Print 31 comment(s) - last by bbcdude.. on Oct 4 at 8:25 PM

Zune HD
Microsoft has confirmed that Zune players will no longer be produced, but the software is available for WP7

Microsoft has pronounced its Zune players dead, but its software shall live on in Windows Phone 7.

Earlier this year, Microsoft terminated its Zune originals devices. Yesterday, it removed the Zune HD from its website entirely, then later said it was an accident.

Now, it has been confirmed by Microsoft that the Zune HD has seen its last days as well, ending the Zune player lineup entirely.

"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," said Microsoft on its Zune support page. "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."

Microsoft is currently looking to port Zune HD applications to Windows Phone and promote WP7 as an all-in-one device rather than sell stand-alone MP3 players. Back in February 2011, the company also mentioned rebranding Zune into Windows Live services.

Microsoft's move to kill off Zune players is similar to Apple's recent decision to get rid of its iPod Classic. Apple is looking to kill its platter-based hard drive devices for gadgets with flash-based memory.

Sources:, Win Rumors

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By twhittet on 10/4/2011 10:40:16 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft's business model for Zune pass fails - because they lock it down to just their hardware. Their software/hardware/marketing hype was never good enough to compete with Apple using the same locked down business model. I want Zune pass - for my Android phone. If Microsoft truly cared about the Zune service, they would make this happen.

RE: Fail
By cjohnson2136 on 10/4/2011 10:55:20 AM , Rating: 2
Because it's such a different business model then itunes/ipod or iphone

RE: Fail
By lightfoot on 10/4/2011 11:58:35 AM , Rating: 2
That business model only works for Apple because they have a defacto monopoly on downloadable music.

They were first to market, and sold the music at or below cost in order to sell more iPods. This drove the competition out of business. By the time Microsoft entered the market the war had already been fought, and Apple had already won.

Now that people have heavily invested themselves in Apple (through iTunes,) they are forced to maintain that relationship.

Apple now uses its iTunes monopoly to sell iPhones and iPads.

Until people are willing to walk away from their media collection (yeah right) Apple will forever have these consumers locked in to their services and devices.

You could choose to PAY Apple for the "service" of using competing devices... But even that is a win for Apple.

RE: Fail
By Da W on 10/4/2011 11:42:12 AM , Rating: 1
Zune HD is where microsoft got their idea for Windows Phone and then metro a.k.a. windows 8 / new xbox interface / every new things coming out of Redmont. Which itself came from windows media center.

It's just practice, like Xbox was practice for Xbox 360.

RE: Fail
By curelom on 10/4/2011 12:17:23 PM , Rating: 2
Same goes for Apple. Companies learning from previous products? How evil of them. They should do like the government does and learn nothing.

RE: Fail
By kmmatney on 10/4/2011 12:32:27 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft didn't get the idea for Windows Phone from the Zune. They already had a mobile phone OS well before that, and the latest Phone OS is necessary to keep up with iOS and Android. iOS and Android had more to do with the development of new Windows Phone OS than did the Zune.

RE: Fail
By Da W on 10/4/2011 1:41:20 PM , Rating: 2
Talkin about interface. You know, tiles. You used them? You know what you talkin about? Cause for someone who used the products its kinda obvious.

By rburnham on 10/4/2011 9:47:19 AM , Rating: 4
My Zune 120 is still going strong. It is easily the best portable media player I have ever used. I am sad to see then give up on the Zune, but as long as I can still get them online somewhere (Amazon, eBay, etc.), I'll buy more if this one breaks.

Although I do like the idea of Windows Phones being an all-in-one option. That's something to keep an eye on.

RE: =(
By Sazabi19 on 10/4/2011 2:20:23 PM , Rating: 2
Ya this sucks. I love my Zune HD Platinum (32gig). Zunes are much better with ranges than ipods are, and I don't plan on running my phone battery to listen to crappy sounding music. My Zune has always given off better base than an ipod has (friend's ipod, never had one). I am really sad to hear this, I may have to get a 120gig HD :(

Plan B
By GoodBytes on 10/4/2011 10:02:32 AM , Rating: 2
Well I guess I can buy a cheap Windows Phone 7, and not get any service provider for it, and use it as a Zune player at worst. I wonder if that works.

