Microsoft: The death of the Zune

The announcement to discontinue the Zune was first made on the Microsoft Phone Radio Podcast. Photo courtesy of

The announcement to discontinue the Zune was first made on the Microsoft Phone Radio Podcast. Photo courtesy of

On October 3, it seemed Microsoft had made the decision to forever remove their media player, the Zune, from the production line.

It all started that fateful day, when the Zune surprisingly disappeared from the Microsoft website. Yet only a few hours later, it had reappeared on the site in a equally magical manner. This time though, it came with a slight change to the product’s support page. According to Microsoft, they will no longer be producing the Zune player, or new features for it.

But what does this mean for those lucky few who already have purchased a Zune? Microsoft assures on their website that, while they will no longer be making new Zunes, they will still offer support for those who have them. They will also honor the warranties of existing Zunes.

Why did Microsoft decide to kill the Zune though?
Microsoft’s answer is rather simple. Their support page says “[the] Windows Phone will be the focus of our mobile music and video strategy.”

For those who own a Windows Phone, this announcement is rather exciting. It means that Microsoft will be putting more effort into adding new features and software for their phones, such as the new Windows 8 operating system.

I myself own a Windows KIN phone, and I can say that it is rather lacking. It has no downloadable apps, and no easily usable social networking feature. These are features all KIN owners have been hoping to receive for some time.

To access all the new features of the Windows Phone though, one will have to make the jump from whatever their current phone is. That sets the Windows Phone apart from the old Zune.

What would be interesting to see would be if Microsoft takes the same approach as Apple: making a phone, and a device that is similar to the phone without all the same features. This would be similar to the relationship between the iPhone and the iTouch. Not only would this spur more sales for Microsoft, it would give people the option of buying a device with all the features of the Windows Phone without actually switching to the Windows Phone.


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