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Oct 4, 2011

Zune Devices, and So It Ends

The death of Zune digital media players has been long a time coming, so much so that even Microsoft thinks that it already announced it officially, which it didn’t. 

The company recently introduced some changes to Zune.net and dropped the Zune HD links which pointed customers to various sources where they could still acquire the last surviving Zune device. 

When users started noticing the change, a software giant blamed the modification on a mistake. Fact is, that at the time of this article, the Zune HD link is back on, and redirecting visitors to online retail outlets that still offer the product. 

Still, at the same time, Microsoft is noting that the Zune devices are dead on a Zune player support and service webpage

“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,” Microsoft promises.

“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.”

There seems to be a bit of confusion over in Redmond as to what the company communicated about the fate of Zune devices. 

I for one cannot think of when Microsoft announced that it would no longer be producing Zune players, but…

It’s important to note that Zune has always been about services, even more than about the players themselves. 

With Zune devices failing lamentably to make a dent in Apple’s domination over the media player market, it was really just a matter of time before Microsoft would have killed them off. 

As far as I’m concerned, the only reason why Zune is still alive is because of the services component and its connection to Windows Phone. Still, Zune has yet to truly be an international service, and as such, it’s completely irrelevant to the vast majority of potential Windows Phone customers worldwide, not only adding absolutely no extra value to the devices, but actually qualifying for the dead weight award.


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