RE: Plan B
By curelom on 10/4/2011 12:53:41 PM , Rating: 2
That might work if you didn't ever want to do updates for it and never wanted to buy/download any apps.

RE: Plan B
By cjohnson2136 on 10/4/2011 1:20:42 PM , Rating: 2
Well since the phone would still have wi-fi access you could still do all that.

Apple's iTouch
By curelom on 10/4/2011 12:19:37 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft should come out with a phoneless version of their phone, similar to Apple's iTouch.

RE: Apple's iTouch
By kmmatney on 10/4/2011 12:28:28 PM , Rating: 2
That would so fail. That's what the Zune HD already is - a new OS isn't going to make it that much better. That market is already shrinking, and a device like that has no chance against the iPod touch.

RE: Apple's iTouch
By curelom on 10/4/2011 12:48:12 PM , Rating: 2
That market is already shrinking, and a device like that has no chance against the iPod touch.

I don't know where the market is on those products, but a Zune HD is not an iTouch and it's chances of sucess would be a derivative of how sucessful the Win 7 phone ever becomes, if it ever does. I would agree that it wouldn't have a chance if Win 7 never takes off.

zune app
By michal1980 on 10/4/2011 10:05:01 AM , Rating: 2
come on MS you can do it.

Alas ...
By Supa on 10/4/2011 10:23:39 AM , Rating: 2
In the end, another so called "Killer" dead.

Maybe companies and media should refrained from using this word; it's bad luck.


By Arsynic on 10/4/2011 11:23:28 AM , Rating: 2

By Boze on 10/4/2011 1:35:42 PM , Rating: 2
I bought an original 30 GB Zune way back when to store both mp3s and video.

At the time I was still in the Navy and there was no iPad. I also didn't (and still don't) care much for Apple because of their cult following's attitude and the fact that, I feel, they want to sell me a lifestyle instead of a product, so I wasn't going to get an iPod.

The screen on my Zune was, sadly, destroyed a few years back, and I've since found that I don't really need an mp3 player.

I use my Samsung Galaxy S as my telephone and my mp3 player. I almost never use a case for it since it has a Gorilla Glass screen, but I have since found that it fits nicely into my old Zune case that was strapped to an armband (very handy for 5 mile runs at 5:30 in the morning).

So now I go to the gym and lift and run with my Galaxy S strapped to my arm, and the additional benefit is that I can answer calls, if necessary, while I get my workout in.

I imagine Apple will probably cut back on mp3 players soon as well. The convergence of devices is accelerating at a tremendously rapid pace.

I used to use a standalone GPS unit, but I don't really need that either, since the Galaxy S integrates nicely with Google Maps and has GPS.

This was probably a smart move for Microsoft, simply due to the fact these devices are no longer necessary.

Shelf Life
By rbuszka on 10/4/2011 2:59:32 PM , Rating: 2
I know that product lines like the Zune players have a fairly short shelf life, and the Zune HD was due to get the axe someday, but my 32GB Zune HD has been a phenomenally good piece of hardware, which has transcended upgraditis for a couple years now because it really hasn't left me wanting anything more from a portable player. Its OLED screen provides gorgeously-deep colors, and its touch interface has been very intuitive and smooth. Its dual-core Nvidia Tegra processor helped contribute in no small way to its robust performance, and its digital output capability via the HD Dock was quite a bit lower-priced than what was available for the iPod at the time, when the high-end, $400 Wadia iTransport was the only iPod dock that could tap into the iPod's digital output (though I think there are some others now), even though the HD Dock was doing essentially the same thing. I often commented that if Microsoft ever developed a phone the size of a Zune HD, and with similarly elegant design, I'd be all over that. Today's smartphones are covered in chunky, glossy plastic shells, not beautiful brushed, anodized aluminum. I'm going to hang onto my Zune HD as long as Microsoft will keep supporting it and providing content. The only feature it lacks that I would make use of is FLAC-format playback.

