Microsoft Discontinues Zune Hardware, Focuses on Software

By Ashok Bindra March 16, 2011

Microsoft’s Zune media players were introduced with lot of fanfare in late 2006, but in 2011 they seem to be leaving the stage quietly. Having not made any impact on the digital music world, which is dominated by Apple’s iPods, the software giant is pulling the plug on the hardware side of the Zune line. Although, Microsoft has not made any such announcement, a report in Bloomberg has spread the news.

According to Bloomberg’s report on Monday, which is based on a person familiar with the decision, Microsoft will stop making newer models of Zune music and video players because of lukewarm demand for the product. Instead, it will focus on putting Zune software onto mobile phones that run on its Windows operating system.

When approached by a Bloomberg reporter, Microsoft declined to comment on plans for the Zune. However, in an emailed statement, the company said, “We have nothing to announce about another Zune device -- but most recently have introduced Zune HD to Canada via the Zune Originals store and remain committed to supporting our devices in North America. We are thrilled by the consumer excitement for Zune across many new platforms, including Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360. Our long-term strategy focuses on the strength of the entire Zune ecosystem across Microsoft platforms,” added Microsoft in the email statement.

Market research firm NPD Group’s data shows that Apple’s iPod led the market with 77 percent of unit sales last year, while Zune even failed to be in top five. Hence, it is now concentrating on the Windows Phone software to boost the sales of its Windows based mobile phones.


Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Super Bowl Sunday - Game on for TV Everywhere

By: Bob Wallace    1/22/2015

NBCUniversal is using the largest annual live sports viewing stage - the Super Bowl - to pitch consumers the benefit of a cable TV subscription - by o…

Read More

Corporate Video Usage Widens and Gets Creative

By: Tara Seals    1/22/2015

At least 40 percent of organizations that use real-time video applications are employing it in more than a dozen use cases.

Read More

Eat Your Heart Out Apple: Dell Tablet to Film Hollywood Movie

By: Rob Enderle    1/19/2015

I don't mean the tablet will be used in the film, I mean it will be used as the camera to create the movie. The tablet in question is the Dell Venue 8…

Read More

Obama Administration Wants To Crack Down On Fruits Of Hacking

By: Oliver VanDervoort    1/19/2015

The law also makes it a felony to traffic in information such as passwords and trafficking will now include posting a link. Basically, the new law wou…

Read More

OneWeb Satellite Broadband Venture Secures Funding, Generates Questions

By: Doug Mohney    1/16/2015

Will the world be surrounded by the largest satellite network ever created? OneWeb, formerly known as WorldVu Satellites, secured an undisclosed amoun…

Read More