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Microsoft Planning On Killing Off The Zune

David Gilbert


Microsoft Planning On Killing Off The Zune

With Microsoft’s Zune having failed to capture the hearts and minds of music lovers around the world, reports today suggesting the Redmond-based company is planning on focusing on the Zune software and ditching the hardware are not too surprising.

The Zune launched in 2006 but has failed to make any impact on the iPod’s dominance of the portable music player (PMP) market, failing to get into the top five models for 2010. A source “familiar with the decision” told Bloomberg that Microsoft will stop introducing new versions of the Zune music and video player following “tepid demand.” Microsoft will instead look at making the Zune software more ubiquitous on a variety of hardware, particularly smartphones as we’ve already seen with Windows Phone 7 integration. Microsoft will continue to sell off any stock it currently has of the Zune and Zune HD.

With the Zune Pass, which was launched here last September for £8.99, customers get access to unlimited downloading and streaming of music to devices such as PCs, Xboxes and Windows Phone 7 handsets. Microsoft refused to confirm the reports saying instead: “We have nothing to announce about another Zune device – but most recently have introduced Zune HD to Canada via the Zune Originals store and remain committed to supporting our devices in North America.

It added: “We are thrilled by the consumer excitement for Zune across many new platforms, including Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360. Our long-term strategy focuses on the strength of the entire Zune ecosystem across Microsoft platforms.” The Zune, since launch, never really had a chance and Microsoft seemed more concerned with the software than the hardware so could this move finally see the company focus on what it does well? Could we even see a Nokia Zune coming soon?

Source: Bloomberg


March 15, 2011, 6:40 pm

I actually bought the first generation Zune the weekend it came out in the states. I seem to be alone in this but I always quite liked it as a music player (much preferred it to iPhones I have had before or since) but I never really liked the software - I always thought it lagged behind iTunes and Media Player and that MS should have just used that rather than ZunePlayer.


March 16, 2011, 12:43 am

It seems as though the "Zune is dead" is untrue...


I guess, if Apple decided to not ship a revised set of iPods for a year (and didn't say anything), would people say the iPod is dead?

I don't know about anyone else, but, I love my Zune HD and it's always been really well liked by friends/family. Just a shame MS didn't (perhaps they will?) market it very well (at all outside of the US).

As for the Zune client software - that simply trounces pretty much everything out there; it also really does show what a bag of bolts iTunes is.


March 16, 2011, 6:21 pm

The Zune (especially with a Zune pass) seemed like a far better music player than any iPod but I'd bet most people would never have even heard of it. Now that WP7 is out why not release a new Zune HD which is actually able to run proper apps.

Why don't Google and MS get it? One of Apple's biggest strengths is the Touch which must account for a massive proportion of iOS devices on the market. Surely they need to use every possible method to increase the WP7 userbase and thus get more devs to support it.

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