the area of apps and music downloads.

        You two make a great couple: Keep cheering them!
        :)
        John Zern
      • RE: Report claims that Zune is dead ... and I'm not surprised

        @DonnieBoy Your mother should be slapped(hard) every day for the rest of her life for giving birth to a stupid bastard like you.
        JoeHTH
    • RE: Report claims that Zune is dead ... and I'm not surprised

      @ptorning go Balmer GO! Please go, just go and let Microsoft become the innovative creature it once was.
      Bradish@...
  • RE: Report claims that Zune is dead ... and I'm not surprised

    I think this is the right move. I expect the market for dedicated media-playback devices to decline precipitously over the next couple of years due to the fact that most cellphones and smartphones can now play-back media quite happily and people don't want, or need, to carry two portable electronic devices with them.

    While there will always be a market for dedicated media-playback devices, I do not expect the market to be very large. For whatever market remains, there will only be wafer thin margins ... if any at all.

    FAR better for Microsoft to focus on ensuring that Zune client gets into every Windows phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, media/TV experience, XBox, etc. and ensuring that the Zune subscription service gets more widely deployed globally.
    bitcrazed
    • Well, the village idiots can not make money at it, this much is true.

      Meanwhile, Apple is still making money hand over fist on portable music players. It may decline, but, Apple will still make a fortune, for the foreseeable future. Microsoft is getting out because they are inept and can not compete, no other reason.
      DonnieBoy
      • But sales are declining, DonnirBoy

        @DonnieBoy
        So that money they are making "hand over fist" is not close to where it once was.
        :|
        Tim Cook
      • I don't Know, DB. The real Village idiots are likely Google

        @DonnieBoy
        At least MS gave it a shot, and produced a nice piece of hardware with the ZuneHD (my wife really likes her's). The Market place is perfect for those that want a large libray of music without having to buy every song they want.

        Now Google had Verizon all to themselves, with Android having good sales, yet they never could figure out how to create an iTune like offering as good as Apple's or Microsofts.

        Talk about a big missed opportunity, I think Goolge gets the Village idiot award for not being smart enough to try when they had the chance.

        But that's just my opinion.
        John Zern
      • I find myself in agreement, Mr.Zern

        @John Zern
        I would have to agree with you. Google had the perfect opportunity to move into the number two spot, yet they let it slip away.
        I imagine they where so busy concentrating on trying to boost downloads from their App store that they may not have noticed the opportunity presented them.
        Tim Cook
      • RE: Report claims that Zune is dead ... and I'm not surprised

        @DonnieBoy,<br>"It may decline, but, Apple will still make a fortune, for the foreseeable future. Microsoft is getting out because they are inept and can not compete, no other reason."<br><br>Maybe the same should apply to Apple and the XServe. Microsoft make a fortune selling server/enterprise software, yet Apple stopped the production of the XServer. Like you said, Apple is getting out because they are inept and can not compete, no other reason.

        IMO, MS made an intelligent choice in stopping Zune hardware, the same way Apple did with XServe.
        dvm