The Microsoft Zune Is Officially Dead – Long Live The Zunetanic!Oct 3rd, 2011 | By James Lewin | Category: iPods & Portable Media Players
Microsoft has announced that the Zune media player is officially dead:
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.
Was the Zune dead on arrival?
When it was introduced back in 2006, it was missing some key features, like attractive styling, podcast support and a sensible way to buy content. It was called the biggest flop of 2007 and a dismal failure, among other things.
Microsoft did keep iterating the Zune – adding things like advanced podcast support – but it never made much of an impression with buyers because the company always tried to imitate the iPod, an established competitor with better hardware selection, more content, a broader ecosystem of peripherals and cross-platform support.
Microsoft put all their marketing efforts into introducing a product that was clearly imitative and clearly inferior, effectively establishing the Zune brand as a poor substitute for the iPod.
Technology from later Zune incarnations may live on in the Windows phone and in upcoming Windows OS’s. But it appears that, wisely, Microsoft is leaving the Zune brand behind.
What do you think of the Zune’s inglorious demise? And what do you think Microsoft should have done differently?