This is also just an indication of what the future probably holds for the iPod Touch. I think it can only be a matter of time before the Nano and the Classic are the only iPods available, because the Touch (like the Zune HD) is really just a 'phoneless' smartphone by this point.

The market is shrinking
By bbcdude on 10/4/2011 8:25:03 PM , Rating: 2
I have an original Zune 80 GB and I still use it and have no complaints. But the main uses I had for it are now being filled by my HTC phone. I now am using the Zune simply as a backup of all my electronic files, so I don't have to rip about 800 CD's again if i have a crash of my server.

The media player market, as with the camera market, will shrink as tablets and phones replace them. Why carry 2 devices instead of 1? There is a reason that the big legal battles are now over phones and tablets. It is the future. I fought it for a while, but the camera and functionality of my phone has just got too good to ignore anymore.

By Shig on 10/4/11, Rating: -1
RE: Inevitable
By Camikazi on 10/4/2011 10:12:38 AM , Rating: 5
O yea watch those movies and listen to those MP3s and slam right into the data caps :) device storage will always be needed as long as low and expensive data caps are in place.

RE: Inevitable
By nafhan on 10/4/2011 12:22:24 PM , Rating: 2
You can do a hybrid approach:
Haven't really messed with Google Music, but with Amazon you can stream from the cloud or download onto your device. It's pretty easy to keep some favorites or a new movie locally, and then switch things out when you are on wifi.

RE: Inevitable
By Paj on 10/4/2011 1:01:57 PM , Rating: 2
Why would you stream music to a portable music player using wi-fi? Most people have wi-fi in the home or office, the places where you're least likely to need a portable music player.

RE: Inevitable
By Da W on 10/4/2011 10:18:03 AM , Rating: 2
You're gonna bust your download limit fast with this option (may be not yours, but average Joe's new limit, certainly).

Advantage with microsoft's zune pass is that you download them on your computer, then sync with your device, or just download them on your device, but it stays there and you don't have to stream it again. Streaming is an option too just like others, but i still prefer the 32GB memory card full of music option.

RE: Inevitable
By bysmitty on 10/4/2011 10:27:50 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not saying your wrong but I don't feel like the mobile networks speeds are up to snuff for constant streaming tasks. I've attempted to use Spotify from my Android phone a number of times in my car to varying degrees of success. Sometimes it works fine, sometimes it cuts out every so often, and sometime it is simply unusable. Not to mention the music being interrupted by regular email and text message beeps. Also as other have mentioned the cell phone carriers are hungrily laying in wait with bandwidth overage fees. A few years from now these problems will be solved but I'm certainly not trading in my dedicated music player anytime soon.

RE: Inevitable
By chmilz on 10/4/2011 11:04:30 AM , Rating: 5
The cloud is awesome.

Until you're on a plane or roaming. Go ahead, stream your music while backpacking through a foreign country, enjoy your $28,000 bill.

RE: Inevitable
By cjohnson2136 on 10/4/2011 11:06:17 AM , Rating: 5
One of the reasons why streaming will die in the mobile space unless companies go back to unlimited data. Otherwise I will enjoy streaming for Sprint.

RE: Inevitable
By Da W on 10/4/2011 11:43:58 AM , Rating: 3
As long as you need to preserve your battery for calling/internet surfing/apps/games/other, there is room left in my pocket for a standalone MP3 player that can last for days.

RE: Inevitable
By Omega215D on 10/4/2011 11:44:16 AM , Rating: 3
And if the cloud goes down?

Stand alone MP3 players have their place. I would not want to drain the battery on my phone when listening to music. The sound quality of stand alone players also tend to be much better than what's available on the phone, even the precious iPhone (which shares the same mediocre sound quality of the iPod).

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