Is it finally game over for Microsoft's Zune hardware
business? What we first came to know as the Argo
media player built by Toshiba -- and
available in turd brown -- has gone through several
revisions over the years. The current Zune
HD offers a sleek design, OLED screen, and up to 64GB
of storage capacity.
However, it looks as though Microsoft just can't keep up
with the likes of Apple with its iPod, or even SanDisk and Creative. Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft is on the
verge of killing off future versions of its Zune portable media players (PMPs).
While new Zune hardware will no longer be produced, the Zune software bits will
continue to creep into Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 devices.
This isn’t the first time that trouble has followed
Microsoft’s Zune, however. Back in 2008, GameStop stopped stocking Zune players
in its stores due to a lack of sales. “We have decided to exit the Zune
category because it just did not have the appeal we had anticipated,” said a
GameStop spokesman in May 2008. “It (also) did not fit with our product mix.”
With Microsoft’s share
of the smartphone market down just a few months after the launch of its
innovative Windows Phone 7 operating system, the boys from Redmond need to be
focusing their energies on this highly lucrative segment of the market instead
of its failed efforts in the dedicated PMP market.
Apple’s range of iPod players command 77 percent of the
market according to NPD.