Is Microsoft killing off the Zune hardware? Microsoft responds

Is Microsoft killing off the Zune hardware? Microsoft responds

Summary: There are rumors out that Microsoft may be killing off the dedicated Zune hardware devices. This isn't surprising given that they did a lousy job of telling why they were so good.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Microsoft, Hardware
88

Engadget reported that Microsoft may be killing off the Zune hardware to focus on the software experience and let people experience Zune on Windows Phone 7 hardware. I still have my custom FC Sounders Zune HD and still find it to have the BEST sound of any digital media player while also being an extremely nice and light piece of hardware to use while working out when I don't want to track my runs with GPS on my phone. Microsoft never did very good at promoting the platform so it is understandable that Zune focused hardware may no longer be made.

I have written about the obvious benefits of the Zune Marketplace, but it seems that my enthusiasm for the platform has fallen on deaf ears. Microsoft never actively promoted the platform, even the fantastic Zune HD. It never should have been compared to the iPod and they should have told the story about the entire experience as it stood alone. Microsoft seems to only provide sales data for the Xbox platform so we are not sure how well the Zune did in retail channels, but if they are killing it off then it obviously wasn't doing that well.

I have emails into my contacts at Microsoft to verify if this rumor is true or not, but as I said it would not be surprising to anyone.

I will continue to use and enjoy my Zune HD and hopefully it continues to last for a few more years before some compelling Nokia Windows Phone 7 device launches.

UPDATE: I received the following response from a Microsoft spokesperson so while the Zune hardware may eventually be killed off, there is no official statement confirming this at this time.

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.

Topics: Microsoft, Hardware

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

88 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Who cares? The 5 people that thought Zune was good?

    It was a 3rd rate MP3 player from an also-ran in the tech industry. Color me yawn.
    itguy08
    • RE: Is Microsoft killing off the Zune hardware?

      "Microsoft never did very good at promoting the platform so it is understandable that Zune focused hardware may no longer be made."

      Zune struggled because it was only released in the USA and the Zune Marketplace was only available in a few countries.
      Wakemewhentrollsgone
      • What a misguiding quote; MS put HUNDREDS OF MILLION dollars into Zune promo

        @ptorning
        DDERSSS
      • RE: Is Microsoft killing off the Zune hardware?

        @denisrs

        How is my quotation misguided . . . it came straight from the article!
        Wakemewhentrollsgone
      • I wrote "misguiding", not "misguided": the quote is integral, but incorrect

        @ptorning: in essence.
        DDERSSS
      • RE: Is Microsoft killing off the Zune hardware?

        @ ptorning

        It almost looks like, after the original Zune failed to make a dent in the market after launch, Microsoft decided that the music player market had already peaked, and wasn't worth bothering with. One reason they may have kept the device going was to provide a platform for continued development of music distribution software, with the hope of deploying it on later devices (e.g. Windows Phones).
        WilErz
    • Doomed from the start

      @itguy08 The reason it failed is that it didn't run full versions of Windows and Office. If it had, they would have put Apple out of business. Or at least, that's the theory they're going to try with 'slates'.
      Robert Hahn
      • Not to mention..

        ...it should have been able to run AutoCAD and Adobe Premier. Nothing short of that would please the Redmond Borg Collective.

        Maybe they should have made a quad core version, instead. No?

        lol...
        LTV10
      • RE: Is Microsoft killing off the Zune hardware?

        @Robert Hahn
        Actually just poor advertising and communication hurt the zune as side by side the zune is superior to the apple ipod and almost all other video music players. The zune is much more sturdy and the hardware is much better in quality. I repaired 12 zunes since they came out usually a battery or ear jack. Ipods I repair few dozen a day cracked screens, ear jacks, batteries, bad digitizers. yes thier is a number difference in those out there but apple products are very fragile and poor quality.
        Fletchguy
      • RE: Is Microsoft killing off the Zune hardware?

