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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: Zune.net, Win Rumors



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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.




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