Microsoft Officially Kills Zune MP3 Player

Dennis Faas's picture

After much confusion, it appears that Microsoft has finally decided to kill its much-maligned digital music player, the Zune.

The confusion comes after a series of announcements and website postings that the Zune would no longer be produced. Posts were later retracted, but the latest announcement appears to be final, as it comes from Brian Seitz, senior marketing manager for Microsoft. (Source:

"We will no longer be producing Zune players," Microsoft noted in a recent statement. The firm added that its new focus in the digital music market would be on the Windows Phone line of smartphones. (Source:

Warranties to be Honored, Tech Support to Continue

Zune players won't disappear from retail shelves overnight, however.

Microsoft says that it will continue to sell the device but won't manufacture any more. The company says that those people who have ordered the Zune in recent weeks will still have their order filled.

Microsoft also says it will continue to provide technical support for the Zune, though it's anyone's guess as to how long such support will be offered.

"Your device will continue to work with Zune services just as it does today," Microsoft said. "And we will continue to honor the warranties of all devices for both current owners and those who buy our very last devices."

Zune Death Brings Life to Windows, Xbox 360

For those who have been following the Zune's ups and downs (and they've been mostly downs), the news is not at all surprising.

The device, which launched in the fall of 2006, was initially dubbed an 'iPod Killer,' but it was soon drowned out by the flashier Apple player. The iPod simply received more media attention than the Zune thanks to Apple's constant updating of their device. By contrast, the Zune hadn't received a hardware overhaul since the release of Zune HD in 2009.

Furthermore, the Zune didn't quite get the advertising money that it needed to compete with, let alone beat, the iPod.

The Zune name will outlive the hardware, however. Microsoft will continue to use the Zune media service (offering music, movie and TV downloads) for its Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7 devices.

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