Microsoft Zune Is Officially Dead
The Microsoft Zune is officially dead and will no longer be produced according to a Microsoft posting on the Zune support pages. One might argue (and fairly successfully) that the Zune has been effectively dead for years now and since the iPhone changed the mobile music landscape and took what little weight was on the Zune’s shoulders and placed it squarely on Windows Phone 7. What makes it officially dead is that Microsoft seems to have come to that conclusion as well. From Microsoft’s statement:
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. 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 last devices. Customer service has been, and will remain a top priority for us.
While the Zune hardware will no longer be produced, it seems that the software will not be left out in the cold. The Zune market place is — and looks like it will continue to be — a thing and there are plans to port the lion’s share of Zune HD applications over to Windows Phone 7. This is probably a fitting end for Zune considering that it seems to have turned into a sprawling, but relatively ineffectual brand associated with hardware that came and went years ago. The Zune name is planned to be rebranded into “Windows Live,” a name which gives it a much tighter connection with its most successful relative, Xbox Live. We’ll see how that works out for it.