Literally moments after I penned a missive concerning the future of Microsoft’s content, music, and gaming platforms, news has broken that indeed Microsoft will be ending the production of all Zune hardware.
This, while a surprise, is not the ‘end of Zune,’ or any such nonsense, instead it is an admission by Microsoft that now that they have a solid, selling mobile line of phones running Zune software, there is little need for other devices that mimic only a part of their functionality.
Microsoft is in effect killing off its iPod Touch. Before we go any farther, here is the source for this story, a pair of tweets from a Bloomberg source:
In other words: Zune (hardware) is dead, long live Zune (software). Zune software will continue to exist on the PC, the Xbox, and the Windows Phone 7 mobile line.
In fact, this can be seen as a positive moment for Zune, as Microsoft is not scrapping the project has been rumored, merely fitting it into the new Microsoft line of products. Zune software was always better than Zune hardware, so this is hardly a blow.
I still have my first generation Zune somewhere, maybe I should frame it.
Update: The following is a comment from Microsoft:
“We have nothing to announce about another Zune device – but most recently have introduced Zune HD to Canada via 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.”