Microsoft kills the Zune, to focus on Windows Phone

Microsoft kills the Zune, to focus on Windows Phone
Microsoft’s Zune player never quite caught up with the iPod line of music player, but now as even the iPod is on the decline, Redmond has decided to kill the Zune altogether. The company will not be releasing new models of the player, but remains committed to supporting the device in North America.

The Zune player is closely tied to the Zune music service, which in turn has intimate connections with Microsoft’s Windows Phone lineup, but while the player itself is dead, the service will continue running as before, with the focus shifting on Windows Phone handsets.

The Zune started in 2006 as an ambitious iPod rival. At the time, Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer  saw it as a real competitor to Apple’s player: “We can beat them, but it’s not going to be easy.” And it wasn’t easy - it just never worked out. The iPod dominated the market accounting 77% of all music players last year, while Microsoft’s creation struggled to get in the top 5. 

In 2009, though, the company split Zune into a software and hardware division as it was becoming clear that other devices like phones and even PCs could benefit from the service itself.


Before you start poking fun at the unfortunate (yet expected) fate of the Zune, it should be said that the Zune was the first device to debut with the Metro UI in 2006, later to evolve with the Zune HD in 2009, a UI which is now in the core of the Windows Phone experience. So, while the hardware is dead, the Zune is in a way still living in phones.



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11 Comments

1. pthomas

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 14, 2009

I gotta say I'm kinda sad to hear this, as a former Zune user the players were actually pretty slick and they had some great features that the iPods at the time didn't come close to. Oh well Microsoft tried and ultimately I think Android killed the Zune faster than Apple did though the music experience is hands down not even close to each other!

2. Eingild

Posts: 203; Member since: Apr 19, 2011

I thought this was old news? I read this article from other sources a long time ago.

3. Mooooo

Posts: 212; Member since: Aug 27, 2011

Dune? The spice.....

4. ivanko34

Posts: 617; Member since: Sep 04, 2011

Zune was much better than apple

5. VentusIlano

Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 13, 2011

LOL i didnt even know there was a zune "ipod".. though seeing the wp7 counterpart, zune still rocks!

6. thuglyfe unregistered

Microsoft never stands behind their products. I have a Zune and they had the potential to beat iPod but they quit

7. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Looks like I'll be buying the Galaxy WiFi Player. ZUNE was the best MP3 player I've had in years. So theirs no point in using it if MS won't support it and besides I'm already having battery problems.

9. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

The article says Microsoft will continue to support it. They will honor warranties as well. So you're still good with you're Zune for a while.

8. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Good, let another crappy iPod wannabe die out.

10. Penny

Posts: 1844; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Yayyy, less choices in the world. This is great news for you Miz! It really benefits you somehow!

11. Roughneck69 unregistered

You should update this, they are not killing the Zune.

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