        @ Fletchguy
        The veracity, usefulness, value, and intellectual honesty of this post dovetails quite well with all your previous posts.
        DeusXMachina
    • And they're now moving the platform to windows phone hardware

      so another 5 can enjoy it;-)
      Richard Flude
    • RE: Is Microsoft killing off the Zune hardware?

      @itguy08
      The Windows hater strikes again!

      The ZuneHD is actually a great, lightweight, awesome device. However, no advertising or support will kill just about anything off these days.
      Droid101
      • RE: Is Microsoft killing off the Zune hardware?

        @Droid101 <br>And yet in a post on a different but similar article, you claimed that, "Nobody wants an MP3 player anymore... people want multi-function devices these days." The international music market is huge and so is the market for mp3 players. Other companies, such as Apple, make a fortune from selling iPods.
        Wakemewhentrollsgone
      • Your words are falling on the ears of idiots, Droid101

        @Droid101
        I agree it's a nice MP3 player, even getting better ratings then the iPod touch in some categories, but most of the haters here have never even tried one, so of course the Richard Fluid's and the DonnieBoy's of these sites can only insult.

        But then again, we know who they are, and you kinda' have to feel sorry for them if that is the most exciting thing in their lives.
        John Zern
      • RE: Is Microsoft killing off the Zune hardware?

        @John Zern
        <i>I agree it's a nice MP3 player, even getting better ratings then the iPod touch in some categories, but most of the haters here have never even tried one, so of course the Richard Fluid's and the DonnieBoy's of these sites can only insult.</i>

        And Microsoft treated everyone that doesn?t use Windows like a second class citizen. In order for a Linux user, or Mac User, to use the Zune: they would have to buy a license for Windows. Now why would any Mac user buy a copy of Windows to use one product? If Microsoft made the player multi-platform, you might have an argument. But it was Microsoft?s arrogance that killed the Zune.
        Rick_K
      • John save your sympathy...

        for the Zune owners. Fortunately there wasn't many of them. Maybe they can join a PlaysForSure support group, another MS abandoned customer base:-)
        Richard Flude
      • RE: Is Microsoft killing off the Zune hardware?

        @Richard Flude,
        "Maybe they can join a PlaysForSure support group, another MS abandoned customer base:-) "

        It's similar as Apple did with their XServe product line. They stopped production leaving they customer base without options to run Mac OS X Server. I suppose that happens when a product sales are weak.
        dvm
      • dvm, another jumps in

        "They stopped production leaving they customer base without options to run Mac OS X Server."

        Sorry, the server version runs on any Macs. They dropped the rack mounted hardware. You have a point, Apple's change probably affected more customers;-)
        Richard Flude
      • RE: Is Microsoft killing off the Zune hardware?

        @Richard Flude,
        "Sorry, the server version runs on any Macs. They dropped the rack mounted hardware."
        Even though you can run Mac OS Server on any Mac, which Apple hardware is enterprise ready? The only option they have is the Mac Pro, and don't even have a redundant power supply option. Who is going to run a business in this kind of hardware?
        dvm
      • RE: Is Microsoft killing off the Zune hardware?

        @Droid101 : okey. So that would mean the billion dollar WP7 campaign that only manage to sell 1.5 million sets is the secret for a successful product launch.

        Zune died because it was only "subjectively" better than iPod. Tons of ink could be drawn on the benefits, and how the AMOLED of the Zune HD was way ahead of the competition.

        The problem Microsoft hasn't realized that best doesn't necessarily win in the marketplace, else we all be using high powered water cooled RISC workstations with bubble memory and holographic storage in networked distributed X session with programs written in ADA or Lisp.

        Instead we're using ultra hot, fan cooled complex CISC PC on steroids with plain old RAM memory, in direct driver to monitor Win32 (created 15+ years ago) programs most of them using legacy C code. Talk about a "best of breed".

        Alas, in that perfect world, we would have no idea of what Microsoft was.
        cosuna